I know not all of you can shell out $48,000 a year for a prime business education, so I’ve decided to spread the wealth by sharing with you each week what I’ve learned.
I stole this fabulous idea from another fabulous b-school blogger. Check out her list of learnin’.
So here it is. What I Learned My First Week of B- School:
- SWAG: Military talk for Some Wild Ass Guess. Brought to you by the guy who flew Apache helicopters before coming to b-school. It turns out this is totally applicable in the business world, as we learned in a class about decision analysis. When you’re trying to figure out the probability that a storm will destroy your Riesling crop, sometimes you have to make an educated SWAG.
- It’s really, really hard to run a factory. It seems silly now, but I thought running a factory was fairly simple. Set up machines, train staff, make product. It seemed so egalitarian – you’re judged by what you make and how fast you make it. But a week of Operations classes has taught me it’s a lot tougher than I realized. Did you know there are office politics on the factory floor?
- Big Bird is really cool. I haven’t thought about Big Bird since I was four years old. But he’s back in my life as my section mascot. Our class is split into 60-person sections and mine – Section B – is known for being rowdy and loving Big Bird. We even have a stuffed Big Bird toy mascot that goes to parties. How do I know Big Bird is cool? Other sections are jealous – they want to steal the bird!
- Even b-school students like to act like children. So, about my section being rowdy … Apparently it’s totally permissible for us to pound on our desks, loudly sing songs and show up to class in pajamas. Those are all Section B traditions.
- Bottlenecks exist in your life – even if you don’t work in a factory. I thought bottlenecks were just for traffic patterns and factory floors. But a week of class has revealed dozens of bottlenecks in my life (and my old job). Hair drying is the bottleneck of my morning routine. Waiting for the chicken to thaw is the bottleneck in my dinner making process. And I was the bottleneck at my old job (through no fault of my own!). For a person obsessed with efficiency, this is both highly disturbing and endlessly interesting.
- What happens when you put 60 Type-A people in a room and tell them class participation is 99.9 percent of their grade? Lots and lots and lots of raised hands. Waving hands. Desperate hands.