SubscribeEnter your email to subscribe to future updates
Monthly Archives: April 2011
Here I am, accepted and confirmed in the Notre Dame MBA program – Goal Accomplished! What now though? It is not even May yet and school starts in August. I’ve got almost 4 months to work with. I considered dropping everything and getting some serious travel time in. I still haven’t been to South America or maybe I could bike across Canada?
That was enticing… but a few things kept stopping me from taking the plunge. Really, I’m not doing it for the same reasons everyone else puts off travel and adventure – my wife currently has a job; I want more experience in the real world; I don’t really have the money. I feel as though I am different than a lot of people in one key aspect though: I’ve been there, done that. I traveled for almost 2 whole years and visited 29 countries just a couple years ago! No, it’s time for me to gain a little business experience as I head into my MBA – but again – on my terms!
I took a role as director at Muskoka Wakeboarding and am very excited about the opportunity. I competed professionally as a wakeboarder at one time and feel that this role brings together a lot of who I am. I will be pioneering this brand at at 3 locations in Ontario and will gain experience interviewing, hiring, budgeting, marketing, accounting and managing day to day activities. I’m to keep a log on this page of how things turn out.
I went to chapters to buy a book; a very specific book in fact. My plan was to go upstairs to the business section and pick up Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. I knew the store quite well and my task should have taken approximately five minutes. That’s when things went wrong. They had rearranged the store, so I began aimlessly wandering in search of the business section. I lost my five minutes right there. I then began to browse the entire section looking for my selection when a tiny little book caught my eye. I picked it up for no apparent reason and read the back, then the introduction, then I found a chair and read the whole thing right there in the store.
In the Myth of Multitasking, Dave Crenshaw outlines in very simple language why multitasking is worse then a lie. By using an approachable narrative style, he lets us eavesdrop on a coach working with an executive. We are shown how focusing on one thing at a time is truly the most efficient way to work. The idea that multitasking is a great skill is so ingrained in our culture, and yet it leads to inefficient work and relationship harm. I highly suggest this book and very much need to take it to heart. I realized that although I am not an executive by any means, I actively switchtask constantly thorughout my day. Case in point: reading Crenshaw’s book instead of buying the one I wanted. My best guess at how many times I check my email daily is 50. Even while writing this review, I have already been instant messaging with a friend in Yellowknife and my wife. As I pursue my MBA at the University of Notre Dame this fall, I already know that I will be pulled in every direction at the same time. Armed with this little book as a guide, I hope to be able to effectively manage my own time and find success.
I spent the last weekend down in South Bend, Indiana at Notre Dame’s MBA welcome weekend. I debated whether or not to go, as it cost me about $600 in travel, but ended up being very happy I made the trip. The two main benefits were meeting my future classmates and investigating where my wife and I were going to live. Getting to know classmates ahead of time will make moving down a lot easier and allowed us all to discuss living situations. Some people found roommates, some signed leases, and many exchanged contact information. My class is looking to be a great one judging by the people I met. The weekend began with an apartment search guided by a current student. I found the search helpful, but not comprehensive. It seemed to be geared towards singles who wanted to rent an apartment, which I’ll concede is most people in the program. If, like me, you are looking for something a little different because of families or spouses, then I would suggest making that clear at the beginning of the tour. That way, they can give you a guide catered to your specific needs. I compensated by scheduling 5 of my own appointments in local houses. The actual program involved in the weekend consisted of two receptions, some speeches, a lot of time to speak with current students, a campus tour, and some team-building exercises. I don’t believe I got a lot of any particular aspect of the weekend, but as a whole, it was great. The general feeling of knowing more about what to expect and who I would be with for the next two years was worth the price of admission. I made a campus tour video for my family, and I thought I’d share it here as well:
Finally deciding which program to accept admission into was difficult. I had four offers on the table, all with varying amounts of scholarship money. I eliminated the University of Toronto Rotman, as it was the same price as Notre Dame, similarily ranked and offered me no assistance. That left three schools. Ryerson University had the closest location to my residence and offered me a full scholarship; however, the program was short and I was looking to explore my options while in school. McMaster University offered a co-op program which I found very enticing. In fact, I asked them if they would offer me a better scholarship and would have likely accepted if they had. In the end, I had to go with the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza School of Business.. I was very excited about attending such a prestigious school and their financial offer enured the program made the most sense for me. My wife and I have now begun to sort out this next chapter in our lives and we are both excited to move the USA and gain valuable life experience.