Takeaways from an MBA

My guide to make the most of a W.P. Carey MBA

The MBA journey began with an arduous application process. Then, it officially launched with an inspiring first semester and a busy first year. Now, after two tough years that kinda flew by, I finished strong, graduated and celebrated with a two-week trip to China.

I’ve said it a million times, but getting my MBA is already one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and one of my proudest accomplishments .

It’s right up there with becoming an Ironman, and hitting a home run (opposite field) in the top of the ninth in the sixth grade little league All Star game (even though we went on to lose in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a walk-off home run, soon after my moment in the sun).

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Doing Business in China

Photo journal from two weeks in the PRC

For my last class of my MBA experience, I enrolled in a two-week international elective – called Doing Business In China – through Arizona State University and Peking University. The course featured stops in Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai, with a mix of lectures from Peking University professors, company visits, sight-seeing tours, cultural activities and lots and lots of great food.

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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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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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