Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Last week was nine days straight of 18+ hour days. We did the classwork for two different semester-long MBA classes, Financial Accounting and Organizational Behavior. Anyone who slept more than six hours each night was considered an anomaly. Several classmates and I have tentatively decided that MBA programs are synonymous with sleep deprivation torture.

Our class is made up of over 40 professionals, men and women from China, the U.S., Canada, Germany, Isreal, Columbia, Chile, and other countries around the world. One brave woman is doing this while pregnant, due to give birth in a few months. Several program participants arrived in Beijing from North America or Europe only three or four days before class started. All in the group are driven to perform, though we have different strengths and weaknesses. In our first week we had brilliant professors, both of whom have earned success in the business world in addition to their recognition in the academic world. One of them is dean of the undergraduate business program at Rutgers and the other teaches accounting at some of the top business schools around the United States.

We learned a lot in our first week. And we realize that over the next fourteen months we'll be learning a lot about time management and group dynamics, not just the subjects listed in the class syllabuses.

For now, we recover. Classmates who are not working spent Monday in a shell-shocked state. Yesterday I emerged from my bubble and met a classmate for kayaking on Houhai, the lake where we usually go for dragonboating. I needed that after nine days sitting at a table and almost no physical activity.

Now we have two and a half weeks before our next one-week intensive and we have to prepare.

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