Friday, August 31, 2007

Fast Approaching Graduation

In September of 2004 I started taking courses toward an MBA at the University of Phoenix. Fortunately they have ground campuses in Houston (four of them!) so I was able to to everything in a classroom setting.

Now, after several fits and starts,I can see the end. I have one session left in my current class and then one more six-week class and that is it! Whew! Because of the way UoP does graduation - once a year - I will actually be attending commencement on Sep 15, about a month before I officially finish up. I can't wait.

It has not exactly been easy. In the intervening time I have had to deal with all the usual life stuff that you get in your mid-fifties. I lost my Dad, had to deal with kids starting college, got a grandchild added to the mix, shakeups and killer projects at work. You know, life. Oh, and I write a couple of blogs in my spare time. But thank goodness we are nearly done.

Was it worth it? That depends on how you count. Even with my company helping out it was not cheap, and I wonder if I will see an immediate jump in salary. Even so, I am close enough to retirement that I may not see the NPV of any gains outweigh the cost (see- I can speak MBA now!) But I really did not do this for the money. I did it for personal growth. I wanted to see if I can still compete and follow through. Well, that and the fact that my wife got a doctorate a few years ago and I felt like I needed to play catch-up.

The SigEp part of this story is interesting. I guess I had heard so much of the "Sound Mind - Sound Body" propaganda that I felt like I had to work both sides of the equation. I started exercising by walking every day, then running. Last year I began going to the gym at work a few times a week and added resistance training on those devices that look like relics left over from the Spanish Inquisition. I am not going to run a marathon anytime soon, and "Ah-nahld" need not fear my bodybuilding prowess, but I feel good and look pretty OK for an 'old fart', so I am happy on that score too. As far as being a "Balanced Man" it looks pretty good from this angle.

The real story here is that I decided to stretch my goals and have done it. That is the part that feels great and it is a reward sufficient to itself.

What have you done lately to stretch yourself?