Taking Notes In My MBA Program

Hello, everyone. I’ve been busy again. I’m currently in a financial management class in my MBA program and it’s, um, different. Or, at least it’s different for an English-degree holder. For this class and many others in the school of business, I’ve had to take a lot of notes. I have noticed over the course of my graduate program that my notetaking methods have changed.

I won’t be reinventing the wheel here, but it may be interesting (to me, anyway) to look back on someday to see how my notetaking methods change in the future. Hopefully someone finds it useful.

My notes on my Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and my disc-bound notebook system from staples
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My Final Class of my First Semester in My MBA Program

The good news is, I managed to get far enough ahead to where my MBA program will only take me one and a half years instead of two. The bad news is I’ve procrastinated way too much for my final class. I’m dealing with that this week. My final class this semester is an accounting class. It’s not the most exciting thing. It’s very practical, but that’s a necessity sometimes I guess. I like the classes that are more heavily involved in theory a little more. I like writing papers. I don’t like math.

Maybe next semester I can also get ahead, and perhaps knock out the third semester early as well, but I’m not going to count on that. Either way, I should be done next year, whether it’s just one more semester after this, or two. Then we’ll talk about if I think getting an MBA was worth it or not, and talk about what I want to do next. Options that are on the table are: going for an MFA program, or going for a PhD in English. I don’t really think I want to do a doctorate in business, but I suppose that’s also a theoretical option. There’s also also the possibility of not doing any of those things.

Also, I got sick over the weekend. Quarantining at home until covid19 test results come in.

Also, it’s election day. I voted by mail last month. Obviously, as an educated gay man, I voted for Biden and Harris for President of the United States. I also voted for Amy McGrath for Kentucky Senate.

I’m still writing fiction, too. In case you missed it yesterday, I posted this very short story.

How is your all’s week going?

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Juggling A Full Time Job and Grad School

To be completely honest, I applied for grad school without really thinking about what my life would be like for the next 2 years if I kept my full-time job. I remember as an undergrad I had issues juggling campus life and work and finances. Fast forward to now: my graduate program is mostly online, and I work 40 hours a week at a law firm. It seems like it’s going to work out this time, but it’s still going to be rough.

My day is pretty busy.

  • Waking up sometime between 6:30am-7am to feed the dog and take a shower (if I didn’t take a shower before bed last night)
  • Biking to work at some point between 7:30am-8am
  • Working 8am-5pm
  • Biking home from the office and cooking dinner sometime between 5:30pm-6pm
  • Taking the dog out
  • Eating dinner at some point between 6pm-6:30pm
  • Spending 30 minutes doing whatever
  • Studying from 7pm-9pm
  • Doing any household work, laundry, dishes, dog walking, cleaning by 11am
  • Going to bed at 11pm and waking up at some point between 6:30am-7am

Doable? Yes. Awful? Well, not ideal. I still have my weekends free from the day job, but I also study and attend lectures and webinars, too.

The trick, I think, is going to be finding time to go out and do something a little fun and interesting so I don’t go completely crazy over the next two years.

No Time For A Second Part-Time Job Anymore

I usually try to do a part-time gig-economy type job on occasion to keep some extra money around. That hasn’t been super doable since classes started. To stay comfortable, I took out some student loans so that I don’t end up in a “situation”. I already borrowed a crap ton during my time as an undergrad, but I guess we have to do what we have to do these days. I probably won’t get a raise this year at work because of COVID19. No job is ever 100% guaranteed, either. If something happens and I lose my job, I’ll need to be able to continue with my classes and stay on track. Hopefully after I get my master’s degree it’ll put me on a better track to earn around $50,000 a year more easily. Stuff’s expensive and I’d like to be able to contribute to whatever my future boyfriend and I decide to do with our lives together, like buy a house. (By the way, in theory I’ll be 35 when I’m done with my masters, so the clock is ticking, guys. I won’t be waiting around forever.)

I’m Switching Back to Office 365 To Stay Organized

For the last few years, I’ve been meddling in Linux, Google Drive, and other tools. That trend is now over. I’ve completely switched back over to Microsoft Windows 10 and am back in Office 365 with Outlook and OneNote. I’m even writing this blog post in Microsoft Word, because I don’t trust that I’ll backup my blog posts via the WordPress backup options often enough. When did I write that blog post where I complained about how busy I’d be when I started grad school? No problem. Let me check my OneDrive real quick.

I’m way over-organizing my life with Excel spreadsheets and telling people to fuck right off if they can’t accommodate a 30-minute gap between my activities. I also reserve the right to stop mid-conversation and check my notes for anything and everything. Are you worried about what am I writing down while we’re talking? Well, don’t.

My BA is in English, but I’m Getting My Master of Business Administration

There is also the possibility of a hurdle that I’ll be facing constantly – the fact that my undergraduate degree is a liberal arts degree and my graduate degree will be in business. Math is also not exactly my strong suit. I can study it okay and do alright most of the time, but it’s not my forte at all. What if I just literally like, can’t, even?

I did some research and apparently a lot of people go into an MBA program after getting an English degree. But also, the graduation rate for most MBA programs I’ve looked into is about 20%. That’s awfully low and I wonder if there is a correlation? Well, of course there is a correlation because I just pointed it out. I suppose I wonder if there is causation. I’m not one to give up on stuff that I’m spending a lot of money on, but those numbers don’t exactly instill me with confidence. I confess, I didn’t really look into the graduation rate of other master’s degrees, except for MFA programs, which tend to vary widely from what I could find. (I mean when you accept 12 students a year [sometimes every 2 years], surely more than 2.5 of them graduate? I also wonder which half of the one MFA student got through the program and which half didn’t.)

So Why Am I Making It Harder on Myself?

Well, I really don’t know. To make more money, I guess. Or to at least help make myself more confident when I go to job interviews? I’d also like to open the door to a doctorate in something interesting in the future. Or maybe just to be able to say that I have a master’s degree.

More thoughts on stuff as they come.

I tweet shorter thoughts from time-to-time on my Twitter. You can also follow me on Instagram.

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I’m Starting Graduate School in August

Let me back up a little bit. I used to have a lot of other blog posts on this website, but they’ve all been deleted because I forgot to pay my web hosting bill once. Okay, I guess that’s not entirely true – that would’ve been easily recoverable. I’m not even really sure what happened. I was redoing my website after it was down for a few months and could’ve sworn I had a backup. Turns out I didn’t, or I can’t find it. But no big deal. Here’s the summary of every blog post that was on this blog since 2014:

My name is Eric Shay Howard. I currently live in Louisville, Kentucky. I’m gay and hopelessly single and in my 30s. I was a late bloomer. I have my Bachelors in English from the University of Louisville. I graduated with my BA degree when I was 30 in 2017. I blogged about campus life as an adult student for the 5 years I was on campus. I complained about all the guys just wanting to hook up with me on Grindr. On campus I got lost in the shuffle a lot, but I pushed through it and did the stuff I needed to do anyway.

I started a literary magazine my last semester at UofL. I edited it for 2.5 years, then I got busy with a full time job and had to put it on the back burner.

I have a short fiction collection called Crushes available on Amazon.

My full time job is at a big company and I work downtown. In June of 2020, I got admitted to Western Governors University for my Masters in Business Administration. I figure I better do it now while I still kind of feel like it.

Last year, I pushed the buttons to setup a Facebook page and a Linkedin page for a nonprofit I want to start that will help people with their personal transportation problems. It’s still in the seed money stages. I feel that Electric Scooter laws in many states need to be refined to allow people without driver’s licenses to operate them legally if they don’t go over 20 miles an hour. Many lower income groups don’t have a car and many people with disabilities can’t obtain a driver’s license, and bicycles are not a solution that works for all.

I like short fiction, photography, and coffee. I’ll probably mostly be blogging about my life as a grad student in an online program while also working a full time job. I will probably complain a lot. Occasionally I’ll take some photos. I like doing street photography.

Here’s a photo of me.

See you all in a week or so. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram, like my page on Facebook, or subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Eric Shay Howard Author Blogger
Photo by John Eric Davis

Update: I found an older backup, and luckily I didn’t post too much in between then and now, so I’m only missing a few posts that weren’t really anything important anyway.

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