Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflecting on 2010

As I reflect on the past year on this New Year's Eve 2010, I realize that this was really a year of great accomplishments.

1. My family is doing wonderfully. The kids are growing up so fast, and are doing well in school. Alex had great news from the cardiologist at his heart checkup and Andrew continues to do well in everything (especially baseball).
2. I lost 50+ pounds and am in the best health since high school. Plain and simple exercise, sticking to a schedule, and eating healthier did the trick. A little direction and accountability by these folks have helped out more than I ever imagined.
3. I finally started my MBA at Wayne State University - in my opinion one of Michigan's best MBA programs - and knocked out 5 courses. I have 9 more courses to go and am learning a great deal as I pursue a dual concentration in MIS and Management.
4. After an exhaustive job search, I expanded my professional network which resulted in my choice of great opportunities in a down economy, and I feel I made the right choice. I get to work with great people, innovative technology, and cool cars.
5. Last but certainly not least, I posted my best ever round of golf on 18 holes!

I'm looking forward to 2011 and what the new year will bring. Happy New Year everyone!


Joshua D. Hunter said...

Hello Ben.

I am considering an MBA at Wayne or UM-Dearborn and came across your blog post from 2008 about MBA programs in the Detroit area. Thanks for posting that info, it was very helpful. I got my undergrad from UM-Dearborn, but Wayne looks much more convenient and flexible.

A lot of my work colleagues have an MBA and a number went to WSU. Having an MBA just seems to be a standard requirement for many other business and finance related positions, so I'm trying to determine how much value a WSU MBA would be to myself.

I have some questions I'm hoping you could answer about your MBA experience so far:

1) What do you hope to achieve after getting your MBA that you cannot do without it?

2) Have any of the courses you completed so far helped you in your current position?

I know you're busy but I would be interested in any of your feedback

Take care

Ben M Abler said...

Hello Joshua,

Thank you for the interesting post.

I would agree than having an MBA is generally a standard guideline for many leadership positions in business. I say generally because there are always exceptions to every guideline, but I’ve observed that the majority of leadership positions in my professional network have a MBA (or advanced degree) combined with a broad range of related work experience.

I put a lot of thought into the value of the MBA question before making this decision. Specifically, I was interested in the ROI of the MBA and how it would benefit my career. I was not convinced that I would personally see a ROI from a top-ranked MBA program at this point in my career, given the high price tag that comes with them. My analysis led me to Wayne State University as it was the only MBA program in Michigan that had a good blend of the following:
• High degree of flexibility
• Strong alumni base
• Good faculty
• Well respected in the Midwest, and especially the Detroit area
• Accredited by AACSB
• Reasonable tuition
• Carnegie Research I University classification

To answer your questions, I’m not necessarily looking to achieve anything specific upon completing my MBA. My career has adjusted relatively fast with the winds of change in the economy and life - and I’ve learned that you can’t predict what will happen. However, I know that I love to learn and I like to be prepared. The options for my career are to stay in my current job, move up within my company, move up outside of my company, and the possibility of layoffs always exists. In all of these scenarios, having an MBA would be a good thing to have so the decision was easy to start on this journey.

Given my interactions with many people with MBAs from various schools, I’ve concluded that every b-school has good, average, and poor courses. Every school has good instructors and poor instructors. The degree and experience is what you make of it as an individual, and it’s up to you to maximize what you can by leveraging the experience, relationships, and new insights from your education to your career goals.

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to contact me via email if you’d like to chat more.


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