First-Year EMBA Student Reports on Class Activity

It’s been a long first year for our EMBA Class of 08, but the end
is in sight. Having just finished a weekend of exams, the class enjoyed some
much-needed social time during their most recent class meeting in Philadelphia.

We checked in with first-year student Chris Casgar, WG’08, who is the VP for Global Technology Architecture at Ahold, to see what is going on with our EMBA Class 32. Here’s what Chris tells us.

"We have just one half term to go until year one is over,
and getting to the end of year one is quite an accomplishment. In our first
term, we didn’t know what to expect. We were all trying to figure out how we
fit in, measured up, and what this new school experience meant to our lives. We
all entered the program with different personal, career and academic objectives
and none of us knew how much effort was required to achieve them. Not until our
first round of grading did we know whether our investments were paying off. At
some point, I think all of us had to reevaluate our priorities and adjust
levels of effort. This sense of experimentation
continued through the second term, but by the third term, I think we all started
to stabilize a bit.

"Since we are at school every other weekend, we tend to
manage our work in two-week chunks. In our daily routines, we’re all
doing some amount of schoolwork, often communicating with classmates through
email or IM — chatting about classes, projects, and assignments for the upcoming
school weekend. On class weekends, I commute with my learning team (we’re all
from Boston), and we’re able to use that time to do some school work. There’s a lot of
collaboration, both on group and individual assignments.

"We really enjoy spending time together, and we look forward
to it. Two weeks ago, we had a midterm for Corporate Finance and a final exam
for one of our half-term Marketing courses, so any free time was spent studying.
However, this past weekend, we had no major assignments due, so we took
advantage of the free time. The EMBA
office planned a dinner at the aquarium, and many of my classmates brought
their families in for the event. Those
of us without families in the area used the opportunity to explore restaurants
in Philadelphia. Some of us even went bowling (note: Wharton MBAs are generally not strong

"There’s no compromising here — we’re full-time students and
full-time employees. It’s a tremendous amount of work, but it’s also a lot