Bidding Bonanza #4 went a lot better for me than last time, when I only got 1 of my classes in Round 1 bidding (prices in Round 2 bidding are generally inflated like crazy, so I prefer to avoid it). This time around, I got 4 of the 5 classes I bid on in Round 1, and the class that I didn’t get wasn’t high priority for me. Furthermore, I am going with a new class strategy for next quarter that will ultimately lead me to drop down to 3 classes total. Here is my current schedule:
<ol><li>Marketing Channel Strategies (MKTG451) - Wilson</li><li>Technology Marketing (MKTG468) - Sawhney</li><li>Information & Technology Based Marketing (MKTG953) - ZettelMeyer</li><li>Enterprise Technology Management (OPNS458) - Jeffery/Walker (AUDIT…maybe)</li></ol>In undergrad, I didn’t have to worry much about designing my curriculum. We had fewer electives, which were constrained by a handful of available majors, and more or less taken in a prescribed order. So, once I decided on my specialties going into junior year, I was pretty much done selecting classes.

In grad school, there is a lot more flexibility (relative to my undergrad experience). Once you wrap up the core classes, which are all but done by the second quarter, it’s all about selecting electives for the next four quarters. And at Kellogg, there are A LOT of electives. Although many of them don’t appeal to me, there are enough to require some prioritization and trade offs. For example, I’ve passed on a number of classes that I was initially very excited about, including Global Initiatives in Management and Entrepreneurial Finance.

Up to now, my strategy has been to take as many classes as possible in any particular subjects that interested me.  Unfortunately, I ran into several problems that were impacting my overall experience, which is quickly coming to an end.
<ol><li>It can be exhausting. I have the type of personality that makes it really hard to not do all of the assigned readings, work, etc. So, I instead sacrifice other things to try and do it all, foregoing any chances to relax. Eventually, I tend to find myself in a daze from lack of sleep that severely impacts my ability to do anything. I think this article that we read for Managerial Leadership really nails it when it talks about the importance of oscillation (alternating between periods of stress/relaxation) for high performance. I’ve still been periodically suffering a bit of burn out from the first year this quarter.</li><li>I can’t spend as much time on subjects I find interesting. When I sign up for a class, I’m taking a bit of a gamble. It’s hard to tell how interested I’ll be in the topic beforehand, because up to now, a lot of the topics have been completely new to me. Sometimes, I find that I’m really interested in a class or concept, but I can’t really dig into it because I have to constantly switch between classes to keep up with the work.</li><li> There is little time for anything else. This kind of ties into the ones above, but basically, I just don’t have as much time for outside interests/hobbies. </li></ol>In response to these issues, my game plan for next quarter is to only take 3 classes, which will all be in Marketing (an area I’ve increasingly taken an interest to). So I’ll be dropping Enterprise Technology Management and possibly auditing it, though I haven’t decided yet. I think this will help me address the 3 issues above, and although I’m sure I’ll still find a way to fill up my free time, it will be with the things that I’m most interested in pursuing. Hopefully, it will also help me develop a deeper familiarity with something (Marketing) before I leave here.

Part of my strategy was motivated by this article, The Roberts Method: A Professor’s Advice for Falling in Love With Your Major, which I ran into right before bidding started. The article is based on advice by Andrew Roberts, a professor of political science at Northwestern University, and although it is geared toward undergrads, it still seems applicable.

I’m looking forward to seeing how my schedule plays out next quarter.