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By smithdm3 - Posted on 03 January 2010

Wow, where did 2009 go? As I promised months ago (sorry) I'm about to fill you in on my initial impressions of my MBA, how midterms (and now finals) went and generally how things are going.

So, if you didn't know, what with my job currently as unstable as you can find I decided earlier in 2009 to apply to do my Masters in Business Administration. This involved taking a GMAT, getting some transcripts sent from McMaster and collecting some reference letters. The first deadline of the schools that I considered applying to was the University of Ottawa and so I rushed through all the steps to make their deadline. The next deadline wasn't for a while and in fact, I received a response from Ottawa fairly quickly that granted me acceptance and a nice entrance scholarship that would play a little more than half my tuition.

Leading up to the beginning of the first term I wasn't sure whether I should switch out of the full-time program to the part-time one as my job was still hanging in there. But, knowing that I would have to give up the scholarship, that the part-time degree would take three years (rather than one year full-time intensive) and that my management would be okay with me doing the full-time program and fitting in work around it (as much as possible of course, sometimes work does take priority). So, in August, Meg and I returned from England on a Sunday and I started school the next day.

The program was structured with two 'intensive' weeks at the beginning offering two courses in total that we'd finish up during that time. We learned about the program and met our groupmates - the program is very group structured - and settled in. Our semesters are broken up into two sets of 6 week blocks with each block having a set of exams at the end. We have courses that span two blocks or one.

I've finished courses in Accounting, Human Resources Management, IT, Performanc Management, Data Analysis, "Management Skills" and a couple of others so far. This coming term (starts tomorrow) I have Marketing, Finance, Economics, Leadership and Management Accounting along with some electives in "High Tech Entrepreneurship", Project Management, Negotiation and Multinational Corporate Strategies. Also this term I have to help put together a proposal for a management consulting project that we do in the summer term (along a few other classes).

Overall I've found the program to be fairly challenging, though not as hard as it could be. I think they cover a lot of the fundamentals of business and so I'm pretty well positioned with the knowledge I've gained at work and in my undergraduate business classes. Without that knowledge I wouldn't be able to work and go to school at the same time. I'm enjoying learning about the experiences that others have had and have done my best to share the things I've learned so far as well.

Finals were just before Christmas, and while I haven't got my marks back yet, I think I did okay. I'll try to update later in the term.


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