Today was my last day as Vice President (and, of late, acting President) of the Atkinson Student Association. We had a nice little luncheon off campus with the incoming and outgoing officers where we officially “handed off” the baton. What was really great was that we were given, as a parting gift, a pair of laser-etched wineglasses that say “Willamette MBA”.

Our nifty wineglasses

It does help, I’ll be honest, that I was consulted as to “what a nice gift would be”. I didn’t want - for instance - a pen I’d never use, that’s for sure. It’s been my stance that it’s nice to be asked what I want as a gift, because then I’ll get something I like. It’s convenient that way.

Anyway, I’m pretty thrilled to have that off my plate. I’ve handed off the editor-in-chief position for Atkinson Management Today and now this; it frees up my time so can really start concentrating on my job search.

“Out of control emotions make smart people stupid.” - Daniel Goleman

One of the topics we’re coving in my leadership class right now is the concept of emotional intelligence. The idea, posited by Daniel Goleman (quoted above), is that emotional intelligence is one of the most powerful factors that good leaders have in common. Emotional intelligence is, generally, comprised of elements such as empathy, self-control, self-awareness, etc.

The idea is interesting to me - that lack of quantitative intelligence can make a bad leader, but emotional intelligence is what it takes to make a good one. I’m not sure how I’d rate in his criteria; I feel that I know myself and what I’m capable of, but I know that there are certain criteria I don’t hold as well as others.

Nonetheless, I find the concept interesting as we delve more and more into leadership.

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.

Tomorrow is the Northwest MBA Consortium Career Day up in Portland and, being close to graduation, I shall of course attend. I’ll be trying to find a job in IT Management, IT Consulting, or something of that nature that allows me to leverage my background and the education I’ve thus far received. It will be an interesting experience.

Trying to find gainful employment is why I set up my burtonsimmons.info domain and why I had new business cards made (thanks, Ink Spot!) to reflect that. I went for something simple, easy to read, and somewhat classic looking.

My new business card

I hope it goes over well… we’ll see.

Now that I’m working through my last semester of business school, it’s time for me to start looking for a job when I get out. (I probably should have started doing this earlier, but I chose to focus more on the academic side of business school than the career side.)

So the short of it is, I’m looking for a job.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to update my resume slightly and make it available online. Let me introduce burtonsimmons.info, my own usage of the relatively new .info top-level domain. I hope to use this site (which has information that’s still otherwise pretty easy to find out about me) as a way of sharing my resume and adding context to the information on it. We’ll see if it work, but I like it!

One of the three classes I’m taking is “Leadership”. The class is about (if I understand correctly):

  • What a leader is
  • What makes a good leader
  • Knowing ourselves
  • What we can do to make ourselves good leaders

I’m looking forward to the self-examination. Tragically, this involves taking a lot of personality tests - something I’ve always disdained because they never seem to take into account the nuances of a person. The reasoning behind taking them, though, is simple: know ourselves and be able to see how we stack up against a so-called leader. (Then knowing what areas of self we have to work on to be most effective.)

The class is a lot of work. Not that I’m one to complain about work, I just find it to be occupying a disproportionate amount of my time. The professor’s method is to assign us a bunch of reading - all of it relevant - but trust us to read it and not test us on it or even necessarily discuss it in class. The idea, it seems, is that we’ll read it because it’s good for us. I, of course, always do the readings, but I cry with frustration whenever I try to decipher the syllabus to figure out exactly what we’re supposed to be doing. I mean, it says things like “on the first and fifth sessions, do [this]“, and makes me cross reference the reading we’re supposed to be doing with the list that tells me who wrote it, since I have to hunt it down in the library catalogs myself. Just a minor frustration, really, but a frustration nonetheless.

Since a leadership position is a goal of mine, I hope I get a lot out of this class. I’ve already known some areas I need to work on for a long time and I know many of my weaknesses, but it will be interesting to see what’s revealed through this class.

Tomorrow is my first day of school of my last semester of my MBA program (if, of course, all goes according to plan.) I’m signed up for a paltry three classes at this point, which is precisely the number I need to graduate. There are, of course, plenty of classes I want to take, but financial reasons (if nothing else) prevent that.

I’m currently registered for:
Data Mining/Information Based Products
Operations Management
Leadership

I’m hoping that these three classes will round out my education nicely as well as giving me the background I need for success in the future. Hopefully, too, the schedule will give me plenty of time for job hunting - and I assure you, my dear reader(s), that a job is something I’m eager to find.

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.

I wanted to take a moment during my winter break, after my last final of fall semester but before grades have arrived or spring semester starts, to thank those people who’ve supported me during my MBA adventure. I’m not going to name names, but if you’re reading this, chances are pretty decent that you’ve been a good friend to me during my trials and tribulations as a broke college student (again).

I have some of the best friends on the planet; friends who have been kind, patient, understanding, and supportive as I run through this particular phase of my life. I have friends that give as much as they can while understanding I can’t reciprocate - and they don’t complain. Those friends are the friends I’ll cherish for life, and to whom I am deeply indebted.

And to those friends, I can only say, “Thank you. You are appreciated.”

Well, I took my last final for fall semester and I am officially done with courses for 2007. Oh, I still have some work to do for various professors, but none of it is for a specific class. Also, I’m done a week early (since I only had one final and my professor graciously allowed me to take it before the weekend) so I can now enjoy my winter break until about January 14th!

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