Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Framed

One of the many ways in which I was spoiled by my mother for my MBA graduation was that she bought me a frame for my diploma1. But not just any frame. No, I needed a fancy pants Sauder School of Business frame. In my defence, my PhD is also from UBC and I already have a fancy pants UBC frame, so I wanted something that would make this degree look different than that one.

Anyway, while my mom was here, we ordered the frame and then I dutifully waited 10 business days for shipping… and it turned out they sent the wrong frame! Well, technically they sent the right frame with the wrong mat. Instead of sending me the mat with the Sauder logo and the Robert H. Lee Graduate School wordmark – I was in the graduate school, after all – they sent me one with just the Sauder logo. Like as if I were an *undergrad*! The horror!

I emailed the company that sells the frames and they quickly shipped me a new mat and then I waited something less than 10 business days and then all was right with the world. Here is my newly framed MBA:

MBA frame

And here is a close up of the Sauder School of Business logo *AND* Robert H. Lee Graduate School wordmark:

MBA frame

It also came with this swanky Sauder logo medallion at the top:

MBA frame

Also, I was surprised to discover that the frame was made in Canada:

MBA frame

Except then I noticed that the frame was made in Italy:

MBA frame

So I guess the “made in Canada” refers to the mat and/or medallion? At any rate, I have a lovely frame for my hard-earned degree. Thanks, Mom!

Perhaps hanging things on walls should be my task for this weekend?

  1. Being that I’m the type to lose and/or spill things on important documents, I wanted to get my diploma into the frame to protect if from me. []

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MBA = Most Bad Ass

Last Wednesday, I attended my fourth – and final – university convocation as a graduate1, receiving my hard earned MBA2. It’s hard to believe that just 28 months ago3, me and 50 other brave souls embarked on the intense and life changing journey that is the part-time MBA program at UBC. Taking an program like this – super intense in both the amount and type of work – while also holding down full-time jobs4 takes a special5 kind of person. I knew I was going to learn a lot in this program, as I had no background in business whatsoever, but when I look back on it, I’m still stunned by how much I learned. Entire fields that I knew nothing about – accounting, finance, economics, marketing, just to name a few – are now not only comprehensible to me, but also fascinating. This program has provided not just content, but also new skills that I apply every day in my work and personal life and it has expanded my worldview.

And I feel very privileged to have traveled these past 28 months with the most fantastic group of people. I met people from all sorts of different sectors and backgrounds and learned as much from them as I did from my professors and textbooks. We worked hard together through countless classes and group meetings and Skype meetings and lunch meetings, through study groups and running simulated businesses and writing business plans and doing Friday case nights and the seemingly endless hours of capstone weekend. There were papers and exams and presentations and celebrations. There was a lot of laughter and some tears and some rants and all the things that life-long friendships are made of.


The day of graduation, though they were calling for rain, actually turned out to be sunny and beautiful! One of the graduates from the full-time MBA cohort with whom I had a class6 and next to whom I sat at grad (due to us having surnames that are alphabetically similar) noted that this was because he’d worked his skills from the MBA – Master of the Black Arts. The convocation ceremony was nice, full of all the pomp and circumstance that a university convocation entails – the speeches were great and since I knew all of the part-time MBAs and a bunch of the full-timers (as I’d taken a couple of classes from the full-time program and some of them took some of our part-time classes) the seemingly endless parade of graduates crossing the stage was more interesting to me than my previous graduations, where I’d known far fewer of the people graduating.

This is the sea of graduates as seen from the balcony of the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, where convocation is held:

MBA Graduation 2014 - A Sea of Graduates

You can spot me in the fifth row by the fact that I’m in a pink robe instead of the black MBA robe – one of the perks of having the PhD7.

In other news, I totally underestimated how long I’d be on stage when I said 7.4 seconds – it actually turns out that I was on stage for nearly 20 whole seconds! Here’s the video to prove it:

Here is 4/5ths of D2NA, my group from school. One of our big project in the Core part of our program was to write a business plan and our company was D2NA, and our product was the Double Device (you may recall our mascot, Marty The Moose.)). From left to right we have Bronwyn, me, the guy who holds the ceremonial university mace8 (not part of our group), Emily, and Tyler. Missing from the photo is Edmond, who wasn’t at the ceremony.

D2NA at MBA Grad!

And here’s a photo of me with Fran, the most helpful person EVER! When I first started my MBA, UBC had some difficulty in figuring out how to process my scholarship, as it’s a rare type of scholarship9 and they didn’t appear to have ever had a student with one of these before, so no one in the finance area could figure out how to deal with it. But Fran came to my rescue and after about a billion emails with Finance, she was able to get it sorted out for me so that I could get my scholarship money and thus be able to pay my tuition fees. She came up to me after the ceremony and introduced herself because, despite the aforementioned billion emails, we’d never actually met in person. Needless to say, I gave her the biggest hug!

MBA Graduation 2014

Because I’m spoiled, my mom and my Aunt Eileen came out from Toronto for my big day:

My mom, me and Aunt Eileen

They were here for the whole week and we had many adventures, which will have to be the subject of another blog posting as this one is already getting way long!

Speaking of spoiled, I was spoiled by my mom and aunt, who not only came all this way for my grad, but also showered me with gifts, including the beautiful shoes I wore to grad10 and the beautiful flowers that you see me holding11

And as if I weren’t spoiled enough, my Aunty Gwen sent me this MBA grad present – a gorgeous blanket that she crocheted herself, made specifically to go with my beloved purple chair:

Handmade afghan - an MBA grad present from my Aunty GwenThe picture does not do it justice – it’s an exquisite stitch that she used an the colours in it as so beautiful and it totally completes the chair!

All in all, it was a lovely day and I am very pleased that I can now officially put the “MBA” behind my name. For the record, I am now legally entitled to write my name thusly:

Beth Snow, BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD, MBA, CE

So that’s 18 letters after my name – and only 8 letters in my name! Even if you were to use my full legal name “Mary Elizabeth Snow” instead of just “Beth”, that’s only 17 letters in my name – still one fewer than all the ones I’ve earned the right to be put after my name!


Image Credit: Specially thanks to my Aunt Eileen and my friend and classmate, Emily Graham, for the photos and video!

Footnotes:

  1. If I get any more university degrees, they will have to be of the Honorary Doctorate variety, as I have no plans to actually do work for another degree. Though apparently you have to do something honourable in order to be granted an Hon Doc, so I guess I’ll have to figure out something honourable to do now. []
  2. A.k.a., graduating from grade 25 []
  3. And three years ago I don’t think I’d even started studying for the GMAT yet! []
  4. Not to mention having families, social lives, etc. By my count there were 11 babies born or conceived during the 28 months of our program, along with 6 weddings. []
  5. Translation: Crazy. []
  6. Healthcare Management. []
  7. You can spot the other PhD from my class – Keith – in the bottom left of that photo. []
  8. I have no idea why the university has a ceremonial mace. []
  9. Mostly because you can only get it if you hold a health sciences-based PhD and are doing an MBA, and there aren’t many people who have done a PhD that want to go back to school! []
  10. See photo above. []
  11. The flowers, sadly, have had to live on my balcony as the cats seem to think they look most delicious and I have no idea if these particular flowers are poisonous to cats, so to be on the safe side, I’m keeping them outside. []

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My Graduation – Live Stream

Even if you can’t be there in person, you can still have all the fun of watching hundreds of strangers graduate in order to catch the 7.4 seconds that I’ll be on the stage getting my fourth – and final – university degree1.

Just follow this link and select the May 28th, 11 am webcast. And remember, that’s 11 am Pacific Daylight Time, so for those of you in Ontario, that’s 2 pm Eastern Daylight Time.

I should be pretty easy to spot, as I will be one of only two people getting an MBA who will be wearing the pink & blue robes and puffy hat of a PhD, while the other MBAs will be wearing black robes and mortar board style hats. The other MBA graduate who will be wearing the PhD robes is a man who is about 6ft tall, so I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to tell the two of us apart.

  1. Unless a university – or universities – want to give me an honorary doctorate(s). I’m done with working for my degrees, but I’m more than happy to take free ones! []

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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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Official Proof That I Can Count to 20

Hey, remember that time that I finished my MBA? That was pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself. But, because I’m me, I’m paranoid that I’m going to get to convocation day and someone will say “Actually, you only did 28.5 credits of post-core modules, but you were supposed to do 30 credits. No MBA for you!” I mean, sure I kept meticulous track of my courses (especially given that I messed around with the schedule, taking things from various different programs that I was interested in, instead of just the ones laid out for my cohort). I know without a doubt that I needed to do the equivalent of 20 post-core modules, worth 1.5 credits each1. Sure, I’ve counted all my credits up 17 different times. I’ve added them by hand and on a spreadsheet. I’ve had a fellow classmate count them for me. And I’ve had the MBA office double check that all my credits actually count. But what if we all made the exact same counting error and no one noticed? It could totally happen. Well, the other day we got an email about all the glorious things that await us when we become alumni2  and in said email it told us that we could ask the MBA office to produce a letter certifying that we have completed the program3. And thus I give you:

MBA Letter of Completion

Proof!

And, since I already have it handy, here’s the spreadsheet listing all the courses that I took. You know, in case you were wondering (a) what I’ve been doing for the past two years, (b) what topics you can now ask me for my expert advice on, or (c) you happen to be thinking about doing an MBA and want to know what some of the stuff you might cover could be4:

So now that I have my proof (and all of you can count my courses in that spreadsheet, just to be sure), I’m pretty content that come May 28, I shall be crossing the stage to receive my MBA. And so today I placed my order to rent my regalia for the ceremony. And, as I was informed by the robe guy5, because I already have a PhD, I get to again wear the pink robe and puffy hat that is reserved only for those special people who have a doctorate from UBC – because one always wears the robes of their highest degree when at a graduation ceremony. Long live the puffy hat!

  1. Two of the course I took were 3 credit courses, so they count as two modules. []
  2. Of course, I’m already an alumna of UBC. But what does it make you when you are a double alumna? An dalumna? An alumna2?. []
  3. Such a thing might be useful if, say, one was getting a job that requires an MBA and one needed proof before our graduation ceremony, which isn’t until late May. I’m not in that situation myself, but I want proof to prove to me that I can count! []
  4. Come on, you *know* you want to do an MBA! All the cool kids are doing it! []
  5. I totally have a robe guy. []

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Random Tidbits

So I’ve got a whole bunch of random tidbits floating around in my brain that are too small to write actual blog postings about, yet are being insistent that they want to blogged1. So, in an effort to appease said tidbits, I give you this bulleted lists of random thoughts, ideas, and mini-stories:

  • So I was out at the (new) Tiki Bar on Friday with Cath, her husband, and some friends of theirs. For the uninitiated (which included myself until I went there on Friday), the Tiki Bar on Main is a place that makes fantastic rum-based drinks that all seem to have, at minimum, eleventy billion ounces of alcohol in them. After hanging out there for a while, we decided that food was in order, so we headed out to get some (as the Tiki Bar’s food is nothing to write home about). As we were leaving, one of the group asked Cath to carry something in her purse. To which she exclaimed, “I can’t put that in my bag – it’s full of science!” In her own defence the next morning, she explained:

Couldn't word good

  • My frogs are doing, if you’ll pardon the pun, just swimmingly. Tyrion remains the tiniest of the four, as he likes to take his time finding the bloodworms at feeding time2. In contrast, Timbit is huge because he’s very good at eating as many of the bloodworms as is froggingly3 possible. (I feed the frogs a block of bloodworms every other day, which I dump in the tank and then I have no control over the relative proportions that each frog eats. It’s every frog for himself at feeding time.) So Timbit really is earning his name, as by the end of feeding time, he’s as round as a little Timbit!
  • After searching through the NHL players list, and with help from my Aunt Lynn and my friend Cath, I compiled the following players with dirty sounding name for Team Hockey P0rn:
    • Jiří Tlustý
    • Patrick Kane
    • Evander Kane
    • David Legwand
    • Alex Burrows – but he’s hurt, so I’m replacing him with Michael Ryder4
    • Alex Semin
    • Grant Clitsome
    • Victor Hedman
    • Kevin Shattenkirk
    • Dennis Wideman
    • Josh Harding
    • Jon Quick
  • So far, most of my points are from the double Kane5, but Quick has also helped out.
  • As I get closer to the end of my MBA program, I’m starting to experience a bunch of “lasts”. A week ago, I had my last full weekend of classes AND my last class at UBC’s Robson Square campus. The part-time program that I’m in is made up of full weekends of courses that occur roughly every third weekend and are held at UBC Robson Square. But I only have one more class from the part-time program (Change Management) and it’s (a) broken up over two different weekends and (b) being held at the Point Grey campus, so the course I took from the EMBA program last weekend was the last class I’ll have at Robson Square and the last one that takes up a full weekend. Oh yeah, and it’s the last EMBA class that I’m taking. Of course, the Change Management course that I just mentioned, coming up in late Oct/early Nov will be my last class from the part-time MBA program.  For 6 weeks starting Oct 21, I’m taking two full-time MBA courses (one on Monday nights and one on Wednesday nights) – these will be my first and last full-time MBA classes. And after that all I will have left is to wrap up my industry project (which I hope to have done in December, though it’s technically due Jan 15) and my online business ethics course, the latter of which will provide my last exam! And then I’ll be done all the things and will be ready for (what I’m hoping is) my last university graduation in the spring!
  • And speaking of graduation, we got a notification that it’s time to book grad photos, so I finally got around to asking UBC about something that I’d heard rumour of, but wasn’t sure was true. The item in question is what robe I am to wear at my MBA graduation – I will be receiving a Master’s degree, but I already hold a doctoral degree and was told that one is supposed to wear the robes of the highest degree they have, not the robe of the degree they are getting. I checked UBC’s website but couldn’t find any info, so I emailed them and received official confirmation that I should, in fact, wear the PhD robes. Long live the pink robe and puffy hat!

 

  1. Some have already been tweeted, but apparently this was not sufficient to get it out of my brain. See also: a bunch of stuff that I want to write up for publication but just haven’t been able to find the time! []
  2. Or possibly he’s just not that bright and swims to every part of the tank *except* where the bloodworms are. []
  3. “Froggingly” is the frog equivalent of the word “humanly”, right? Because I first tried “frogly” but that didn’t seem right. And spell check says neither of them are words, so it’s no help at all. []
  4. I missed the deadline to change it for this week, so I’m screwed on that front as I’ve wasted a roster spot on someone who won’t even be playing! []
  5. So I’m sacrificing in comedy by having two Kanes instead of just one Kane and another dirty name, but it’s hard to give up the points when I’m getting so few! []

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Happy Graduation to Kalev And Various Other Things Of A Celebratory Nature

Congratulations to Kalev, who graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology today!  He now has a “B.A.” to join the “B.Sc.” after his name.   I went to his grad ceremony today and I have absolutely no photos of it to show you since I took photos on his camera instead of mine. D’oh!  I can however, show you this photo of his present:

IMG_4878 by you.

Special thanks to the Twitterverse, who answered my “where do I get chocolate letters?” tweet with many, many responses that it is the Dutch who love them some chocolate letters and, more specifically, that Dutch Girl Chocolates on Commercial Drive1 is the place to be.  I’d previously found chocolate letters at Chocolate Arts on W. 4th, but they only had milk chocolate ones and everyone knows that milk chocolate is for suckers. Also, they charge $100 million per letter.  Dutch Girl’s were much more reasonably priced and they had them in dark chocolate.  Yay!

Oh yeah, and what’s wrapped up in the present is this. Because Kalev is off to grad school in September. I think he wants to get the M.A. and the Ph.D. just so he can have more chocolate letters!

Also of a celebratory nature today was my going away lunch at work. Most of my coworkers are away at a conference in Kelowna tomorrow and Friday and my last day is Monday, but I’ll be out of the office at events most of that day, so today was really my last day in the office when most people were going to be there.  So we all had lunch together and my boss and another manager both said a lot of very nice things about me. And I got a card that everyone signed that was really cool because everyone wrote very thoughtful things – quite a reminder of all the good friends I’ve made there.  And then we ate this ridiculously delicious chocolate cake from Capers:

IMG_4877 by you.

And the final thing worth celebrating was this wicked awesome parking spot2 I got at work today:

IMG_4876 by you.

There is *very* limited free parking around the perimeter of the site where I work. *Very* limited. And whenever you try to park there, there are always these spots between cars that are just a teeny tiny bit to small to park a normal car in (it’s what my one coworker calls “asshole parking”).  In the past, everytime I saw an example of asshole parking I would think, “I bet you could fit a Smart Car in there!”  And now I know that you can!

1Dave, I thought of you when I drove up Commercial Drive. I didn’t see any hippies there. But, on a related note, the valedictorian at the grad ceremony WASN’T WEARING SHOES!!
2Yes, I was so pleased with the parking spot that I actually took a *photo* of it!