Found free-reading.net For Our Homeschoolers
We already have a variety of phonics-type materials, and I'm notorious for my collection of books. I'm hoping that Alana and Ryan will love reading as much as I do.
We already have a variety of phonics-type materials, and I'm notorious for my collection of books. I'm hoping that Alana and Ryan will love reading as much as I do.
Finally I see it in my online transcript:
Awarded: Master of Science
Major: Management in Sci & Technology
Degree Date: Apr 20, 2006
Onward to the PMP!
We presented our marketing plan today and survived! Onward to the financial plan in a few weeks.
Finally I have my grades for the fall quarter. I handled the Quality class well, and the first part of Capstone is behind me. Now for the final push: the end of Capstone.
On that front I have been made the CFO of my team, and we're charging forward. We have to present a marketing plan, a financial plan, and a comprehensive business plan (including valuation analysis) for our (semi-)ficticious business in the next three months. We've worked pretty hard on it so far, and we face our presentation of the marketing plan in mid-January.
It feels good to be on the home stretch.
My summer quarter of classes are all-the-way over now. While I turned in my last assignment a week ago, I have grades now. So, I have officially finished MST 530 (Strategic Management & Planning) and MST 549 (Applied Business Forecasting) at the OGI School of Science & Engineering at OHSU. I'm happy to report that I managed to eke an A out of Strategy but only an A- out of forecasting. Darned multiple choice tests!
Fall Quarter is the beginning of the end. The first half of Capstone starts and I will knock off my last elective. No thesis in this MS program, but Capstone certainly counts as equivalent effort.
As far as books go for this part quarter, the most engaging was Competing on the Edge. This book described a strategy for organizations involved in fast-moving markets (I am focused on high-tech entrepreneurship here) and the trade-offs and priorities inherent with such scenarios. No staid long-term planning and bureaucratic structures are in the prescription for fast-moving companies! Instead one has to handle the right amount of chaos, collaboration, the past, the future, and keeping in synch with the market…
Onward to the final death march. March 17th is in sight! (That's when my team has its final presentation.)
I got confirmation of my final paper for MST 523, and I only have half a book to read, some discussion and a giant paper to write tonight for MST 520. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel before I dive into next quarter.
June 20th isn't that far away, though… and that's when I start up again for the summer.
What is especially happy for me is that I have completed all my requirements to earn a Certificate in Management in Science and Technology with this quarter. The Masters degree isn't complete for three more quarters. I don't quite see the light at the end of that tunnel yet, but I can smell fresh air.
June 1st I get to speak to the OGI Commencement, but it's not for anything too exciting. I'm presenting the “Teacher of the Year” award on the behalf of the OGI Student Council. Usually that falls to the Student Council President, but we decided not to have one this year.
Update 5/6/2005: Turns out it's the OHSU commencement, not just the OGI school, in which I'll be presenting the award. Now we're up to a few thousand people watching. Whee!
From the reading for MST 520 for next week:
Autocratic culture and personal ambition conspire to support behavior that is strategic, cautious, and indirect—in other words, manipulative.
(Peter Block, The Empowered Manager: Positive Political Skills at Work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1987. Page 22.)
More on this subject later.
I forgot to mention what books I was reading for this term.
For MST 520 “Becoming an Effective Manager” I am reading Reframing Organizations by Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal and Leading Quietly by Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr. So far Bolman & Deal haven't been too squishy, although some of the articles we've needed to read have been.
For MST 523 “New Product Development” I am reading Developing Products in Half the Time by Preston G. Smith and Donald G. Reinertsen (I'm already buying the premise that there is a cost for delaying the release of a product to meet a customer need), The Basics of FMEA by Robin E. McDermott, Raymond J. Mikulak and Michael R. Beauregard (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis) and, optionally, Product Strategy for High Technology Companies by Michael E. McGrath. I think my background with Winning at New Products by Robert G. Cooper helps with this class already, as material I've read tonight meshes neatly with the previous text. In fact, Smith & Reinertsen reference Cooper.
So, a new quarter is about to start at the OGI School of Science & Engineering where I am working towards my degree in Management in Science & Technology. I just finished Finance, and I have some remaining items to do for Marketing. In fact, once those items are done I'll have reached the halfway mark in my studies.
MST 520 will be the first core management class I've taken at OGI, one of the key goals of the program for me. The reading so far has been considerably more “touchy-feely” than my other courses. I'll be taking this course online.
MST 523 will be my first at the Wilsonville “campus.” I wasn't able to get this one online, but I'll survive, I think. It does mean leaving work early to get down there and deal with it. Then there's the 40 mile drive home. Such is life, I heard that the professor was really good and I shouldn't miss it. He also teaches the Strategy class, MST 530, which is the last required core course before the final Capstone project.
In many ways I feel like I'm starting the home stretch. While this is another quarter with 8 credits (and a gargantuan bill to go with it), from here on out it gets better. 7 credits next quarter with Strategy and Quality, 5 the next with “Going to Market” and the start of Capstone (which many recommend taking together as you can make Capstone your group project), and 3 next Winter to finish off Capstone. That 3 is disingenuous, of course. Capstone is a lot of work.
I took on eight credits this term, which was aggressive but certainly doable, based on the work I did last quarter.
Finance (MST 572) went fine. There was a lot of reading but nothing was impossible. I ended up with a decently solid A. I just finished the class this past weekend.
Marketing (MST 573), however, has been a disaster. I will be taking an incomplete and I'm barely hanging onto that. It has been a quarter fraught with changing assignments, lots of reading with quick turnarounds (I don't mind reading, but 48-hour deadlines stink), frequently in-person during-the-day meetings and interviews, and a poorly laid out syllabus and forum structure. I tried to drop this class and the instructor talked me out of it. I probably shouldn't have let that happen. If marketing is all about being a disorganized mess, I'm glad I'm not really part of it.
Next quarter also has eight credits, but no one is warning me about those classes. Everyone warned me about 573…
I posted to my class online site already, even though it doesn't actually start until Monday the 3rd. However, it was just an introduction, which I'm getting pretty practiced at with these online courses.
At the moment I'm frantically reading. I'm still waiting for one book to arrive, but the others are here, including some of the optional texts that seemed rather important since the syllabi recommended them to those without formal training. I never had formal training in Marketing, and my Accounting classes were in 1988. I don't remember anything about Finance, per se, and Economics was from 1987. It's odd to me that my background in math is actually more recent, but math doesn't change much from decade to decade compared to these other subjects.
Several editions of the books for class were newer than those recommended in the syllabi. Heck, Analysis for Financial Management by Robert C. Higgins is up to the seventh edition! The How To Read a Financial Report book for my previous quarter is also up to the sixth edition. I'm rereading it now because of its explanations of financial statements.
Also, I've finally received access to the “Coursepacks” for Finance, although my CD-ROMs have not arrived with the case studies and supplemntary video material. I'd sure like to have the Coursepack for Marketing on deck, too. In addition to the book work I have one or two articles per week to absorb.
I already feel like I've hit the ground running.
So my first books have arrived for my Finance class next term. I already had the ones for Marketing. Looks like it will be a time for much reading. I would expect that for eight credits. So, I suspect I will be spending much of my few weeks of vacation reading like a madman and getting ahead of the class as much as possible.
The books that arrived today were Valuation, Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies, 3rd Ed and Analysis for Financial Management, 7th Ed. With this last book it appears I get six months of access to the Educational Version of Market Insight. The primary text, Corporate Finance, is not going to make it here until January 4th, according to Amazon. Even so, I also plan on reading the latest edition of The Intelligent Investor before the term starts.
For Marketing, I am using The Chasm Companion for my third class in the program (gee, they must like it). I've already been through Moore's Crossing the Chasm and Inside the Tornado. I have his Living on the Fault Line in my line up, but I doubt I'll get to it any time soon. In addition to Chasm I have Customer-Centric Product Definition to work through. If it is as good as Cooper's Winning at New Products, 3rd Ed I will be very happy. As it is, the Marketing class will be a lot of reading and writing. Marketing is in two pieces, anyway, preparing for marketing and going to market. My second half is not scheduled until the end of 2005.
I also have some review to be doing in Robert's Rules as Newly Revised, 10th Ed and The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure due to some recent items of interest with both ASLET and OHSU. Nothing like keeping busy.
Update: If you want to get started understanding how to run a good business meeting amongst equals, try Webster's New World Robert's Rules of Order, Simplified and Applied, 2nd Ed, which I have used, although I also hear good things about Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised in Brief.
I sat down with my advisor, Prof. Jack Raiton, and we discussed my plans for the MST program and I got some good information. First of all, I had too much in my plan, so I got to cut out a course. Second of all, they are going to count my class I took in 1998, so I got to cut out yet another course. This makes going into the final days of Capstone a great deal easier. It also puts me at having 21 of 53 credits complete, almost half way. I was supposed to be halfway after this coming quarter so I'm on track. In fact, after next quarter I'll be at 29 of 53 credits completed.
There will no longer be a menu to follow by the time program changes hit this coming summer. It will become just a core curriculum and a lot of electives, with a minimum number of credits. My new plan exceeds this minimum by one credit, primarily because I want a 4-credit elective and Capstone is increasing from four to five credits taking over two contiguous quarters. I don't miss the old system, since it was specifying that I needed to take a course in Software Engineering, which would be pretty boring for me.
The new plan, as approved by my academic advisor: (D classes are online, W are in Wilsonville campus, A and B are weekends at the Hillsboro campus)
1/06-3/06: MST 550-A (Capstone II)
The way things are going because Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) owns the OGI School of Science and Engineering (formerly Oregon Graduate Institute), Capstone courses may very well have a health focus. That doesn't bother me too much, although I certainly want to keep a software focus. I've made systems software all my life, so even application software is not necessarily where I want to be.
Just to confuse everyone that thought they knew what was going on, because of the long-term schedule changes at OGI, I'm taking MST 572 and MST 573 next term, instead of MST 520 and MST 573. It's the only way I can do things and still graduate in the Spring of 2006.
There goes another book order of $200 or so…
As a piece of backstory, I had ordered the books for MST 511 this past Summer, then they changed the books for the class, then they cancelled the class on me. I ended up with a lot of books that I had no use for. I hope they will be the same ones for MST 511 in 2005.
The good news is that it means I have have no face-to-face classes this coming term, but it means checking on two online classes every day to see if there are questions that need answering. I've done this before without damage, but on days when the satellite acts up, it can be challenging.
Judging by the book order for the Finance class, I will be reading a lot this coming term.
Here's the overall view of the master schedule:
I've been missing for the past few days because I had some sort of stomach flu/gastritis problem that knocked me out. It's not that I couldn't get to the web and work if I tried, but I was doing rather poorly. It was far better for me to sleep (when I could) and not sit up too much. I haven't worn sweats this much in a really long time.
I lost about four pounds in three days. It's not water weight because that's about all I could keep down. I certainly have become reacquainted with Gatorade.
Even so, I'm at work now and already I am uncomfortable sitting up with jeans and a belt on.
What happened while I was gone? Well, I got back my grades for my two classes this past quarter. For MST 510, “Principles and Trends in Technology Management” I pulled an A- (mostly due to my first homework being a little wildly off the mark) and for MST 571, “Managerial and Financial Accounting for Science and Technology” I made a solid A.
Since I've never mentioned my current studies on this blog before, let me point out that I'm current a student in Management in Science & Technology program at OHSU's OGI School of Science & Engineering. Previous classes include MST 512 (A-), MST 513 (A), MST 531 (A-) and MST 590 (passed, 1 credit courses are pass/fail).
This coming quarter I'm taking MST 520, “Becoming an Effective Manager” which should be a reasonable capstone to my fifth year as a manager and MST 573, “Technology Marketing: Planning for Market.” By completing those two courses I will have met all the requirements for the Certificate in Management in Science and Technology although I am also in the degree program on the Managing in the Software Industries track. It will also mark the midpoint of my studies towards that degree.
What remains? After the Winter quarter I described, it's on to the higher level courses. The next quarter is for attacking MST 530 “Strategic Management and Planning” and MST 572 “Financial Management for Science and Technology”, the follow-on to the accounting course I just completed. After that it is track requirements, electives and at the very end MST 550, the Capstone Program, which involves developing a technology company business plan.
I do not expect difficulties from the remaining required course CSE 516 “Introduction to Software Engineering.” After all, this year I celebrate my twentieth year in the software industry. As far as electives go, I am still leaning towards MST classes instead of CSE classes. I have done the CSE track, somewhat, in my undergraduate years. In fact, in 1998 I took the database course that is listed as a possible elective, although I doubt I'll get credit for it. So what will my four electives be? I think MST 511 “Quality Management” and MST 574 “Going to Market: Delivering Value to Customers and Shareholders” will be important ones. The other two electives are still unchosen. I should chat with my advisor about them. One course not explicitly listed as an available elective is MST 523 “New Product Development” which many students and at least one professor have recommended.
At any rate, while my grades have not yet been posted, I expect I'll have 75.71 quality points at the end of the quarter, with 20 GPA hours, making my GPA 3.79. Not perfect, but I'll take it. Misty doesn't think GPA matters much in graduate work since few employers look at that. It does affect how my other academics go if I ever decide to do that. After all, my Dad retired and then went to law school (look for him in the masthead photograph wearing the white collared blue shirt).
Why am I doing this? Well, I am learning something from the experience, IBM is willing to invest in it for me, and it rounds out my stature a little. In fact, to progress at IBM it almost is necessary. I manage nearly 20 people, many of whom have graduate degrees. Looking back, it may have been better if I stayed at Widener University to finish my MS there (after all, it wasn't costing me anything), but it did help me a lot, career-wise, to get out of Philadelphia and into the private sector. That was almost ten years ago now. My, how things have changed.
This past weekend we had Thanksgiving Dinner with friends Katherine and Clarence and a host of kidlings. The day after Ryan became 5 and we had a rousing party at the Poulson Compound. To top off the weekend we found a decent Douglas Fir for a Christmas Tree, sentenced it to death and it is now standing proudly in the living room. We're keeping busy.