Oh the joys of grad school, among them, choosing and scheduling classes. After choosing my summer and fall classes back in February I thought that this was something that I wouldn’t have to worry about until November. Alas, that was not the case. I was scheduled to take one of my core classes, Managing Organizational Behavior, starting in May, which made me eligible to take a seminar hosted by a professor that I have heard really good things about in August. She also hosted the seminar on persuasion that I wanted to take back in January but couldn’t. I had to get permission to register for the seminar since my transcript didn’t show the prerequisite core class I was taking in May, but the grad office worked with me and I was all set. Fast forward to this past Tuesday. I received my final grade for Accounting (yay 4.0!) and went to check the materials for my class that starts next week. First glance at the syllabus, man this class will be a pain. Not hard from a materials standpoint, but very heavy on reading and requiring class debates via Blackboard. At first, this seemed fine, but as I read through and thought about the structure of the class, I realized that this was really not a class I wanted to take online. Now what? If I drop the class there are limited classes that still have openings and not taking that class technically made me ineligible for the August seminar. I scheduled a call with the advising office but I also wanted an opinion from someone closer to the class. I decided to email the professor from the seminar since my biggest hang up about dropping the class was the fact that I wouldn’t be able to take her class. Much to my excitement, she contacted the head of the program to get permission for me to remain in the seminar even if I dropped the Organizational Behavior class. Success! Cue happy dance. I realize that being that excited about being able to take a Management seminar makes me a nerd, but it’s a two weekend class with a good professor and an interesting topic that gets me a full 3 credits. As a MBA student, I think that is worth geeking out about. So, now to find a new class to keep me on schedule with class progress. Several of my required classes aren’t offered in the summer and others I am already registered for in the fall. I remember reading though, that my Consumer Behavior professor from last fall is teaching a class on Global Automotive Marketing. Perfect. I enjoyed her as a teacher and I know she is knowledgable and experienced in the industry. Registered, check. Now I have a break until the end of June. Except, there is aProject Management class I can get into that I had considered that starts next week. Taking that would put me slightly ahead of schedule while only taking one class at a time. It would also mean that by the end of summer all of my elective requirements would be fulfilled. Great from a scheduling standpoint, but it means I couldn’t study abroad for credit. It also means I owe WSU tuition for an additional class as I had only paid for the original two I was scheduled to take. This is where the headaches of grad school scheduling lays. There are both benefits and drawbacks to having a variety of choices and the freedom to design your program. You have the ability to choose classes that most interest you, but you also have to balance meeting requirements, narrowing down your choices, and making sure your school/work/life balance is maintained. For me, I could get into Project Mangement and drop the Marketing class, stay in Marketing, or take both. Taking both meant fulfilling my electives but paying more tuition earlier than planned, but only taking one passed up an opportunity to take classes I knew I was interested in. Taking both also meant passing up study abroad. After some hmming and hawing and a close look at my financials, I decided that the extra class is the right choice. I am at a point in my career where balancing work and school is tough but not impossible and I cannot guarantee that that will remain true over the next year. As for study abroad, as much as I want to go I know my motivation stems more from my desire to travel than the curriculum included in the trip. I still plan to travel and I plan on making it to Italy (the WSU program I was interested in), but I will do it as a vacation instead of for school.
The lesson from this week is this; even when you think you have everything planned, one small thing can completely change your path. In this case, the change was a few classes, but it impacts how the rest of my grad school journey will progress. I am excited for these new classes though. I think they will be interesting, challenging, and valuable to my growth.
Now, onto the fun stuff. I am heading to Duluth this weekend to see my little sister graduate from college! Ahh, I can’t believe she’s done and will be starting law school! Maybe I’ll have her create a law school version or grad school survival tips. For now, it’s wheels up and peace out Detroit for me.
Sleep: 2 Hours (ugh 5am wake up)
Work: Not today, Duluth bound
Workout: Rest Day, Pop Pilates stretches
Study: Not until next week
Soundtrack: Lindsey Stirling additions to my iPod