February 25, 2014

My Epic MBA: Adventures of the New SMG Curriculum

As I prepared to become a student again, trekking cross-country from Oakland, CA, I knew that I had to make an impact in my new MBA community at Boston University - but how?

Module 1: 3 Subjects, 6 Weeks
In the new curriculum, we master 3 subjects in 6 weeks through 2 3-hour classes a day, 4 days per week. I wanted to make an impact, so I was already on two boards and was readying applications to participate in the club’s other activities. Net Impact, BU chapter and the Public & Nonprofit Club aligned with my interests and passion of developing public-private partnerships and increasing corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

During module 2...
I realized I needed to improve the balance between my career pursuits and academic responsibility. The modules were moving very quickly, and the new curriculum meant that my peers and I were having a different experience than our second-year MBA peers had. We embraced the learning curve, and before we knew it, midterms and finals came and went.

Balancing your life while in an MBA program is like rewriting an epic novel every year
For me, there is not an exception! I believe this challenge has made my experience through the modules 1 and 2 much more rewarding. It has made me more humble and benevolent. While I sometimes struggle to be disciplined, I remember that the learning curve does not apply to classes alone.

Growth can only happen to those who welcome it
Bittersweet may be a generous word: the bitter of challenge must be experienced before the sweet taste of completing a module or year. I believe that I have grown tremendously, and being humble and benevolent has been an important part of making new friends, welcoming mentors, and continuing the passion that I had prior to starting the program.

As module 3 begins...
I am focused on securing an internship and re-writing my novel of balance and impact, all while making sure I do not lose my self in the MBA bubble. I make sure I remember that I am from Oakland, CA, privileged to pursue a graduate degree, and grateful to learn from the challenges and successes of experiences to come.

Ruel is a first year MBA in the Public & Non-Profit Management program. Prior to Boston University, Ruel was a project manager for Department of Labor - Job Corps, providing contract oversight and training as well as new program development and implementation. Ruel is interested in further exploring public-private partnerships and corporate social responsibility and sustainability. He is a board member for both the Net Impact BU Chapter and Public & Non-Profit Club.

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