Thursday, January 1, 2009

The 2nd Semester Approaches

I think I'm finally caught up with my summaries and impressions from the 1st semester, so it's now time to take a look at the upcoming (2nd) semester, which starts next weekend.  The course list looks like this:

Operations Management - Dr. Jack Meredith
Managerial Accounting - Dr. Bern Beatty
Strategic Marketing - Dr. James Narus
Financial Management - Dr. Sandra Dow
IT Management - Dr. Charles Iacovou
Commercializing Innovation - Dr. Tom Clarkson & Dr. Stan Mandel (Elective)

Based on some initial reading and syllabus review, both Strategic Marketing and Operations Management appear to be extremely interesting.  StratMktg includes an online simulation model, and OpsMgmt appears to be very much about active discussion and the case-study model.  As much as I like Dr. Beatty, I can't say that I'm really looking forward to another accounting course.  I know it's good for me, and so are certain vegetables, but that doesn't mean I have to like them.  Luckily I have a few teammates that seem to grasp it better than me, so I'll be leaning on them again this semester.  I'm interested to see what is covered in the ITMgmt course, since I've spent the past 15 years in the IT industry, although almost entirely on the side of the vendors selling products as opposed to the day-to-day management of those systems.  I'll be interested to see what ROI models and metrics are discussed...maybe it'll help me position and sell my vendor-side products better. The FinMgmt course doesn't have the syllabus released yet, but I suspect that will also be a favorite of mine, as I'm a closet finance junkie.  

I suspect this semester will be as challenging as any in the program, both in terms of the coursework (seems like quite a bit in several courses) and the navigation in the economy in early 2009.  I suspect that we'll all be learning alot from each other as we cope with additional layoffs, economic swings, a new government in place and the overall uncertainty in our connected world.  

The break for the past couple of weeks has been nice and much appreciated, but I'm looking forward to getting back in a routine next week.  I just need to keep reminding myself that 2009 is not 2008, and new thinking and optimism will rule the day.