"Among the weblogs, the best coverage of the Churchill controversy has been in View from a Height..." -Dave Kopel, Rocky Mountain News

"In Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Alliance of Blogs is covering the hot GOP primary between beer magnate Pete Coors and former Rep. Bob Schaffer with a great deal more insight than the Denver newspapers." -John Fund, OpinionJournal.com

"The Rocky Mountain Alliance offers the best of what the blogosphere has to offer." -David Harsanyi, Denver Post
Joshua Sharf

 notify list
to receive email when this site is updated, enter your email address:
 recent posts
Blogging 26 entries
Book Review 9 entries
Business 96 entries
China 2 entries
Colorado Politics 55 entries
Decision 2008 1 entries
Finance 6 entries
Flying 3 entries
General 83 entries
Higher Ed 28 entries
History 2 entries
History 2 entries
Israel 15 entries
Jewish 15 entries
Judicial Nomination 3 entries
Media Bias 5 entries
Movies 6 entries
Road Trip 5 entries
Social Investing 1 entries
Vote Fraud 7 entries
War on Terror 64 entries
Rocky Mtn. Alliance
Exultate Justi
American Kestrel
The Mangled Cat
Clay Calhoun
Mt. Virtus
My Damascus Road
Best Destiny
Thinking Right
The Daily Blogster

Friends of the Alliance
Bill Hobbs
Mile High Delphi
Flight Pundit
One Destination
Conservative Eyes
The Virginian Reporter
A Time for Choosing

other blogs
Oh, That Liberal Media
Girl In Right
One Big Swede
American Thinker
Meryl Yourish
NRO Corner
Little Green Footballs
No Left Turns
A Constrained Vision

business blogs
Carnival of the Capitalists
Cold Springs Shops
Commodity Trader
Coyote Blog
Different River
Fast Company Blog
Financial Rounds
Freakonomics Blog
Management Craft
Trader Mike
Carnival of the Capitalists Submission

business data
Inst. Supply Mgmt.
St. Louis Fed Economic Data
Nat'l Bureau of Economic Research
Economic Calendar
Stock Charts
colorado blogs
Boker Tov, Boulder
Colorado Pols
Jeff Sherman

<-?Colorado BlogRing#->

sites, not blogs
Thinking Rock Press
 help israel
Israel Travel Ministry
Friends of the IDF
Volunteers for Israel
Magen David Adom
 1939 World's Fair
1939: The Lost World of the Fair
The New York World's Fair: 1939-1940
The Last Great Fair by Jeffrey Hart
Iconography of Hope (U.Va.)
Images From the '39 Fair
 google ads
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64

May 25, 2005

MBA Almost-Mortem

With one more class to go, and an independent study to finish polishing, it's time to start looking forward to graduation and the post-MBA/MSF career around the corner. But it's also a good moment to pause briefly, turn around, take a deep breath, and consider what I'm on the cusp of finishing.

Let's do the numbers (Light, frothy piano version of, "We're In the Money", please):

  • Years: 3
  • Degrees: 2
  • Courses: 25
  • Credit Hours: 100
  • GPA: 3.72
  • Hours at Assistantship: 600
  • Courses Paid For by Assistantship: 6
  • Courses Paid For by Daniels Scholarship: ~4
  • Student Loans: ~$54,000

Now, Peter Robinson wrote an entire book about this, so I don't expect to be able to cover the whole thing in one blog posting. I'll do what I can.

First, this was a hell of a lot of work. I took courses over the summer, and DU runs on an archaic quarter system, designed to kill off the weaker students at the end of each August. There's a 5-week break that covers Thanksgiving to New Year's. After which, a 20-week marathon, 28 weeks if you're taking summer classes. Total time off between New Year's and Labor Day: 4 weeks.

Most of the courses actually required a fair amount of writing. These could be group projects, case studies, exercises, case studies, problem sets, group projects, mid-terms, group projects, finals, or case studies. Take away Friday night & Saturday, and that meant three years of endentured Sundays, be they to homework or housework. I will say that I cannot recall a single student who complained about our having to hold group meetings on Sundays or weeknights.

Most of this time I was working, too. Ah, yes, working. I remember one quarter when an exceptionally understanding contract allowed me to take 16 credit hours while putting in about 30 a week, and taking 10 during the evenings to babysit printers for the assistantship. Yum. Sleep? I'm sorry, I don't know that word....zzzzzzzz. (There was actually a reason for that. DU used to have a billing system where you didn't pay for any hours above 12 in a given quarter. That extra 4 hours was free.)

While there was never a time when I thought of quitting, there were certainly times when I questioned the value of the project; was I really learning all that much, or was it just ticket-punching? Seeing DU get top-5 honors in finance and top-50 honors overall, two years running, in the WSJ recruiter rankings certainly made me feel better about the whole enterprise.

Part of the reason I never thought of quitting was that first quarter. I had probably the best accounting professor on the face of the planet. I mean good. Buff Honodel is former USAF, runs his class like a drill sergeant, and keeps things lively. I was actually excited to walk out realizing that the numbers embodied actual concepts. And while the less said about the finance professor the better, the class itself made it clear that you could interpret these numbers in a meaningful way.

It won't surprise readers of this blog to find out that I also found plenty of room for participation in the ethics & law class first quarter. I am told - by a reliable source - that when I missed one evening session, the professor looked over and wondered out loud if it was worthwhile even having the class.

I blogged only sparingly about the classes while they were going on. Part of this was just because I wanted to give the thing a chance to play out. Part of it was fatigue: I was writing up case studies for the class as it was. It's also hard to blog as a spectator when you're a participant. I'll spare you a class-by-class rehash of the program, but I assure you I can remember something from every single class.

If DU were to ask me what I'd do to the program, I'd have three suggestions. First, re-introduce economics. Incredible as it may seem, DU's graduate business program doesn't teach econ. That's like being a pilot and not learning about the weather. One course. One lousy course: 5 weeks macro, 5 weeks micro. No excuse, really, especially with Thomas Sowell's masterpieces out there.

Second, make sure that every course referred back to the Foundations courses, the basic accounting and finance. Even the management courses. How can you even think about negotiating a labor deal when you don't know your costs? By the time I took the advanced accounting course, I was using concepts I hadn't even seen in 2 years. Every course.

Finally, include 2 or 3 top-flight Bill James articles in the finance courses. Silly? Oh, no, my friends. You may or may not like baseball, just as you may think of finance as a roadblock between you and those juicy organizational behavior texts. But you can't dispute James's writing, his love of subject, clarity of thought, and above all, his ability to tease meaning from numbers like nobody before or since.

OK. As Crash Davis said to Nuke, "moment's over."

Posted by joshuasharf at May 25, 2005 09:19 AM | TrackBack

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Back in Action : An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith and Fortitude

How Would You Move Mt. Fuji?

Good to Great

Built to Last

Financial Fine Print

The Balanced Scorecard for Public-Sector Organizations

The Balanced Scorecard for Government & Non-Profits

The Balanced Scorecard: Measures that Drive Performance

The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action

The Day the Universe Changed


The Multiple Identities of the Middle-East

The Case for Democracy

US Policy in Post-Saddam Iraq

A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam

The Italians

Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

Beyond the Verse: Talmudic Readings and Lectures

Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud