I treat almost every day as a work day. Almost, because during Spring B last year, I only had classes Monday through Wednesday. Thursdays and Fridays became the start to a Tahoe weekend or a relaxing long weekend. Fall semester first year was the toughest, and I actually spent Fridays getting school work out of the way (individually or with group projects) so I could enjoy Saturday and Sunday. I found that early planning and proper pacing prevented the all-nighters and last-minute rushes I saw other students dealing with.
I set my schedules so I get to Haas around 8am and leave between 4-6pm on school days, enabling me to get most of my coursework done at school. There were the occasional late nights in preparation for my busiest day (Fall semester Wednesdays) or wrapping up some first semester projects on a Sunday, but the 8-6 workday usually did it for me. Surprisingly, I found myself working longer hours at school than I did at work. Somehow, I thought this would be easier.
This semester, now that we pick all our classes, Tuesdays are my rough days, running until 9:30pm. I still arrive around 8am and find plenty of parking at the Stadium lot. I then hit up the FIFO café for a quick breakfast, grab a table in the student forum, and begin prepping for class. As other students arrive, I can either take time to socialize with my friends or find a quiet spot in the library, depending on how far along I am. Today, I head for the library and finish reading my Mountain Dew case for Brand Management.
From 9:30-11am, I have Brand Management with Lynn Upshaw, a great course that has me eyeing brands in a new way. Coming from a military background, I haven’t had much exposure to “brand management” and the class is enlightening, whether we’re talking about Vans, the current situation at HP, or Patagonia (see below). I enjoy the courses that make me think differently (most do) and don’t just teach me something.
As class lets out, I keep my seat and let a new set of folks flow in around me for Corporate Finance from 11:00am-12:30pm. The shift in thought process is big, but the 10 minutes between classes allows me to reset my brain, quickly surf the internet, chat with friends, and fire off a few e-mails before I pack the computer away for class. Our professor, Christopher Hennessey, is awesome; he guides us through the material in a way that brings clarity to a difficult subject while throwing in great one-liners that frequently appear in HaasWeek‘s Heard @ Haas column. Look for a HaasWeek “interview” with Professor Hennessey in the future.
After Finance, it’s off to lunch. I usually take a long from 12:30-2 pm so I can relax, socialize, catch some sun, and catch up with friends over at the Law School café. (It’s my daily extrovert moment to balance the greater introvert in me.) Today I had lunch with my first year mentee over at I-House, one of the favorite places to grab some good food in a hurry. We chatted about the balance between school, social, and career activities and how things were progressing for him thus far.
Now, after lunch, I have a few hours to read the cases/articles and prep for Service Strategy, my last class of the evening, just as soon as I submit this blog.
Before Service Strategy, I have the Real Estate Speaker Series from 4-6pm. With little experience in this arena, I’m taking the class to gain a broader understanding of the real estate world and I’m amazed at what I’ve learned already. There isn’t much prep work as speaker series courses are just that: top experts sharing their experiences and lessons on a given topic. It’s a chance to meet and learn from some great minds and even have dinner with the speaker after class, but my Tuesday isn’t over yet, so I have to pass on dinner.
My last class of the evening is Service Strategy with Tyler Comann, running from 6-9:30pm. The class is an evening/weekend course that’s opened up to a number of full-time students. As a full-time student, I didn’t expect to be taking a late evening course, but the course is interesting and has some great guest lecturers, so it’s worth it. In addition, evening/weekend cross-listed classes expand our peer group and enable us to gain further insight about the companies or industries in which they work. Granted, I’d rather not be in class until 9:30pm, but it’s worth it. There’s also a 45-minute break in the middle for dinner, which helps, and as most of the late classes break at the same time, we get to mix and mingle with a large group of interesting folks.
As my last class finishes, I’ll head home to sleep. I only have one class on Wednesday and it’s later in the morning, so I can prepare for it in the morning.
But now it’s time for Starbucks, the case for tonight’s Service Strategy class.