Monday, September 6, 2010

WEMBA Reflections post Term 1

Now that all of us WEMBA 36's have successfully completed Term 1 (on 08/28/10), I certainly have a better understanding of what I signed up for :)
For starters, it is certainly more work than I had believed - certainly people said it will take 20 hours a week but I thought that I would be able to manage with less (haha!). In essence, we have signed up to go through an experience and the appropriate effort needs to be made (else you will short-change yourself). In summary, regularity is the key - somewhere between 5-20 hours a week is what is required (yes, not all sessions are as hectic - we had a couple of days that were pretty chill).
The academia is competitive but unlike undergrad or even grad school, your peers are very helpful. I think that's a major difference - the classmates, teachers, alumni are SO much more responsive and available. The other major realization I had is that there isn't much time - 2 years is generally a short period of time anyway but in WEMBA since you only meet alternate Fri/Sat, its effectively even shorter! Its important not to procastinate. So reach out, socialize, mingle/network, utilize Wharton resources, discuss ideas, construe feedback - start whatever you want early - you have to make the effort to reach out and make things happen for you and quickly!
The material that we covered in Term 1 (Managerial Economics, Financial Accounting, Management of People) was very interesting and very applicable to everyday life. Its surprising how much of it makes sense when you put it in context of work or your own expeirence - ofcourse it also makes you wonder how some of the people you work with know so little! I was engaged even more by the great professors we had and some of the great discussions that were triggered by the diverse backgrounds and experiences of the students.
The weekly routine does become very hectic. The week that you are not in school is not any easier because either you are preparing for school or working on a team/group assignment or doing other related research AND catching up on work and family chores/commitments. Since you end up choosing between work, Wharton and family many times a day, in some cases you will have to choose to be a C-class player and suck it up. What's important is to balance your priorities to achieve your goals in all aspects of your life.
My decision to join WEMBA wouldn't change if I had known all this upfront though - the reason is because WEMBA is a transformational experience (different for everyone, but life-changing nevertheless) and this is what it takes for that to happen...
On to Term 2 - WEMBA East we're coming.

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