Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting Easier...

In my blog intro, I promised to reflect on the life of an MBA student and full-time working professional. I think I'm past due for a "how to balance it all"-specific post.

I still remember my first term, and to be completely honest, it was pretty overwhelming. Getting used to new teachers, new subject matter, and a new way of learning - all while keeping up with the day-to-day - was certainly not an easy feat. To make it all work and to push down the feeling of "what have I gotten myself into?!?", I started out with a very disciplined approach. I looked at my work for the entire week and used a planner to record what I wanted to accomplish each day. This tactic of breaking things down into smaller chunks worked very well for me. After a few weeks, I got into a groove and began to see that merging a student and professional life together was indeed very possible.

Now, it is about 1.5 years later, and I am only 4 classes away from completing my MBA and another 4 away from getting my MSSM. I can't pinpoint the exact moment, but somewhere along the way, perhaps in my 2nd term, everything just started to fit together. With each class, it became easier, more natural to find the time to get my assignments done to a high standard while still fitting in socializing time and sleep. Class no longer feels like this extra thing that I have to squeeze in; rather, it is simply a part of my day. With that said, I do believe that strong organization and discipline have remained key components to my success.

In addition, I found tools and techniques that worked well for me after a little bit of trial and error. I still use a planner to record all assignment due dates for the entire term during the first week of class. This allows me to see what I'm up against for the next 3 months and even gives me the chance to plan some small trips and other social activities. As far as actually tackling the assignments, I like to get my reading in during my lunch break and do some work each night so I have free time during the weekend. However, I know that other students prefer to do the bulk of their work over the weekends, treating Saturday and/or Sunday like a full workday. The takeaway is that there is definitely more than one way to be successful in this program; it is in the hands of each individual to find the balance that works for his/her lifestyle and priorities.

Monday, September 13, 2010

An introduction and 1st Post

Hi, this is my first post so I thought it would be best to introduce myself. My name is Leonardo Kim, but you can call me Lenny. I am currently an owner of two small international grocery stores in Bloomington. The first store is the Oriental International Mart and the second store is the Olive Market. The first store mostly sells Arabic products. The second sells mainly Indian and Mexican products. Each store consists between 5 to 8 employees, depending on season and sales, and both are open 7 days a week. My main goal in earning an MBA is to gain strong business knowledge and tools to help build my two stores. My goal is to build my two stores not as a chain or as a supermarket but rather both as unique small specialty stores.

My background, aka other life, was in classical music. I studied at the Jacob School of Music at Indiana University in which I earned a Bachelor's in Music in violin, piano, and composition. Some of my music accomplishments was performing at the La Roque Music Festival in the South of France and studying with Jacque Israelievitch, former Concert Master of the Montreal Symphony in Canada.

My main hobbies are playing the violin, piano, and composing. I also teach violin and piano when time permits. Teaching is something I really enjoy! Other hobbies are cooking, exercising, and traveling. I have traveled several times to Japan, Korea, China, and HK.

My stress relief hobbies, which I use quite often, consist of writing in my diary, dining at nice restaurants, watching Anime, and most importantly playing games on a Playstation (i.e. Splinter Cell and Metal Gear) or a computer (i.e. Starcraft and Warcraft).

I am currently starting my 2nd year at Kelley. I cannot believe a whole year has gone by. It feels like I just started by first In-Residence. By the way, the second In-Residence is a lot less stressful than the first. For you 1st year students, you can always post questions or comments about challenges you are facing in balancing school, work, and some time for family. I will try to provide some valuable insight from my KD experience.

I have found my KD experience to be wonderful so far!!! The faculty are experts in their fields, the students are intelligent and accomplished, and the staff really try to help. Everyone and I mean everyone at Kelley wants you to succeed and wants to be there to help out in any way possible during your long challenging journey in earning an MBA. If you are considering an online program, I strongly recommend you look into Kelley Direct!!!!!

Looking forward to writing more posts!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our Greatest Fear

What’s up KD? I hope this blog finds you well. Life is going well, life is finally starting to calm down a little – well, at least the non-academic portion. Today is the first day of school for the KD program for the fall semester; and while I am not getting on a yellow school bus, all of the same emotions are there.

Today’s blog is actually going to deal with one of the emotions that you feel during the first day of school – fear.

One of my favorite quotes is the following quote by Nelson Mandela, by way of Marianne Williamson:

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,

but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant,

gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking

so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.

It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine,

we consciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear,

our presence automatically liberates others.

The reason that I love this quote is because it deals with one of the major issues for people – fear of a new situation. With the start of a new school year, especially if you are coming back to school after being away for a while, it is easy to fear this upcoming semester. Furthermore, during the course of the year, as your academics get more challenging, you may begin to doubt whether or not you can actually complete the coursework.

It is during these times that I encourage you to review this poem. The Kelley Direct program only admits the best of the best applicants from all over the world. Moreover, they would not have admitted you if they did not believe that you could complete the assignments and the work.

It is also during these times that I would encourage you to lean on those people within your support network – your family, friends, fellow classmates, etc. They may not understand your respective challenges, but hopefully their belief in you will fuel your to move forward. And for those of you without that support network, you can lean on me. While I may not know you personally, as a fellow KD student, I believe in and support you. You can make it through this tough time. You can and will do great things.

Well, I hope that’s helpful and uplifting KD! Until next time, I’ll catch you later.