Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Watch Out World - She's Got Initials Behind Her Name Now

But don't think it's gone to my head...it's still another day at the office for me!

On April 15, I earned my Master's of Science in Management (MSM) from Baker University, a college that is adult-focused and ranks as one of the best universities in the U.S. and top 30 in the Midwest. I am thrilled to be done and of course have filled my time with social events wherever school had once consumed!

About the MSM
The degree I achieved is an odd one, so when your friends ask you what your granddaughter/niece/friend got her Master's in, just fib a little and say it's basically a MBA - they'll interpret that a whole lot easier! Baker's marketing spiel of the degree is as follows:

"Baker University's Master of Science in Management (MSM) program is a 36-hour program that provides students with a broad, critical and practice-based understanding of management. During this program you will master the skills and knowledge necessary to assume a variety of leadership positions in complex contemporary environments."

My version of the story is this: this expensive degree has equipped me to deal with crazies in the workplace.

After all, that's what management is all about, right?

The program lasted 18 months and focused largely on group work. As you can imagine with those kinds of requirements, our class went from 20+ to the remaining six (kind of like "The Bachelor.") There were man project plans, exams and of course interpersonal conflicts (read: cat fights) taking place at the local Starbucks. I went through at least four study groups, gave up on my class leadership position and took the low-key road only to end up with a fabulous group of girls I will forever call friends and a better understanding of what it takes to be a manager.

Now, I'm about 30k poorer and loving life. Almost two years later, standing with the last suckers left, here are the top five things I learned:

1. It's important to play nice in the sandbox. So be nice in the sandy stuff - it will continue to count from kindergarten to always.

2. Tests will always stink - I'm convinced even when you're 60+ years of age, the law of procrastination and dread of the whole event will never change.

3. Always take every opportunity you can to teach and nurture someone. It will make an impact - maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but some day. And soak in any mentoring you can get along the way!

4. People were right - a Master's degree is a glorified version of an undergrad one - except with professors that like to even talk more about themselves, their experiences and crazy ex-students.

5. Sacrificing a little to achieve a lot makes a soul fill with accomplishment and satisfaction. (And if you're not headed for a PhD, you're done!)

With the accomplishment of this degree, I plan to stay at my current company as a communications manager and continue to grow with any opportunity I'm presented. So, what'll be the next thing? One can only guess what that could be...stay tuned!

XOXO ~ Megs

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