Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Vacay

The first of several mini-vacations I’m having over the next ~month started at 5 pm on Friday. So, naturally, a wicked sore throat started at about 4:15 pm on Friday. Because why get sick during work time, when you can be sick on the weekend and vacation1? I’m trying very hard to kick this sore throat’s butt, with copious amounts of lounging, tea, water, kitty cuddles, and Buckley’s mixture. My throat was feeling significantly better today than yesterday, so I went for my scheduled 18 km run today, which I can only assume helped me sweat out the virus/bacteria/prion/evil spirit that has taken up residence in my throat. Because my mom and aunt Eileen arrive to visit me tomorrow and I want this sore throat gone by then! But I digress.

This upcoming week is my first of three mini-vacations. As I just mentioned, my mom and aunt Eileen2 are coming to visit me. And they are coming to visit me to attend my GRADUATION! That’s right, though it seems like forever ago that I finished my MBA, graduation comes but twice a year at UBC, and so I will be graduating on Wednesday! I’m really looking forward to this graduation, as the MBA program is cohort-based, so unlike the graduations for my previous degrees, I will actually know a tonne of the people who are graduating3 and even the valedictorian is from my cohort! Plus, I get to wear the awesome bright pink robes and puffy hat of the PhD again! Long live the puffy hat!

After this week off, I’ll be back at work for a week, and then I’m off for mini-vacation #2. Specifically, I’ll be heading to Toronto to visit my family, then catching a ride with Sarah & Dave to Ottawa, where I’ll be going to a conference. Then I’m back at work for 5 days out of 6 possible work days (I’m taking one day off in there to move into my new condo!) and then I head out on mini-vacation #3 – a 4-day weekend in San Fran for Kalev‘s birthday!

Hooray x3!

  1. Incidentally, I think this may be why I have like 800 hours in my sick bank at work. []
  2. You you make recall from our fabulous European vacation last summer! []
  3. In addition to my part-time cohort, there will also be the full-time cohort, the Executive MBA cohort (and I’ll know a few of these people), plus a few other programs graduating. []

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MBA Core Complete!

Today was the very last day of the MBA Core Program! After 10 months of blood, sweat, and tears, my classmates and I have successfully completed the most gruelling aspect of the UBC part-time MBA Program1! Looking back over the past 10 months, I’m reminded of the quotation that I first read in the context of parenting, “The days are long, but the years are short.”2 This perfectly sums up the MBA Core Program. When you are slogging through a managerial economics assignment or trying to edit down 7 months of work into a compelling and comprehensive business plan in what seems like an impossibly small word count, and doing it all on 4 hours sleep per night for a week because all the due dates seem to happen at the same time and, oh yeah, you still work a full-time job! – boy, are the days ever long! Yet somehow, here we are 10 months later and it seems like only yesterday we were all at our first class of core! I’ve learned a ridiculous amount3 and found things interested that I never thought I would4. And I’ve made a lot of really great friends along the way.

Today’s event to finish off the core was the presentations of our business plans, which we’ve been working on in project groups for the past SEVEN months, on top of our various courses and case studies and exams and whatnot. The presentations were all outstanding – the class was split in two, so we only got to watch half of the presentations5, but from the sounds of it, the other room’s presentations were just as good as the ones we saw.

My group’s business plan was around a solution to the problem of vehicle collisions with large animals, like deers and moose, which is a really big problem in Canada6, especially in rural areas and especially at dusks. As part of our presentation, we gave out these moose stress balls:

Stress Moose!

There’s a herd of moose on my desk!

With our company’s logo on the back:

Stress Moose!

We were really happy with how our presentation went and one of the profs even told us that he really thinks that someone should actually take our product and run with it for real – it’s a feasible business idea7

After the presentations, we had a nice lunch and a little ceremony to celebrate our accomplishment, and we all received a commemorative Tshirt:

UBC PT MBA Core - Tshirt
MBA Integrated Core. The Future of Management Thinking.

On the back, they put all of our names:
UBC PT MBA Core - Tshirt
Future business leaders of Canada. These are people to watch!

And we got this swanky Moleskine book, branded with the Sauder School of Business logo:

UBC MBA - Notebook
In here I shall write all my business-y thoughts.

We also got a really nice class photo, since we were all dressed up in our fancy business attire:

End of the MBA Core

After this, I went home and took a well-earned nap in my business attire.

Now, we have a two week reprieve with no assignments to complete, no study groups to attend, and no business plan to write. I’m actually a little out of sorts thinking about what I’ll do with myself over the next 2 weeks with no homework due! I think reading a non-school book and going for a few runs will be top of my list!

  1. We now have 18 months of post-core ahead of us, but let’s not think about that now. Let’s enjoy the feeling of accomplishment of getting to this important milestone []
  2. I read this in the book The Happiness Project in the chapter on parenting. But when I just Googled it, I found that it apparently originally came from a Russian statesman in the 1700s. []
  3. Subject for another blog posting []
  4. Accounting, I’m looking at you! []
  5. I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to see them all, as it would have been nice to see what everyone came up with. But on the other hand, sitting through 12 presentations that were 20 mins long, plus 10 mins of questions, plus transition time between groups would have made for a very long day. []
  6. And in many other places in the world. []
  7. Our plan was very ambitious and our product quite technical, so we are thinking that it’s not likely that we will. Though one engineer in my group is interested in see what can be done to take it forward. []