I have a vision and several goals in my mind for this blog, one of which is to build credibility for my current school, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. This college is my fourth in the past five years and will hopefully be my last one for my undergraduate career. I graduated from the uber-prestigious Boston Latin School in 2002 and enrolled at the University of Southern California that year in their Business Scholar program (which allows freshmen to begin taking business classes, 2 years ahead of the regular track, they’ve recently adjusted their degree program to allow all freshmen to immediately enroll in the business school).
Although I had an amazing time at USC, I decided to transfer to a more competitive business school, and enrolled the next year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I performed poorly there in a few classes outside the business major (due to poor attendance more than anything else) and was thus denied admission the the Kenan-Flagler business school, even though I performed extremely well in my business classes (usually in the top 2-3 of the class). Due to the Kenan-Flagler’s inflexibility and personal issues I was struggling with at the time, I decided to withdraw from UNC-Chapel Hill in the middle of Spring 2005 semester and move back home to Boston.
I then worked some odd jobs, such as loading trucks in a Home Depot warehouse and valeting at the Boston Harbor Hotel (a very nice hotel in Boston, highly recommenced for anyone with the money to splurge) before landing a job temping at the State Street Corporation (here’s the wiki on SSC) in Quincy, MA (my second stint at State Street, I also worked for them for a very short time as a high school intern many years ago) in October 2005. SSC is a global custodian (basically a bank for mutual funds and other institutional investors) with nearly $11 trillion assets under custody and $1.5 trillion assets under management. I came into SSC to assist in finalizing the integration of Deutsche Bank’s custodial business onto State Street’s books, which was acquired in March of 2003. Being an accounting and finance geek, I was very happy to be working on such a high-profile project.
Having stabilized my professional life and found a job I enjoyed, I decided it was a good time to go back to school part-time and enrolled in two online classes at UNC-Chapel Hill, Management Accounting and a Communications class. I was considering, at the time of re-enrolling at UNC-Chapel Hill as I wanted to prove to the school, myself, and friends and family that I could earn a degree from their Kenan-Flagler school.
After doing a lot of thinking, I decided it was impractical to go back to UNC-Chapel Hill as it would add to my massive debt (whereas if I stayed at SSC, they would cover the cost of tuition) and add a lot of stress to my life as I had a multitude of problems with UNC-CH’s administration. I stayed un-enrolled until SSC’s tuition benefits would kick in, 6 months after my hire date. On April, 10, 2006 I became a full-fledged State Street employee and would become eligible for tuition benefits in 6 months.
I then took two classes at Northeastern University in Boston, Financial Reporting & Analysis and Business Law in the second half of the Fall 2006 semester (both courses were 6 week intensive courses). I originally wanted to take classes at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, but my tuition reimbursement eligibility did not kick until after the Umass-Amherst classes already started for the Fall ’06 semester.
Finally, I come to my point for this post; I’m currently enrolled in the online Bachelor’s degree of Business Administration, with a focus on Management, at Umass-Amherst. Due to my extensive experience with college coursework at multiple institutions, I can be a great evuluator of the effectiveness of the online program at Umass-Amherst (although admittedly biased). My thesis is that the educational value of my Umass coursework will at least match the value I received from USC, UNC-Chapel Hill and Northeastern.
I’ll be posting essays, solutions and other classwork from my previous and current classes in the Education section. I’ll also periodically comment on my progress in posts. I welcome any comments on the coursework I post in the Education section and will eventually formulate a conclusion. If I find that the value of the online program is lacking, I will let everyone know, but so far after completing one course and currently taking two courses, the evidence is supporting my thesis. In fact, the Principles of Management course I already completed was one of the most educational classes I’ve ever taken!