This is my topic sentence. Anyone who has ever gone “back to school” after a time away from academia knows that the sentence above is funny. Not funny as in “Ha! Ha!”, more funny as in “ouch…hehehe”. This is mostly due to the fact that we as business professionals are more used to keeping our messages down to the most condensed bullet points that can be read in one screen view of a mobile device and less concerned with whether or not our overall communications have flow.
The idea of going back to school was not forced upon me, but has actually been something that I have been toying with for a couple of years now. I am not sure when I decided that getting an MBA was a must have bucket list item, but I know that once I decided that I was doing it, it all came together very fast. The school and the program type came to me organically as I rated and reviewed all of the programs available. Once I decided on Royal Roads , all of the rest of the items just flowed right behind it.
MBA @ RRU
At the end of May I had a conversation with the Dean of the Faculty of Management and the program manager and knew that this was the right program for me. With an outstanding level of academic achievement and a much higher than average age (43 versus 26), I was going to go to school with leaders from many different industries, and I was going to be able to learn from everyone there. The other learners in the program would be leaders from every industry there was. The perspectives and life lessons presented were going to come from talented professors AND every other person in the room. I was going to learn so much in this program!
I applied… now what?
Much like anything in my life it all came together almost overnight. Not quite “Erin Burrell please cross the stage” fast, but speedy, none the less. From application to the first day of class, just over five weeks passed. From the day I was accepted to today it has been less than two months, and here I am in the fifth week of the program.
Back in Class
The program is designed as a mostly online model, but includes two three week “intensive” residency sessions, the first of which I am at the end of day ten. I’m tired. My brain is so busy, that I’m not sure it is going to have room for the readings I have to do for tomorrow’s classes. I woke up this morning unsure if the case study I read last night, had been read thinking of the right course (for those of you who are interested… I was thinking strategy when I should have been thinking of organizational behaviour and yes, I re-read it). We are busy, between team and individual assignments, reading and trying to absorb the materials most of the students, myself included are going from about 6am-midnight.
Over the last ten days I have had my writing and thinking processes ripped apart in order to make room for the new tools that my professors and fellow learners are giving me. This exercise is not just necessary in order to help me grow as a leader, it is mandatory in order to help me to expand my notions of what it means to be a leader. Each comment in the margins of an assignment is designed to help me to understand the lessons that my instructors are teaching me, don’t get me wrong…they still hurt a little but I am learning my ass off!
Have I mentioned my broken leg?
Oh… so…yeah, I fell and broke my leg practicing hits at roller derby. When? Well gee… I was in the hospital the morning of our first day of online classes, but it’s ok. Yes, it is hard to get around a campus that has more than it’s fair share of stairs on crutches, but the entire campus is helping me! Every member of the staff has gone out of their way to help make my RRU experience better. It goes well beyond opening doors and offering me shortcuts, they have made the girl on crutches feel welcome and not even slightly out of place.
So here I am… just around 5% of the way through the program and couldn’t be more pleased that I made the choice to come. I will do my best to share my journey along the way, but really… both you and I know that I should be doing homework right now. Conclusion goes here.