Class is in session…first week

so sportsfans, you probably been wondering where the Diary has been.

Ok, so you probably weren’t wondering…but you’re here, so figured I’d share.

The other day I started my second phase of my college career as I embark on a long journey to acquire my MBA. First week of class in the bag, and I can say that I am really excited about it. I think I needed the challenge. Its not like work isn’t a challenge, but this is a different animal altogether. I needed a new challenge. And this is a big one.

Tonite, my team got our Project to work on for the semester for our Management class. Its a monster of a project, and its based on the management implications raised in Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail” which I’ve been wanting to read anyways. So I am killing 2 birds with 1 stone. I’ll probably post stuff about that book as I get into it. But just by skimming it, it looks to be in the same vein as Gladwell. And I love some Gladwell.

The other class I have is Microeconomics, which I really dig. Maybe I am geek, but I like to look at things from an economist viewpoint. Behavior is dictated by incentives. This rings true in every element of life, so there are tons of applications.

The funniest thing I’ve read so far in that class is how focus groups are not very telling. One adage I like about economics revolves around the notion to not study people by what they say, but rather what they do. So true, and one of the main reasons I dont like surveys or focus groups. People lie. People can be persuaded to say things based on wording or sequencing of questions. Often, I believe companies just use focus groups to deflect accountability of their decisions. Its so easy to say ” But this tested well” when your new product or plan bombs in the market place. Also, a lot of folks use focus groups and surveys to just affirm what they already believe anyways, whether its a good or bad decision. I am sure some folks have differing opinions, just my 3 cents and its late.

So…what am I saying here? I think my life is going to get consumed very soon. So the Diary may not always be quite as up-to-date as I’d like it to be.

Jams of day…

1) The Slip – Even Rats

2) Outkast – Morris Brown

3) The Cure – Just Like Heaven

4) The Cure – Why Can’t I Be You?

5) Ryan Adams – Walls

6) Uncle Tupelo – Moonshiner

7) Death Cab for Cutie – President of What?

8) Bob Marley – 400 years

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4 responses to “Class is in session…first week

  1. Hazen,

    Congrats on starting the second session of your highest education, I am actually envious after reading your first week. I am in need of some additional teaching and interaction in that kind of setting. You can only learn so much by reading on your own or talking with collegues. Maybe that speaks of my managers or my drive to self teach at this time, don’t know.

    I agree about the focus group / survey aspect, lots of room for educated guesses and opinion swaying. Kind of like jury duty, if you have an agenda you can get there using and angle. Not to say everyone has an agenda, but if you do…

    Anyhow, hope all is well.

    B

  2. Jim…how’s State going?

    You’re really slacking again with the blog, take 10 minutes out and let us know what’s going on in your world.

    Mike

  3. Jim: Congratulations from me as well. I am so excited for you. I got my MBA a little while back from Ohio State and found it to be a great experience. My humble advise, if you’ll take it :), it to focus on the “learning” more than the grades.

    I never focused on the grades and could only eek out a 3.64 but took a lot of different classes (loved Microeconomics, thoroughly enjoyed International Law, I am still a student of Organization Behaviour, all classes on Strategy were excellent) and had lunches with business folks who visited and exploited the “Finance Club” and “Marketing Club” and their activities.

    In the end I don’t remember a lot of specifics (except 1) options pricing using the Black Scholes Model, that is outright cool and 2) concept of NPV, amazing) but the experience as a whole broadened my thinking drastically and the social aspects were great.

    Ok I’ll stop rambling. I am happy for you and I wish you all the very best of luck. Enjoy all the HBR cases that will surely be thrust on you!

    -Avinash.

  4. Dude!
    what a trip. Long time (very long) no see/speak.

    I did a cycling trip down longstreet, passed Stuart and went by your old place (and mine) and became reminiscent about childhood, hit google and there you were.

    Same thing happend when I heard your Bro on the Radio last year.

    Still in the big acorn city I see. Drop a line when you get a chance, i’d love to catch up

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