July 27, 2010

What I liked best of Year 1 and What I'm looking forward to for Year 2

[Steve Annen, MBA and MS in Media Ventures Class of 2011]

What I liked best about my first year:

I’m from Chicago, which is an awesome town in case you’ve never been there; it has thick pizza, tall buildings, and a giant metal bean. I’ve been to several places in the US, but limited funds have restricted my international travel to Canada (once) and Mexico (once…actually, about one half). However, I have met people from all over the world here at BU and the differences still fascinate me.

In Greece, for example, “afternoon” is considered to be from about 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM. In the US, Schlitz is a brand of beer, but in Germany, “schlitz” means…something else. There are hundreds of examples of the cultural differences (what’s this “metric system” you speak of?), but in the end, there are cool people from all over.

The first year is definitely stressful, but knowing that we’re all thrown into this same situation together eases a lot of the strain.. Former lawyers, doctors, substitute teachers, and mustachioed-workers for the Colorado Russian consulate…everyone is now here for grad school and hanging out with them has been great. Plus, now I have places to crash once I have money to travel.

What I am most looking forward to for my second year:

My program is different than most of my classmates; I am earning a dual degree MBA and MS in Media Ventures. My 2nd year focuses primarily on the media portion of my degrees and actually sends me to Los Angeles for the spring and summer. There are several things I’ll miss about Boston (the people, the Spring Gala, and the MBA talent show to name only a few), but I am looking forward to experiencing life on the West Coast. The idea of networking is ground into your head as an important aspect of the MBA, a fact that has been verified by the alumni I have interviewed. As great as Boston is, I look forward to trying something new and meeting more people in my future-industry. I’m sure I’ll jump back east, so I’ll see everyone then.

Aside from LA, I am honestly looking forward to my Negotiations class at SMG this fall. I have heard nothing but good things think learning the basics will prove to be invaluable in any career.

See you all on campus in a few weeks!

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July 15, 2010

Lessons Learned in B-School

[Posted by Felicia Jadczak, MS-MBA, Class of 2011]

One of the primary reasons why I decided to apply to business school was to make a move and get ahead in my future career. I had just been promoted in my job at the time, but there was no space for further growth. After five years in the same field I was more than ready for a change. I knew that business school was a doorway for something bigger and better, even if I didn’t quite know what that “better” would actually turn out to be!

I remember showing up for the first day of Pre-Term, hot and sticky, wondering if I should have worn business casual, worried about how I would fit in with the rest of the class. I was a liberal arts major: my specialties were English, French, and writing, and I had only taken one math class in my entire undergraduate college career (it was the lowest grade I ever received, in case you were wondering!) I imagined that the other students would be crazy intense ex-investment bankers, ultra-competitive, with closets full of suits and ties, shiny shoes, and leather briefcases. I could just picture the months ahead: long nights of struggling alone over big fat finance textbooks and mind-numbing spreadsheets. That first night I wondered why, oh why did I ever think I belonged in business school? Admissions must have made a SERIOUS mistake by accepting me!

Well, it turns out my fatalistic predictions were only partially true. To my surprise, there were many other people who were just as nervous as I was. There were other English majors! There were other people who’d never opened up an Excel spreadsheet in their entire lives! There were very few bankers, and shiny shoes and suits only emerged on presentation days. There were long, long, sleepless nights of pouring over big fat finance textbooks and mind-numbing Excel spreadsheets, but they were not spent alone. And most importantly, competition was almost non-existent.

One of the very first lessons I learned in school was that we’re all in this together. I still remember the first Saturday morning I showed up to school, planning on somehow making my slow, slow way through a MyFinanceLab homework set, and wondering how I would ever manage when I already felt behind in class. I ended up working on the problems with two other classmates who were more helpful and supportive than I could have ever imagined possible. It was an eye-opening experience and one that was repeated many times over throughout the year. Yes, you might not be an expert in one area. But you probably are really good at something else that another classmate thinks is impossibly hard.

Yesterday evening, as I sat enjoying a mid-week drink with many of my cohort members, I realized that not only have I managed to make it through the first year alive, with enough skills and training to succeed (so far) in a very challenging summer internship, I’ve also somehow come away with a fantastic network of friends and colleagues. I count people from my first semester, second semester, and study teams among some of the best friends I’ve made since coming to school. My cohort has proved to be an invaluable source of support, tutoring, friendship, commiseration, and endless new ideas for social activities. And I wouldn’t be working where I am today if not for the help of an MS-MBA alumna who promoted my resume with her former co-workers.

Yes, business school has proved to be one of the hardest experiences of my life. But no, I wouldn’t trade the hard work, frustration, challenging situations, and incredible fun of the past year for anything.

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July 7, 2010

Update on Summer Internship

[Posted by Yvonne Choi, Public and Nonprofit MBA/MA in International Relations, Class of 2011]

Hi all!

Welcome to the Boston University blog. Hope this is helpful in your pursuit to figure out whether BU is the right fit for you and if you have already chosen BU, prepare you for the first year.

The first year of business school is hard and long but I had tons of fun too! I think BU does a great job of creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and healthy competition. They seek out those who are brilliant but are not overly showy. Sounds so cheesy but I have met some of the most interesting and diverse group of people from all over the world. And, this summer, they are interning all over the world… from Africa to Vietnam and all over the US.

For me, this summer, I am interning with Bank of America within their leadership program. After a month of summer break, I am ready to get mentally stimulated again. I am commuting to Providence this summer from Boston and although it’s been a bit rough waking up so early, I am able to take a quick nap and do some work on the train so it’s not so bad. The ultimate goal of my summer internship is to be accepted into the full time rotational program with BofA after I graduate so, as they say, not only am I “interviewing” them but I am also being “interviewed” throughout the entire summer. It has only been a week into my internship, but I have already been asked of my constructive feedback on how the BofA banking centers are being run and about my opinion on how to improve customer experience and employee engagement. I think BU has done a great job in instilling in its students key business leadership tools, specifically from our Organizational Behavior class, and core business knowledge in operations, marketing, and finance to generate constructive and intelligent assessments of business situations.

I hope everyone is having a great time enjoying the summer weather. It has been fabulous in Boston, not too humid.

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