One Semester Down

I had high hopes of documenting my experience as an EMBA candidate at MIT Sloan, but, predictably, schoolwork got in the way. I’ve now completed one semester and one batch of electives at the school, and feel that things are in a nice rhythm.

The first semester went fairly smoothly in retrospect. Some of the big challenges that I expected were not as daunting as I had feared. Math, for instance. I was surprised at how quickly calculus came back into focus during our Microeconomics class last semester, 20 years after I last used calculus. It helped to have a practical applications at hand, which I never had in high school. Driving back and forth to Cambridge (a ten hour round trip) every two weeks was not as grueling as I feared. I find that I actually look forward to the time alone in the car. On the way out, I listen to homework (dictated by my phone); on the way back, I often sit in silence to digest the classwork.

The hardest part has been the family-school balance, and it remains rocky headed into the second semester. A lot has been going on at home, including renovations, drama, sickness, and of course a lot of snow. I had thought my duties at home might scale back while I’m in the MBA program, but if anything the opposite has been true. When I’m home, I need to make up for the lost time while I’m in Cambridge. This is true for emotional connections as well as the practical things that backlog.

At one point I talked about putting my notes online. At first, I was even carefully editing the notes in order to make them presentable to the world. I realized this was not a good idea before I posted anything, thankfully. I felt that many of the notes were largely transcriptions of others’ work and didn’t feel it was fair to the MIT instructors to post their work publically without their permission. So, the notes will remain private. This allowed me to chill on writing perfect notes and focus on learning. Some good things happened as a result.

The program has been very helpful so far, and I hope to start posting the reasons why here shortly. The book knowledge has been interesting, but the best thing so far is that the program has forced me to confront some longstanding issues that I had been ignoring. I’ve become more confident in tackling issues.