Back to School

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Back to school.  Exciting!  What does that mean?  To me, stepping back onto campus and starting the MBA program at Carlson brought back a flood of memories from my undergrad experience.  I reflected on what was important to me back then and realized my approach to school this second time around had shifted.  The often spoke of, but hard to identify, life experience must have happened in the last ten years.  I was worried I might not be able to speak the language of business.  My career up to this point had been as a Marine Officer and while there are many similarities between the corporate world and the military, would anybody else see these similarities besides me?  I was also concerned of being able to keep up with school work and my job.  I work for a small company where there isn’t a whole lot of room to hand off extra duties.  Also, on a slightly lower level, but of still important concern, when will I eat and where do I park?

Getting back into the swing of things with school work was easier than I had expected.  Like anything, I quickly learned what had to be done right now and what could be done later.  I figured out the secret spots to park and the places to grab a quick meal in about a week.  The thing that really keeps surprising me is how much I’m enjoying being back in school.  Undergrad was fun, but I remember many a day fighting to stay awake in class.  So far, I haven’t had this problem even though I’m working a full day prior to class.  I’m currently mid-way through the first semester and I’m still excited for class nights.  Hopefully this continues!  Maybe it is being in an environment where there are so many unique perspectives and experiences in class?  Having 4+ years out in industry for most of the students really lends itself to interesting discussions.  Contrary to how classes were as an undergrad, there is no lack of participation.  In fact, I find the professors often need to cut discussions short in order to keep up with the syllabus. 

Overall the transition has been enjoyable and not as difficult as I had expected.  Although I am busy, I have found that it is possible to balance life, school, and work while still maintaining a social life and taking time to do the things I enjoy.  I’m looking forward to the rest of the semester!

Marcus Bolen