Archive for the 'About Willamette' Category

I was a few graduation invitations to send out from the school. They look pretty snazzy… I’m just not sure who I should send them to. I mean, aside from my family, everyone else has something better to do at 9:30 AM on a Sunday! Anyway, here’s a sneak peek:

The cover of the invitation

And, of course, the inside:

The cover of the invitation

Please, come if you’d like. If you can’t, feel free to send money… or just pledge to my student loans. (E-mail me if you need my address for this task.)

The end is in sight!

In an interesting marketing move, the folks at Atkinson decided to hold a video contest wherein people show off videos describing their MBA experience. I felt compelled to enter for many altruistic reasons… but also because there was a cash prize: $1000 for first place, $500 each to two runner-ups.

I teamed up with a friend to create “My Willamette MBA Experience”. I wrote most (if not all of the script) and did the filming, the editing, the narration, and even a bit of the acting. I was pretty impressed with the result, especially considering that I did it in about three days (though it actually represents about 23 hours worth of work.) Here’s our entry:

… and the contest was held, and my team was one of the runner-ups! I can’t link to the winning video right now, but it was really good. Still, we won cash, which is awesome. (By an amazing coincidence, my half of $500 is roughly what I currently owe the school for incidental fees this semester, so that’s handy.)

So you write one post critical of a few things about Willamette, and - because I’m a computer nerd and I pay attention to the logs - 6 unique visitors (all from Willamette University) visit the site within an hour. (Notable because I rarely get more than two visitors in any given day, most of which are people looking for hints on Markstrat.) All visits were directly to that somewhat critical post. I strongly suspect someone saw the post and emailed it around, which makes me an unhappy panda.

In the interests of not stepping on too many toes until I’m safely out of here, I’m going to go ahead and make that post “private”. I’ll re-enable it when I graduate. If anyone is that curious about what I wrote, all you need do is email me and I’d be happy to discuss it.

… by the way, if anyone knows who “Reader Zero” was, I’d love to find out how they found my post so quickly.

I just found out that one of the purposes of this program is to help us, as people (and potential managers) be able to find patterns in unrelated facts. How do we take the noise of information in the world and filter through it to come up with salient knowledge and the ability to make decisions?

Part of enrolling at Willamette University is enrolling in the student health insurance program. This is - theoretically - automatically done as part of the enrollment process but you can waive out of it if - for some strange reason - you have your own.

I don’t have my own health insurance so I did nothing (except fill out the initial required forms), assuming I’d be enrolled and life would be good.

Then I got an email reminding me that, should I choose to waive the health insurance, I should opt out of it (and gives me instructions.) I figured that since I hadn’t done anything I was enrolled (like I wanted to be) and ignored this.

Then I got ANOTHER email reminding me that, should I choose the waive the health insurance, the deadline is September 15th. I ignored this email.

Then I got a mailed form (to my mailbox at school) that reminded me once again about the September 15th deadline. However, since I didn’t think to check this mailbox, I was sent a reminder email about mail in the mailbox. Finally, I called (to make sure I didn’t have to do anything to not waive the service) and was told, “If you want health insurance, do nothing.”

Right. Three reminders (that I can remember) to do something when no action is required if I want the service. Overkill, anyone?

I’m in my second week of class and I’ve noticed something big. You see, at a private school it seems I can email my professor a question at 10 at night and he’ll actually respond. This was, of course, unheard of at a public university. Craziness.

Think of “Compass Week” as “MBA Boot Camp”, but without being call “maggots” all the time. It’s the week before classes officially start. Beginning on August 21st, we had 5 days of introduction to the MBA program.

It was intense.

The week started with me showing up in a suit to meet my classmates - all 53 of them. I’m as good with people as I am with killer ninja midgets, which is to say that they scare me and I’m very, very shy.

From there it was a whirlwind of activity. Guest speakers. Team building activities. I shook more hands than could possible be healthy for me.

Day two was held up at the Portland Center (near Powell’s Books) and we were assigned our PACE groups and projects. PACE is, in short, 13 people working on two projects. In one, we’re consulting for a non-profit agency and trying to “add value” to what they do. In the second, we’re creating a plan for our own for-profit business. For the non-profit, the Salvation Army of Marion-Polk County had agreed to work with us. We had our first meeting with them at the end of the day, with precisely 0 business classes under our belt.

Day three was back in Salem. More panels, explanations of Microsoft Excel, shaking hands, and “networking.” This “networking” is a foreign concept to me, as I was pretty used to “networking” from a “network administrator” standpoint. Cisco has nothing to do with this new type, I’m finding.

Day four was a team-building day at a place called the Tilikum Retreat Center. I got to bond with my PACE team, which means they got to see me as the most overweight, out-of-shape person there. It seems that while I wasn’t in bad shape, there’s an important modifier to that statement. It’s “for a computer nerd.” Damn.

Day five was our first class. Yay! Homework due Monday. Boo!

For the most part, I was at school during Compass Week well before 8 AM and I usually wasn’t getting home until almost 7 PM. I was exhausted at the end.