Intersecting Minds: Education, Business and Technology at the North Carolina State Jenkins Graduate School of Management

The Home Stretch: Oodles of Work

April 8, 2010
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We have three weeks of classes left.

Wow. It’s kind of hard to believe those words, but there they are all the same. Here’s a brief look at the projects I have to complete before school is out:

– New Firm Finance, Stonewall Case presentation: This project is the capstone for the class (along with an in-class final exam). In the case, Stonewall Kitchen is an up-and-coming specialty food provider who wants to expand its retail operations. Our job is to determine an overall growth strategy and an accompanying financing strategy that makes sense for the organization.

– Planning and Control Systems: There’s a lot left to take care of for this class. I’ve bulleted a few of the items below –

  • Midterm #2: Coming up on Tuesday, April 13th
  • ITEC: A manufacturing simulation that integrates operations strategy, master production scheduling, materials requirements planning and capacity requirements planning in one go
  • Take-Home Final

– Investments: We have two more assignments left and a take-home final that no one is looking forward to. The midterm in this class was amongst the hardest I’ve taken at NC State. Since the midterm we’ve covered options (Black-Scholes, hedging and valuation) and will turn to hybrid securities next (convertible/callable bonds).

– Practicum: Last but definitely not least, our Practicum group has to put together our final presentation and recommendations as well as writing our research paper and our executive summary of the project. The SCRC presentation will happen on April 29th.

In the meantime, I’ve also picked up some consulting work that will take up about 15-20 hours/week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Indeed, it seems like the end of the semester is near, but when I peruse my to-do list, the light at the end of the tunnel seems even further away.

But this is what we signed up for when we decided to come to business school, and if we didn’t enjoy it, we wouldn’t be here. It’s precisely this amount and type of work that is meant to prepare us for management in a corporate environment, and that’s exactly what we’re getting.


Back from Spring Break and Into the Home Stretch

March 22, 2010
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Today is Monday, March 22nd, and we are now just 54 days away from graduation. It’s pretty amazing how quickly the time has flown by up to this point, and I know that with all of the work left to do for us, the next few weeks will melt away just as fast.

Now that the finish line is in sight, it’s difficult not to start looking back at all that we’ve accomplished in the last 19 months as MBA candidates. The classes, internships, projects, exams, leadership roles, extracurricular activities, graduate assistantships, and for me, a semester in Copenhagen. We’ve been busy.

Lost in some of the day-to-day and week-to-week hubbub is a realization of just how far we’ve come in our education and our preparation to be leaders in the business world. From my own perspective, I feel so much more comfortable in my projects and assignments this semester than I did my first semester. And at this point, I feel very well prepared to enter my career, and I’m excited for the next opportunities and challenges that my next job will hold.

I’m sure I’ll have much more to say on these topics in the weeks ahead, but it’s nice to pause for a moment and say, “Yes, we have come a long ways.”


Time Management

February 10, 2010
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This semester so far has been quite different from my first three at NC State and Copenhagen Business School. My class schedule features three purely evening classes from 6:00 pm to 8:45 pm, Monday through Wednesday night. I also have a fourth class, Practicum, which feels more like a part-time job requiring 10-15 hours of work each week.

As a result, my schedule is more haywire this semester than it ever has been, and as a result, my time management and organizational skills have been pushed to the forefront. With evening classes, it always feels like there is so much time during the day to get everything done, but then the homework and projects start creeping up and draining time away. Combine that with making time to search for jobs, working part-time for my Graduate Assistantship (namely this blog), and volunteering when available, and all of a sudden those hours aren’t so plentiful anymore.

But I suppose that’s one of the best habits business school has bred. Don’t procrastinate! There will be interruptions and delays on projects, assignments will get dropped on you at the last minute, and you have to be able to adjust and adapt without getting overwhelmed. In that sense, I think business school, both at NCSU and CBS has done a nice job preparing me for what I will face out in the real world. Speaking of which, I have some research I need to do for an assignment due later this week!


And Just Like That…

January 11, 2010
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I’m back on campus here in North Carolina State ready for my first day of class. Does it feel really different? It’s hard to say right now. In some ways it does, and in some ways, it’s like I never left. The people are the same, the MBA lounge is the same, and I’m sure the intensity of the coursework will be the same.

But at the same time, I’m carrying the weight of the past 8 months with me, too. The internship at Genentech over the summer and the time spent in Denmark have broadened and clarified what it means to be here in Raleigh. For one thing, I’m extremely aware of how little time we have left until graduation: 4 months. And while that sounds like a considerable length of time, it’s really not. Between school work, assistantship activities and fun activities, we’re going to be so busy that the time will slide by almost without us noticing.

I think about my friends back in Europe often. I wonder what they’re doing, and how they’re classes are going. And if I close my eyes I can picture CBS and Solbjerg Plads and the library where I spent so many hours studying. I do miss it, but I’ve moved around enough in my life at this point that the effects seem somewhat blunted.

I’m ready for this semester to start, our last one before graduation, and I’m anticipating the challenges and successes that are sure to come with it. Here’s to a great one.


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