From the monthly archives:

December 2010

There are so many things I would like to share in the blog with my reflections on the winding down Fall Term in part-time MBA program at GW. But the term is not over yet. Yesterday I had my final class in Consultative Processes. This is a relief, since I am done with the class. Our group (along with all other groups)  had a presentation of final recommendations for Dahab Plastics. I did not participate in presentation proper, though extensively contributed to final recommendations report. My not being on the presenting team was a good decision 😉 – my teammates made a killing! I might be subjective, but I think it was the best presentation out of four teams.

However, there is still work lingering for two of my classes. I have to write a portion of the final report on PharmaSim, and take a final exam in Financial Management next week. The Financial Management is the one that especially bothers me. I just hope I will be able to cram for it over the weekend. That’s why this update is short, just to let the readers know that I am still hanging in there :-) .

So before I bury myself in textbooks I will keep my promise of posting business cases I have prepared so far in my MBA program. Today I uploaded  Business Case Analysis for Safer Chemicals which I wrote for Business and Public Policy class in Summer Term 2010. It is a very appropriate reminder of the externalities carried by the chemicals in our every day life. Just this week I read an article illustrating pervasiveness of the chemicals, namely BPA contamination through seemingly mundane transactions. Go ahead and read the case and the article. I hope you won’t get too scared :-(


This week I ran into one of my classmates in the study area before the class. I have not seen her around since the summer term, so we chatted a bit to catch up on what’s going on in our MBA studies. I remembered that we started the program at GW at the same time in Fall 2009. Yes, you need to make a conscious effort to remember your classmates in the part-time flexible setting when everyone is taking classes at their own pace and schedule :-). With most of my classmates I had only one or two classes together. It could be seen as a drawback of the part-time MBA program, especially when there is no cohort, because you don’t have many opportunities for bonding. On the other hand you get exposed to many more interesting people, which could be a benefit. Of course it is only true if you actively try to reach out and talk to people. I have a mixed record in that department, though :-)

Anyways, one of my staple questions when I see long-missed classmates is about their progress into the program in terms of accumulated credits. When I asked this person the question, the answer knocked me off: “I am done with the program in a week.” Notice, next week is our final classes in the Fall 2010 term at GWU MBA. I really did not understand at first what she meant, and asked to explain how it was possible. I was truly amazed by her story. Turnes out, she has indeed accrued all her credits by finishing all required and elective courses, and graduating this month.

So, here is a short re-cap of how she managed to do it. She is working in sales and her work is from home. So she had reasonable flexibility in that regard. She also had at least 3 credits transferred from her undegraduate degree. She was piling up on classes as much as she could while at GW and in the meanwhile she also managed to complete two international residencies, or rather they were called short-term international programs, one on winter break and one in summer.  As a result, she is done with her part-time MBA degree in JUST 16 MONTHS! Forget about the time benefits of full-time or Accelerated MBA – those still take 21 months to finish.

Of course, even with the work-school balance she had, thanks to her job arrangements, it still takes a tremendous effort to pull out an MBA degree in such a short time. It’s hard to imagine she could possibly have much, if any, of a life outside school-work boundaries. Nevertheless she did it. And as I said before, I am utterly amazed.

As for me, by the end of this term I will have accrued 25.5 credits, out of 52.5 required for graduation. I am trying to stay on track to complete my MBA program in Spring 2012. For that I will have to ramp up a bit this coming summer by taking more than just 3 credits, as I did last summer. I would say I am progressing at an average rate. Quite a few people I talked with in part-time MBA program at GWU are taking it even slower by having only 6 credits per regular Fall/Spring terms – just enough to maintain a part-time status.

I think my classmate’s experience in turbocharging her part-time MBA is quite unique. And it’s inspirational. Not only in the sense of time-racing for MBA, but generally of how much can be accomplished with determination and effort.