Welcome to Graduate School

So it has been a while since I last blogged, because I did actually start grad school and life has been very busy since!   However, I do wish I had been chronicling my experience so far.  Instead, I will recap what has taken place.  It all started on Saturday August 13th – orientation.

August 13, 2016 – Orientation.  This program is unlike any other traditional program in that I am with a group of people who will stay together for the entire program, taking the same courses and meeting in the same location all the way through.  Just like any other orientation, we were told what we could expect, and we got to learn more about each other.  I immediately felt that I was in a unique position, for I appeared to be one of only about 3 people who were not already in management positions.  This made me nervous.  Luckily, I would learn over the next few weeks, that there are a few more of us serving in different capacities that do not include managing people.

After an initial orientation, we were fed lunch and had a brief library orientation on research.  As part of our welcome package, we were all given laptop bags that were filled with “goodies”, which included an executive portfolio, a pen, a water bottle, a flash drive, and our first set of books – for which we had already received our first reading assignments to complete prior to our first Thursday night class and our first weekend class.

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After orientation concluded, we were invited over to the home of one of the instructors (whom I also believe is a board member for the program) for a catered “cookout” and to mingle with the class that was about to graduate.  It was nice to obtain their perspectives on how they felt the program was.  But no matter how many people I spoke with, the consensus was the same….it’s going to be challenging, and it’s going to be time-consuming.

August 20, 2016 – Module 1 Starts.  Our first Thursday night class was preceded by a full dinner that included alcohol, should we choose to partake.  It was very delicious.

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We then were introduced to our very energetic, and colorful Economics professor.  It turned out that while he was entertaining, many of us were not be able to learn a lot directly from his lectures.  In my opinion, this class seemed to be a rather difficult one to start with, as a good big of it incorporated knowing finance and statistics (which we won’t have until next Spring).  Luckily every Thursday night class was followed with a Monday night TA session that the entire class seemed to need to attend in order to truly understand the subject matter.  So my one-night-a-week program was going to be at least two nights a week.  We were also given our (here’s the dreaded part) first team assignment at that first class.   Knowing what a challenge team assignments were with my bachelor’s program, I had hoped working face to face with team members would provide a much better outcome.  At least I hoped being in a master’s program would mean a much better team experience.  I found over the coming weeks this could not be further from the truth.

I quickly attempted to get our team to meet to discuss our first assignment.  Out of four of us, only one team member, besides myself would agree to meet.  Teamwork was already becoming stressful.  The complications I proceeded to have with my team over the course of this module would only escalate.  Unfortunately I can be a little too outspoken, and it seemed to only made matters worse.  For now, I just have to deal with it and wait for the time when we will have new teams assigned…apparently in January.  God help me.

 

August 9, 2016 – The First Weekend Session. Once a month, we also have class on a Friday evening and all day Saturday.  On a good note, because of the length of time involved for the weekend course, one course is completed in just two weekend sessions.  On a bad note, one course is completed in just two weekend sessions.  That means you better understand the material rather quickly.  Just like the first course, this one would prove to be very difficult as well.  Being in a program where half your classmates are doctors is comparable to being in a program with half foreign students (and you’re the foreigner!).  Once the doctors started speaking on practices and procedures that I do not regularly deal with, I was completely lost.  But once again, I found I was not the only one, and we still had those Monday TA sessions that were a godsend.  I attended them faithfully.

Just like our Thursday classes, we are also fed dinner on Friday, and breakfast, lunch and a snack on Saturday.  This program is going to quickly affect my figure if I don’t watch it!

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The next few weeks seemed to go so quickly.  We had four team presentations, individual homework assignments and a few quizzes.  Then, before I knew it, I was taking final exams.  Module 1 had come to an end.  I have survived graduate school thus far.  More importantly, I have adapted well to the routine.  And the best part? – while I have not received my final grades for module 1, I have received enough information to know I did much better than I thought I had.

Module 2 began this past week, and this new course is much more “touchy feely” and right up my alley.  I think I’m going like it here.  🙂

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