What I’ll be studying this Fall semester

16 April, 2018

Good evening readers!

I hope you’re all having a stupendous Spring! Ideally it’s warmer and more “springy” wherever you are than it is here in Rochester. We had bucketloads of freezing rain Saturday night: I had to chip my way through this half-inch layer of ice on my car before I could drive to the gym. It was great. And, with the garbage weather, the bulk of RIT Tiger Battalion’s joint FTX (field training exercise) got canceled, and we came home early after some M-16 shooting, and then did a few platoon operations lanes (tactical practice exercises) on Saturday closer to RIT, instead. So I was still wading knee-deep through nearly freezing water, but at least it was closer to home!

On the platoon lanes, I also got my first crack at being Platoon Leader! I really felt the pressure of the command responsibility, but, I had a great support team of my PSG (platoon sergeant,) RTO (radio telephone operator,) and squad leaders, and overall I conducted a pretty good OPORD (operation order) briefing, and ambush. I have room for improvement in handling myself and my unit better under pressure when the pretend bullets start flying, but, that will come with experience and more mental rehearsal. My grasp on the level of small unit infantry tactics required of me is generally good. So bottom line, I’m feeling a lot more confident for ROTC Advanced Camp this Summer!

Now, the main thing I wanted to write about today is what I’ll be studying at RIT in the Fall. For those who are new to my blog or don’t recall me saying this before, I’m an MBA student at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Saunders College of Business. In just a few short weeks, I’ll be done with my second of four semesters of my two-year degree program!

This Spring 2018 semester, i’ve been studying Finance, Operations & Supply Chain Management, Strategic Marketing Management, and Organizational Behavior and Leadership, in addition to my ROTC Military Science studies. Overall, I’m enjoying the studies, even if the Finance and Supply Chain can require a large time commitment to master their more technical and math-heavy aspects. But my command of the three major business functions (Operations, Finance, and Marketing) is steadily growing with all the studying and projects I’m doing, and my confidence in my ability to be an effective marketing manager has grown tremendously.

Here are the classes I’ll be taking this coming Fall:

  1. Introduction to Data Analytics and Business Intelligence: Stats heavy class, learning how to analyze “the numbers” of a business and its environment to facilitate good decisions.
  2. Internet Marketing: Strategy & Tactics: Fairly self-explanatory name. This will build on my current marketing course experience, by zooming in the application of marketing concepts to Internet marketing and learning the specific tools of the trade in promoting products, services, and brands online. I’m definitely looking forward to this one!
  3. Design and Information Systems: Basically, this class is about understanding a company’s I.T. situation, and how to design an efficient and effective I.T. system for the company’s needs.
  4. Lean Six Sigma Fundamentals: Six Sigma is a methodology for improving the efficiency of business operations by reducing the number of product or service defects throughout the company’s processes. Lean Six Sigma combines that focus on defect-fixing, with the “lean operations” concept of eliminating the waste from a process. I’d heard the term “Six Sigma” for years in a kinda buzzwordy sense, but from reading more about it, it actually sounds pretty cool and useful for an aspiring manager like myself. This is also an online class, which I dig for my own efficient time management.
  5. Military Science: For Army ROTC, I take various levels of Military Science each semester. As an MSIV (Military Science IV) Cadet, (normally a college senior, but, I’m doing a 2-year grad degree,) I’ll be in the final year of this classroom military education. Also, this year my class will be taught by Lieutenant Colonel Otero, the boss of our glorious Tiger Batallion. In my experience so far, these classes aren’t too tough, but they are greatly informative of military methodology and terminology, relating to the Army’s organization, tactics, and models of good leadership.
  6. Beers of the World: Aw yeah! This and Wines of the World are greatly coveted classes, usually taken as electives, for RIT students. They fill up wicked fast, so you essentially can’t get in unless you’re a senior. I oddly never took a beer or wine class in my undergrad years, but, here I am! I get to drink beer and learn about it every Wednesday afternoon. Plus, three fellow Cadets are in there with me. (We’ll set up a little snobish Cadet corner for ourselves. Aw yeah. Elitism.)

It’s a heavy course load, and I expect to be challenged. But, on the bright side for my studies, I’ll be done with the infamously hard MSIII year and the rigors of Advanced Camp by this Fall, which will leave me more time and mental energy to focus on my studies. I could still have a lot of ROTC work to do depending what leadership position I get assigned, but I’ll find that out this Friday and cross the bridge when I come to it.

Ever upward!

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