Monday, March 21, 2011

Term 1-3 speed-round update from Joanne

Okay. It's been awhile, I know. Sorry for the blog-silence (and thanks to Anand for carrying the blogging torch!). We're rounding out our first year (completion of Term 3) and I'll give you the quick update from my side.

Wharton:
Term 1 I studied a lot, maybe close to 25-30 hours per week. The content was interesting, yes, but also there was a part of me that wanted to prove that I'm smart enough to be there. I guess everyone (well, me at least) thought just maybe I was the admissions mistake. I wanted to "keep up" in regards to test scores, etc. What I gave up was time with my husband and friends. I found that there is such a thing as too much studying. Still managed to squeeze in my first triathlon (yay!), which was a super fun activity to do with my husband and cousins.
Term 2 Cut back significantly on the studying, down to about 10 hours a week or so. In hindsight, this was an overcorrection from the first term. Grades went down (which is okay) but maybe flirted with disaster a bit. On the bright side I was able to spend more time with Tim (husband) and Fuzz (dog). Still managed to stay out of the lowest 10% (number of "LT"s are tracked by the school) but probably just barely. I'm sure my poor showing in statistics will come back to haunt me in electives. Alas, my mother's statistics-gift (her Masters) was not transferred to me.
Term 3 (mid-way through) brought more interesting professors (in a good way) and butt-loads of classes. I've ramped up the studying again somewhere between where I was Term 1 and 2. Classes, which started in Term 1 as full-term classes, are now half term (most of them) that overlap at an alarming rate. They still remain interesting and engaging (operations/supply chain optimization, marketing, finance) and I find myself furiously scribbling notes for my startup (you know, business principles I never knew I was supposed to do when starting a venture - oops, better late than never).
Because I thought I was hot-stuff, I also allowed myself to get drafted into the Global Consulting Practicum course this term (yes, all those words have been selected carefully). GCP partners a Wharton team with a team from an international business school, in our case Instituto de Empreza in Madrid, to create a US market entry strategy. I'll have to reflect/write more on it when it's done. So far, it's had it's ups and downs. Adding this to the workload has definitely taught me my limits.

Life/Career Update!
Well, thanks to everyone for listening to my rants last year about entrepreneurship and my corporate job. :) With the blog-radio silence, trust me, I saved you from months of my agonizing over whether or not to leave my job and pursue the startup full time. Ultimately, it was the wise words of our backyard landscaper that led me stop the on-the-fence BS which was causing my suffering, and just make a decision already. So I did. 
On January 6th, I said farewell to my gray cubicle and hello to full-time startup life. 
I. absolutely. love. my. career. now. (yes, all the periods are necessary)
Things I love about it: creativity, variety in work, and the feeling that I'm building something fantastic. I realize that I belong in this world and am enjoying every minute of it. 

Wharton has been a huge supporter of our startup - from the professors, to my fellow classmates, and the awesome staff. Coming from a non-business background, the benefits from learning all the business fundamentals has helped me tremendously and I'm truly grateful for all the amazing things in my life.

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