With my Canadian vacation behind me, it’s time for Part 2 of my 6 part “Condensed MBA” series. (Click here if you missed Part 1) Read on to hear about first semester, quarter 2.
First Year: Second Quarter
Like Accounting, the biggest challenge for me was my general lack of familiarity with the vocabulary. Getting used to a definition of “coupon” that didn’t include cutting something out of a circular was a bit of an adjustment but having Bob Taggart at the helm meant I had an understanding professor who was always available and ready to help. So what stuck?
- Time Value of Money- A dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future. Understanding the basic concept and how to approach calculating it is crucial. While I am still a little shaky on the calculation part, I have a strong enough understanding of the basic concept to know if I need to bring in help with the calculations.
- Helping each other is what sets BC MBAs from the rest- Despite hard work throughout the quarter, I was still pretty shaky heading into the exam. One of my classmates came in super early on exam day and spent hours with a few of us to ensure we fully understood without asking anything in return…that’s community!
IT for Managers
Unlike Finance or Accounting, this class was totally in my wheelhouse. Unfortunately, that meant that much of what we covered was not new to me. Still though, the course did a great job of framing the current trends in Tech. Two things come to mind when I think of this class:
- Moore’s Law- Named for Intel co-Founder, Gordon Moore, who initially proposed it years ago, the theory states that processing power for a given cost will double roughly every 18 months. Moore has proved to be correct and the rule has also been approximately true for storage as well. In many ways, this is the foundation of the modern Tech economy.
- The Sharing Economy is Here! It’s hard to believe that there was a time where this wasn’t self-evident, but in fact a year and a half ago Uber was not a household name and HourlyNerd, the company my group highlighted for our final project, was the product of a B-School project only a semester ahead of us. This idea of a peer-to-peer economy using personal resources in a new way was only starting to come to fruition. Professor Rob Fichman made sure it didn’t take us by surprise.
This was a survey course that was still taking shape when we took it. It had a lot of potential though it was hampered by some extenuating circumstances and an ambitious agenda. The Capstone project was for Comcast and we even presented to a panel of marketing executives. As I think back, one thing really stands above all others:
- Millenials are the Holy Grail of marketing today and nobody really understands them- This theme emerged again and again as we examined traditional forms of marketing and how they were evolving. It was particularly evident in the Comcast project. It is not easy, but any successful company of the future must figure out how to reach millenials and traditional textbook methods probably won’t cut it…
The best class I took while at BC, I cannot say enough good things about this field study. Led by the tireless Professor John Gallaugher, we visited 20+ firms in Seattle and Silicon Valley in just 5 days. It was a veritable firehose of knowledge but two things in particular stuck out to me:
- Starting a company is possible! On the same day we met with Highland Capital General Partner Peter Bell and WePay founders Bill Clerico and Rich Aberman. Their enthusiasm and positivity was contagious and I sent the tweet below that evening…now a year and a half later, MBA in hand, I am going after my travel startup, Radici Travel, full time. The combination of Highland, WePay, and the countless other firms I met through TechTrek programming paved the way to make starting a business real for me!
- BC Tech pays it forward! Starting with Professor Gallaugher and continuing to the alumni and even other students, everyone we met went out of their way to help and encourage others. They set the example and we all will do our best to continue the tradition.