Sunday, August 17, 2008

Picking classes at the GSB. And other griping.

So my big frustration with the GSB is the difficulty in crafting a meaningful course load, especially as someone who skipped the basic accounting, finance and econ courses. We have switched to a new bidding system which is largely an improvement but prohibits full-time students from bidding on classes at Gleacher for the first two bidding rounds which is very frustrating if a class you want/need is only being offered at Gleacher that quarter. Frankly, I think the school just needs to offer more classes. I try to avoid taking classes at Gleacher anyway.

This is the fourth quarter that I have been bid out of Operations. Operations for god's sake. I'm not about to pay 5,000 points for this class. But I need it to graduate (as I am not going to take macro) and am interested in the course. But when I have to pay 5,000-8,000 points for classes key to my concentration, I can't afford to spend that much on Operations. Why don't they just offer more slots? Sheesh.

And Financial Instruments, which is a strict prereq for Veronesi's Risk Management course in the winter (and he refuses to waive for me) is only being offered at Gleacher this quarter. Grrr.

And Managing Decision Making (which I really want, and fulfills a graduation requirement) has only two campus slots. One of which conflicts with the uber popular Financial Statement Analysis with Abbie Smith (which I did get). So since I didn't bid enough for the other section, I'm out of luck there.

In sum, after two rounds of bidding, all I have to show for myself is two accounting classes. Two Accounting Classes. I hate accounting. Bah.

In other news, it was a strange, hard week on the internship front which led to two things:

1) made me seriously question my choice of career. The boring, meaningless of the job was impossible to ignore and the feeling persisted all week.

2) made me realize how much I want to go home (Pacific Northwest). I am tired of the Midwest. Y and I wish we were moving back home this fall. Trouble is there is virtually no good money management opportunities out there. Which brings me back to point #1.

Apparently, I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. Each time I come to this point (which is quite frequently, actually) I just re-convince myself that I've invested too much into my current path and should just keep going.

So it is.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you (regarding the school needing to offer more classes.) I mean, I love that the GSB has a flexible curriculum, but for that to be useful (and not uber-frustrating) options have to abound.

Are you going to be taking Fama's Theory of Finance class? I'm flirting with taking that, but would like your input on whether its worthwhile.

MaybeMBA said...

Ha. I just asked Fama if he would waive the pre-req's for me. Apparently my 41202 wasn't a sufficient substitute for the strict 41100 pre-req. But I decided it was a blessing as it is supposed to be a killer class in terms of work load and grading. Frankly, unless you are going on to work at a quant fund or secretly aspire to the GSB's PhD program or just want to take any class with Fama, I think it is likely to be more pain than pleasure. It is definitely not something I would really recommend for the first year just because the first quarter is so busy with other things, such as recruiting and preparing for internship interviews. You would also need to convince Fama to waive the pre-reqs which might be challenging.

So, no, I will not be taking it and I think I will not regret this. But I wouldn't discourage anyone else from seriously considering it.

Anonymous said...

yeah, i think Fama's class might become hopelessly difficult, but i've read so much by him and would love the chance to spend ten weeks learning from him.

have you heard anything about harris' corp finance class? it has low ratings, but the guy is a finance rock star. thoughts?

forrest gump said...

i completely agree. i sometimes think that given that we are paying so much money for each course, we should be allowed to enroll for whatever we want. i am actually in a worse state than you are, stuck with just one workshop course and nothing else(but then i forgot to bid in round 1 so it is partly my fault as well ;) i am flirting with the idea of taking some courses in the university ;)

MaybeMBA said...

yeah, i might try to take a law or public policy class ... i expected not to have time to take anything outside the GSB but this coming quarter is not looking hopeful.

re harris. I'm not familiar with him (feel free anyone else to chime in here) but, looking at his evaluations, i would be very cautious about signiing up for someone with such consistently low scores in a relatively basic course. remember, a brilliant mind does not a brilliant teacher make. that may be the reason for the disconnect. i find that students tend to be fairly lenient in the evaluations so lots of low scores are bad news. imho.

Selene said...


I totally see your point about missing the west coast. I'm finishing my MBA in the midwest as well and after spending the summer back home in SoCal, I'm not in too big of a hurry to get back either.

I'm not sure if you had a chance to see my invitation for you to be our Featured MBA at I hope you could spend a minute or two to check out our site and let me know if I could help in any way.

Best wishes,

Selene Cong

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Stanford MBA 2005

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