Archive for the 'School Results' Category

And I officially have my MBA. It started in August of 2006 and, this morning, ended when I was hooded and handed my diploma.

I’ve been asked several times if it was “worth it”. I can’t answer - I simply say that there has not been enough time to put the experience in its proper historical context. I can say, however, that I would not have finished had it not been for the support of my family and friends - and that I’ve made even more good friends while being here. To all of them, I can say “Thank you.”

In my regalia

El Diploma

Next step in the adventure: Find a job, which has thus far been eluding me.

As I mentioned in my Final Grades post, I’ve achieved some level of scholastic awesomeness. I thought I would take the time to post a couple of the certificates that I’ve received.

Beta Gamma Sigma

Pi Alpha Alpha

Yes, I was given these, a couple pins, and a couple sets of colorful ropes to wear at graduation last night at a nice little reception. There were great hors d’oeuvres, fun stories, and - the staple of any successful event - free bottles of beer and glasses of wine.

In other news, graduation is on Sunday (just two days away) and I’m eager to get my diploma. Unfortunately, however, Sunday is when I go from “being a student” to “being unemployed”.

My final final grades have come in:
Data Mining: A
Operations Management: A
Leadership: A-

GPA for this semester: 3.90
Cumulative GPA: 3.76

This means that, on average, I have received slightly better than an A- in all my classes. I’m pretty happy with that, especially considering my undergraduate performance oh-so-many years ago.

I have also been invited to join two separate “honor societies”: Pi Alpha Alpha, which requires a 3.7 GPA for graduate students, and Beta Gamma Sigma, which requires one to be in the top 20% of his or her class.

Sweet.

We’re down to less than three weeks from graduation. In terms of classes, I have merely this week and next week left. You’d think I’d be thrilled, but I still haven’t found a job yet and that’s a major source of stress.

Still, I’m looking forward to being done. This has been a major adventure in my life. I’ve made some great friends and gained a huge amount of highly relevant knowledge. I’ve been supported by loving friends and family, which has made a huge difference.

Before graduation I have - at this point - a presentation to give in Leadership and a ton of work and presentations for Data Mining. I’m pretty much done with Operations Management - but for an off-site visit. The end it is sight!

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!

I just got the results for my Operations Management midterm that I took just before Spring Break… 99/110 (90%), which is, apparently, the highest grade in the class. This is probably the best school-related news I’ve had in a while. Woohoo!

It’s at this point in the MBA experience that we start turning our eyes to finding a job that will utilize this fancy degree upon graduation. Fortunately for me, there’s a 100% historical correlation between “Burton graduation from college” and “United States economic downturns“. So the job hunt is basically awful and everything - EVERYTHING - I’ve applied for has rejected me, either explicitly (”No, thank you.”) or implicitly (”Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”)

The problem is that I’m being ambitious. I’d really like to use the education and experience I’ve gained here to springboard into a career with upward mobility, but, as noted, that’s not working out so far for me. I’m starting to get scared; since I want to stay in the Portland area, I’m worried that I’ll just have to go back to doing what I was doing, which will more or less (in my mind) invalidate the last two years of my life. I’d be okay if it was just ~$100k-120k in lost income from quitting my job, but the $40,000* I’m going to owe in student loans may mean that this will rank as the biggest mistake in Burton’s long history of mistakes.

We’ll see, though. All’s not lost yet.

* with a student loan interest rate of 6.8%, my student loans (compounded annually) will cost me something like $226.66 per month in interest alone.

It’s just days before spring semester starts (and a full month after I took my last final), and I finally received all my grades for fall semester.

Business & Economic Forecasting: A-
Negotiation: A-
Marketing Strategy: A-
Public Finance: A
Project Management: A

While my grades were better over the summer, my GPA then was based off just one class. This time I took five graduate courses and managed to end up with a 3.82 GPA for the semester and it pushed my overall GPA up to a 3.74!

Yeah, I’m feeling pretty awesome about that.

As I noted a few posts ago, my team managed to be the co-champions of the MarkStrat simulation. In the spirit of showing off, we were actually given a nice-looking certificate by the professor for doing such an awesome job. (He said something like, “Burton, I was impressed. Not only did you talk a lot of smack at the beginning, but your team actually managed to win, too!”)

Anyway, here’s my piece of paper:

Our MarkStrat Certificate

Our Markstrat simulation has completed. My team, one of five, has been declared co-champions based on our performance. Even more impressive, we’re fighting for the top spot after 12 moves - and we were far behind in last place after 4!

Our strategy was simple. In our game, our scores were decided based on total market share (of both markets), stock price, and net contribution. Our strategy was to target the two fastest growing market segments in the initial market and use constant innovation combined with advertising & salespeople to drive up sales and drive down price. Late in the game we entered the second market and made progress there, though we were too late to enter to get positioned correctly before the end of the game.

Anyway, the net result was a spectacularly exhilarating come-from-behind victory that made the class both fun and a learning experience!

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