Halfway to an MBA

With one year of my MBA experience complete, here’s a look at some stats from the first two semesters, three tools that helped out big time, and four tips I would tell myself before I began this adventure.

After a grueling application process and an inspiring first semester, I’m happy (and relieved) to report a strong finish to my first year in the W.P Carey School of Business evening MBA program.

The past 11 months stretched, propelled, motivated and challenged me like never before – compared to MBA year 1, Ironman Arizona was a walk in the park!

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Awesome Bucket III: Challenge 2015

In this, my third annual Awesome Bucket Challenge, I break down the primary goals I’ve set for myself in 2015. As per usual, they’re broken down into four categories, followed by a few notes on how I plan to make them happen.

While I may be posting late this year, rest assured, I’ve been cranking away on the Awesome Bucket for these first few months of 2015 and have already made some great headway.

And even though House of Cards Season 3 tanked, and Suns management has returned to their mind-boggling, downward-spiraling old ways, this year is off to a blazing start: work has been crazy with cool projects, big changes and opportunities to stretch myself; and the W.P. Carey MBA program keeps challenging me to my core and surprising me with unforeseen benefits. I’m busier than I can ever remember, but it’s a good-busy and I’m excited to keep it going.

Thanks for following along. Here are my goals for 2015:

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Mazel tov, bro

A speech for the best man

At first I wasn’t sure I’d give a best man speech at my brother’s wedding.

Nobody had mentioned anything to me, and Hermano’s style doesn’t lend itself to the spotlight or ceremony. So I figured they might just not be doing toasts, and I was fine with that – one less thing on the plate as work and school ramped back up for the new year.

But my feelings changed as the big day got closer. I realized this was going to be one of the most memorable days for him, her, and our families, and I wanted to give them all something special to show how much they mean to me. Considering that they live out of state and we don’t talk that much, the best man speech was my best shot.

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One semester in the books

10 takeaways from my first semester in the W.P. Carey ASU MBA program

“You’re going to be busy,” an executive told me after learning I had been accepted to the MBA program at the W.P. Carey School of Business. “But it’s a good busy.”

I didn’t realize how right he was.

Much like my first Ironman triathlon, my first semester of grad school somehow managed to break me down, beat me up and challenge me to the core, while invigorating and strengthening me at the same time.

I slaved over homework, group projects, papers and presentations all weekend, every weekend, and stayed up past midnight most weeknights. I developed a recurring eye twitch in the weeks leading up to exams, and replaced a rigorous exercise routine with copious amounts of coffee.

Constructive disruption. Enlightening masochism. Creative conflict. “A good busy.” Call it what you will.

But as I mentioned in my 2014 Awesome Bucket results, I can already tell the decision to pursue my MBA is one of the best moves I’ve ever made – and I’m only a quarter of the way through.

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2014 Awesome Bucket Results

A recap of my top goals and accomplishments from 2014

Two years ago I decided to get organized, methodical and passionate about my New Year’s resolutions by creating an Awesome Bucket and laying out my goals for the year. That inaugural Awesome Bucket helped make 2013 a wild success by keeping me focused and driven to develop habits, strengthen skills and cross epic finish lines.

And by publishing the list and posting status updates throughout the year, the Awesome Bucket holds me accountable. At the same time, I hope this exercise inspires others to add some Awesome Bucket Sauce to their New Year’s Resolutions. More importantly, I hope this exercise gives you ideas for how to stay motivated and make those dreams realities.

This year, my sophomore Awesome Bucket effort, the goals fell into four categories: Creative, Fitness, Travel and Awesome. In addition, my top priority for the year focused on applying and getting in to grad school at the W.P. Carey School of Business.

I’m happy to report I knocked this bucket out of the park, accomplishing 10 of the 11 goals on the list in another exciting and memorable year. I completed my first semester of grad school (more on that later), fabricated walkability in a city of sprawl, wrote and played guitar every day and hiked to the highest point in Arizona. Plus, I can now do a handstand – nbd – just another drop in the Awesome Bucket.

Here’s a breakdown of my 2014 Awesome Bucket and how I made it happen.

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