Tag: class

One minute. That’s the time that it took me to register for classes this week. And while that might seem a little extreme and dramatic, it’s a necessary approach to getting into the classes I want. Anything more than a minute and you are most definitely wait-listed or never getting in all together.

How is that possible, one might ask? Well, there are a lot of students and limited seats. And when classes fill up in 45 seconds (yes, that happened), planning and constantly pressing refresh between 7:25 and 7:30 a.m. are the only way around that.

With that, let me give you some tips and tricks on how to win the bull race on registration morning:

  • Create a schedule ahead of time: Again, this seems like a given but I know students that have waited until the morning of registration to really dig deep into the class offerings. They learned the hard way that waiting is a losing approach. So, don’t be a loser and spend time looking through the listing of classes, figuring out what days and times work for you, and making a schedule.
  • Attend the advising sessions: I found this particularly helpful the first semester that I had to register since the program director (the infamous Jan Snow) not only has several class recommendations but can answer any questions you have related to graduation requirements. As an FYI, a PMBA student needs 54 credit hours to graduate.
  • Use the registration worksheet: If you’re not using this, you’re doing registration wrong. To the point that I’ve included a screenshot below so that you know where to find the worksheet and what it looks like.
    Registration Worksheet. The answer to all your registration problems.

    Registration Worksheet. The answer to all your registration problems.

    What it does is allow you to bookmark classes while you’re working on the first bullet of this post (ha!) that will automatically populate in the registration tab the morning of registration. From there, all you do is go down the list and click “add course.” Boom! You register in a minute.

As a side note, I registered for my last semester this week and I couldn’t be happier. The first reason is to cross “Get an MBA” off my life to-do list. The second is to never have to stress about registration again.

Image: computer laptop keyboard HP Pavilion Entertainment PC, Carissa Rogers, Flickr Creative Commons

Weekend Bender [wiːkˈɛnd /ˈbɛndə/] noun: A three day, 1.5 credit hour class that takes place from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and noon – 3 p.m. on Sunday. Also known as the weekend from h***.

Alright, I’m being dramatic. Not only was my first (what I’m calling) “weekend bender” not bad, it was incredibly interesting and the sense of accomplishment when you walk out of class on Sunday is unparalleled in business school to date. Except maybe completing the Managerial Statistics final …

Even before you start business school, you’ll hear about “accelerating” in the info sessions, which means that you take more classes per semester than what’s required of you to complete the program in the allotted three years. Essentially, you set yourself up to finish sooner than anticipated.

There are many ways There is one way to do that and it’s by taking more classes. Your options are an increase in evening classes during the week (no, thank you – two evenings a week is enough), a week-long class (do they think I’m made out of PTO days?) or a “weekend bender.” These are the most popular because, as mentioned two paragraphs above, you can knock out 1.5 credits in three days (three days!!!!). As you might expect, these classes fill up quickly, so if you don’t register for them within a couple of hours (and I’m being generous) from when registration opens, then the odds of you getting in are slim.

Are they worth it? Absolutely! Let me repeat: 1.5 credits in three days. However, they don’t come without their caveats:

  • You have to prepare: For the particular class that I participated in this past weekend, we had close to 200 pages of case/article reading to do before the first day, followed by more reading between days. That’s a lot to juggle with work and your regular class load, so the week leading up to the class isn’t without its sacrifices.
  • The days can get long: Luckily for me, the class was not only interesting, it relied heavily on class participation, which means you stay engaged. Just remember to grab a coffee on your way back to class from lunch so that you don’t succumb to that early afternoon drowsiness. By day three, it’s more powerful than you think …
  • You have no weekend to recuperate: You know that weekend where you need an additional weekend to make up for it? Well, this is that type of weekend, except that instead of cursing your Mardi Gras decisions, you’re in a daze from 21 hours of class. But, you know what? It’s OK (1.5 credits in three days!!!).

As you can tell by now, I’m all for this type of format. I’m signed up for another “weekend bender” in April and I can’t wait to continue this pattern every semester moving forward. Seriously, the feeling that you’re that much closer to graduating is a high that will keep you soaring until you walk into Managerial Economics on Tuesday.

To my fellow PMBAs out there, any advice for how to survive this type of weekend? How would you approach the workload?

Image: Starbucks Addict, Spry, Flickr Creative Commons

It’s that time of year again: you’ve taken your holiday decorations down, you’re back at work after some much needed time off, and you’re preparing yourself and your house for the cold months ahead.

This year, I find myself gearing up for something new: my second semester in grad school. Having been off for the past four weeks, I’m a mixed bag of emotions:

  • Dread. As I’ve told my friends, I knew grad school was going to be a lot of work but it ended up being even more work than that. It’s with that knowledge that I’m going into this semester and I just want to curl up in a ball on my couch instead of holing up at Olin with study groups and homework assignments.
  • Restlessness. I’m a creature of habit and for 14 weeks, my routine included being regularly at Olin. In four weeks, I’ve travelled, I’ve been off work, and my routine has been thrown for a loop, so I’m chomping at the bit to get back at it.
  • Excitement. “Getting back at it” means that I’m that much closer to graduating and having an MBA degree under my belt. That makes me excited. I’m also thrilled to be reunited with my PMBA 38 peeps. While we’ve stayed in touch off and on during our break, it’s just not the same as sharing a drink during After Dark on Thursdays.

So, with that, here’s to a new year and the all the emotions it holds!

Image: Empty Seats, Benson Kua, Flickr Creative Commons

Derivatives. Logarithms. Limits. Z-values.

If these words are foreign to you or you know them but not what they mean, let me recommend the statistics pre-class offered ahead of Managerial Statistics. Covered over the course of three week, this Saturday morning pre-class will prime you for what is considered one of the most difficult core PMBA classes. And if you’re a math whiz who loves stats, all I can say is that I hate envy you.

As someone who has a degree in journalism and no propensity for numbers, here are some reasons that you might want to consider this extra effort:

  • High return on investment: First of all, the class is relatively cheap. So not only does it not require a huge financial commitment, it also doesn’t require much of your time. Sure, any Friday party-er will be cursing themselves at 8 a.m. on Saturday but, as they say, “drink everything in moderation.”
  • You’ll feel better about Managerial Statistics: (Note that I didn’t say “good.”) I think I can confidently say that everyone, even the math whizzes, are nervous about stat. It has a reputation at Olin for being difficult, but this pre-class will abate those fears, at least slightly. The main reason is that Professor Gordinier teaches both the pre-class and the actual class, which means some of his examples are the same and you quickly get used to his teaching style.
  • Another reason for PMBA bonding: I mention it here, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to bond with your classmates. This is just another way to spend more time with them and develop those relationships that could turn into networking opportunities after your time at Olin. Trust me, few things bring people together more than an 8 a.m. deep dive into business statistics on a Saturday.

In the end, while I will never feel completely comfortable in statistics, it was a nice reassurance that these terms now ring a bell versus causing immediate despair and confusion. So I say: pre-class FTW!

Have you ever taken a pre-class before? Have you found them helpful? What would prevent you or encourage you to take one?

Image: math, Akash Kataruka, Flickr Creative Commons

Olin’s BSBA Class of 2013 is proud to announce the 2013 Senior Class Gift Campaign, a campaign led by seniors across all five undergraduate schools. This year, Olin aims for 85% participation, and we are approaching our goal, with 59% participating as of March 25. The campaign will continue through May 9.

The Senior Gift Campaign allows students to receive their first glimpse into giving back to their alma mater while helping future classes of BSBA students. Individual students designate where their donation goes, with most deciding to support scholarships.

If you would like to contribute to the Olin Senior Class Gift Campaign, please visit: https://gifts.wustl.edu/GiftForm.aspx?brd=Olin.

To learn more about the campaign, please contact Susan Evans in Alumni and Development at susan.evans@wustl.edu or the Olin Business School Co-Chairs, Lauren Ortwein ’13 ortwein@wustl.edu or Amanda Signorelli ’13 asignorelli@wustl.edu.

Guest blog post from BSBA senior class gift co-chairs,
Lauren Ortwein and Amanda Signorelli.