For some insane reason I decided that it would be great to do an online pre-MBA, in the midst of being a single parent, COO, and writing/teaching a course. The chaos begins on March 27.

Why now and why HBX?

  • Ummm… I like stress? In general, I believe in learning. It makes me happy and it’s useful. If you’re like me you’re probably pretty mesmerized by the vastness of the internet. It’s hard to imagine a world before Google, but I do… I remember you, Lycos 🙂
  • I also remember going to the galldarn library and having to sit in the reference section to flip through a ginormous encyclopedia like a fool.
  • I remember microfiche, which now you only see in dated TV shows about the FBI. (It was actually kinda cool.)

Agent Scully microfiching it up in the J Edgar Hoover library

  • The advent of the internet and more recently MOOCs is a nerd’s dream come true. So. Much. Content. And. So. Much. Freeeeeee. I’m going to take every course I can until I die!
  • It’s a major personal challenge. Balancing a fairly rigorous online program while still showing up for all the other important things in life will, I’m sure, stretch me to the max. Because grit is my current major area of study, this makes sense. Life as a lab is fun as hell and I totally recommend using yourself as a test subject for all your wild hypotheses. Which brings me to…
  • I don’t know if I can do it. So fuck it, I’m gonna try.

Now, here are the concrete reasons I told my boss (read my other post on how to get work to pay for your schooling here):

  • Get to see what an ivy-league school presents as an MOOC (massive open online course). When we build our own courses online, we will want to copy from the best. I’ve taken courses from a few other universities (such as Stanford, University of Illinois, Duke), on open learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and iTunesU, but I’d like to see what a more robust program at HBX is like, and on their own platform. It sounds like they implement some unique features, such as cold calls. Worth investigating.
  • Networking with US/international students;  there will be approx 400-500 students in the cohort. Collaboration is required, and I plan to create lasting connections through the course.
  • Putting CMPNY through any and all frameworks that this program presents. I’v been with CMPNY since August. We’ve had a great few months in terms of being able to strategize and plan, but I also see a chance to distill and refine things further and operate with greater institutional intelligence. This program will provide new opportunities to improve us, based on learnings from contemporary, real-world case studies and current business best practices.
  • Getting a firm foundation in business language will backfill what I missed out on in the business degree I never took. Although I’ve learned a lot through experience in organizations big and small, I admittedly have gaps in fundamental concepts and lingo; filling them will help me think better, and also present better as a C-suite executive for CMPNY when we’re networking, forming partnerships or seeking sponsorships/investment.
  • My longer term plan/project is to take these learnings, apply them to our Operations KPIs and financial reporting, and build an app that can display our KPIs in tables and charts at the push of a button. I’ve already started working on this in my spare time, coding with a senior developer mentor. I’m learning Java — it’s weird!

What about you? What are you learning? Why? Let me know in the Comments.

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