After three weeks of classes, I can already tell second year is going to be different. Very different. Good different.
To begin with, we had to put major thought into the classes we wanted to take this semester – long discussions on which ones to pick, what order works best, class combinations, etc. There was an initial bidding process to pick classes that happened back in May. More than anything the bidding process was a great lesson in Game Theory – how to distribute your bidding points to maximize the chances of getting the classes you want? I will share my experience in a later post. For the first three weeks after classes started, we had an opportunity to revise our class selections. Watching the class waitlists move in real-time during the last week of the add/drop period was no less exciting than watching the stock market. I’m super delighted that I got into all the classes I wanted: Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Financial Management & Behavioral Finance.
The class format is different too. We no longer have the same folks in each of our classes. Apart from the weekend-ers, we also have some weekday and third-year students in our classes now. This provides a great opportunity to network with people I rarely got a chance to meet last year. Also we finish classes 2 hours early at 4PM on Saturdays instead of going till 6PM.
In addition to classes, second year is also when most folks start looking into joining clubs and other activities outside classroom. I still haven’t had to chance to give serious thought to which clubs I want to be part of and how I will manage club participation being long distance. Now that my class schedule is decided and I have a good idea of the course workload, I plan to spend more time strategizing about my extra-curricular activities.
Looking back, I feel we were babied quite a bit in our first year. Our course schedule was pre-set. Our professors were decided. We took all our classes with the same cohort the whole year. All we had to worry about was our course work. Now it feels like we are stepping into the real world where the decisions we make will majorly shape our MBA experience. Or this is the step before stepping into the actual real world.
Two things have stayed the same from last year – I’m still having lots of fun and the workload is equally heavy. I had heard that the workload was going to drop off pretty dramatically starting second year. Appears to not be so in my case. I was even forced to break my Farmville addiction two weeks ago – which is tragic!
But I still think those guys at Zynga are pretty fantastic. 🙂