Albers is accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. As of July 2014, less than five percent of the world’s business schools and less than one third of U.S. business schools have achieved business accreditation from AACSB.
Welcome to our first issue of Bridge Banter. Rather than overwhelm you with lots of emails, I will try and keep that number down by sending you an update every two weeks with critical announcements, updates, and “gossip.” Bridge staff, faculty, and alums will also be kept updated on what is going on in the program. If you would like me to add anything to the newsletter, just email. I will also post to the Bridge Canvas page. (I just took a Canvas course, so I am eager to try all the tools!)
One of the more important events this week is the Albers Mentor Fair on Friday, October 3. Please go to the Albers Placement Center webpage at http://www.seattleu.edu/albers/programs/mentor/. There is important information about how to participate and a list of the mentors. You can filter to see which of the mentors have specifically requested Bridge MBA students. As of last week, there were 19 Bridge mentors from a diverse selection of industries and functional areas.
Back by popular demand is Professor Bryan Ruppert. Next Tuesday and Thursday, October 7 & 9, Dr. Ruppert will be presenting the mandatory Fall quarter Business Communications Seminar. Employers tell us that communications is one of the most important skills that students should develop before they start their professional careers. The seminars are 10:30-noon. Tuesday is in CHDN 143, and Thursday is CHDN 144. Attendance is required at both sessions. We won’t be able to provide lunch, but you will have plenty of time to run over to the Student Center before your afternoon class.
Several students have asked about completing the EXCEL certification exam. It is a great resume addition. We are a certified testing center. You can find out more about the certification exam at http://www.seattleu.edu/albers/undergraduate/resources/excel/. It is on the undergraduate website because Albers requires that all Albers undergraduates be EXCEL certified before they graduate. Many graduate students also want this opportunity.
Don’t forget to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and set-up an appointment to discuss your experiences and any challenges you might be having in the program.See you Friday at the Albers Mentor Fair!Best,Susan WeihrichAssociate Dean and Bridge MBA Director
In my entire academic career (this includes
everything prior to grad school) I have never had to take summer classes. This
has changed since the start of my summer quarter in the Bridge MBA program.
With this quarter being all that stands in the way of me obtaining my master of
business administration degree, I can honestly say I have no problem spending
my summer inside the classroom for the first time. This will be the last
quarter I will spend with my classmates, which makes me a little sad as I have
grown close to these people over the course of the year. This is not to say I
am not also excited to complete the quarter as it is the final stretch before I
cross the finish line. I am sure when August 16th comes and I will
be graduating, it will be quite the bittersweet moment.
Often summer classes have a stigma to them which can
be negative. People usually take them to make up for credits, or because they
have to in order to graduate on time. The last thing someone wants to be doing
over summer break is to be taking more classes. For me, this is not true this
time. There is no place I would rather be than on campus learning from Seattle
University’s amazing staff of business professors. Though there will be days
when I look outside and wish I was outside, I will be happy in knowing that
what I am learning is essential in my future success and to completing my
degree which is less than two months away. This quarter I will be working with
a group of four other students as we partake in our Capstone which is a
consulting project for a startup. The Capstone focuses on strategy and Michael
Porter’s five forces. I am looking forward to taking the knowledge I gain from
this course and applying it to my future career one day.
This quarter I expect my cohort to become closer
with one another than we already are. With the end in sight, we know we won’t
be spending as much time with one another and we are planning on hanging out
much more outside of the classroom. The nice weather will make this easier.
There is no more beautiful place to spend summer than in Seattle even if it
will be inside for some of the time. Who knows, maybe we can convince some of
our professors to lecture outside every once in awhile.
By: Roger Pierce, 2014 Bridge MBA candidate
Throughout the Bridge MBA program, students are
required to partake in “co-curricular activities” which are business related
activities that must be completed along with our courses in order to graduate.
One of these co-curricular activities was an Executive Speaker Series put on by
the Albers School of Business and Economics in which prominent figures of a
company (most of the time the CEO) come and give a one hour lecture to a large
audience. During winter quarter I wrote a blog reflecting on my experience at Ray
Conner’s Executive Speaker Series who is the CEO of Boeing Commercial
Airplanes. This past Tuesday marked the last of the Executive Speaker Series. I wanted to use this blog to reflect on my
positive experiences with the event and how I believe it has been a great asset
to my Masters in Business Administration.
Throughout the year, my classmates and I have
attended seven lectures from prominent business figures in the Northwest. My
personal favorite was hearing from Brad Tilden who is the CEO of Alaska
Airlines. Not only did I enjoy listening to him because we graduated from the
same high school (shout out to Highline High), but I also enjoyed how genuine
and honest of a person he was. Now, I could write a great amount about each
speaker, as they were all phenomenal, but I wanted to focus more on the
benefits I have gained from attending this series. The first benefit is the
exposure I have received from hearing about different industries and how they
function. I will be honest, there were some lectures where I decided right then
and there that industry was not for me, and I would not have known that had I
not attended. Also, getting to see a CEO speak in person is pretty cool
exposure too. It is not every day you
get the chance to listen to the head of a company in person.
The second benefit I have gained is more specific to
each lecture. Every speaker gave a piece of valuable advice that I know I will
take with me as I enter my career. Mr.
Conner’s advice that I still hold with me is to “be nice to everyone you meet.”
It is such a simple gesture; yet, so hard to do sometimes. The final benefit I
have gained from this series was more time to get to know my classmates. The
lecture series did not start until 5:30 which gave our cohort two hours to hang
out, grab a drink if people wanted to, and talk about other things besides
class. It gave us more time to bond and
grow closer. At the end of the summer when I reflect on my degree, the
Executive Speaker Series will definitely be an aspect I’ll look at as one of
the more influential.
By: Roger Pierce, Bridge MBA candidate 2014
Not the most exciting blog title, but there's
something you must know about Microsoft Excel and how it relates to the Bridge
MBA program. You use it, you learn it, and you will love it. Spring Quarter
requires the completion of a Financial Modeling course in which many of the
functions you probably never heard of are put to use. I have been greatly
tested in this class and could not be more thankful.
The course has required my classmates and I to take
a word problem (of all kinds, but mostly financial) and implement the answer
into a flexible and easy to use workbook. By flexible I mean our workbooks are
able to have inputs manipulated but still produce similar outputs (similar in
that the process the workbook uses is fixed, therefore inputs can be changed to
give different outputs but are obtained in the same manner). Now, before you to
sleep because I know this has not been my most exciting blog; I want to speak
of the benefits this class has presented and will present in the future.
Microsoft Excel is a vital tool used all across the
business world that has become a necessity for companies and many of
their job functions. Having experience with Microsoft Excel has become a
requirement for many jobs available these days and this class has provided
me with valuable experience with this tool many companies use quite
regularly. Learning Microsoft Excel has been no walk in the park, but the
challenge has been quite enjoyable. There have been many times when I do not
know where to start when it comes to creating a workbook, but once I begin to
apply the concepts I have learned in class it makes solving the problem at hand
much easier. The advanced knowledge I continue to learn about Microsoft Excel
will be a great asset to me in the future and I continue to enjoy learning more
and more about it.
Spring quarter in the Bridge MBA
program has challenged me in a manner I have never been academically challenged before. Part of the quarter’s curriculum is a Business Ethics course
where we learn about ethical philosophies in regards to business and attempt
to understand these philosophies within specific case studies. The reason I find
this course difficult is by no means the structure or the workload, but because of the ethical
dilemmas present in the cases we read. At times
I find myself defending a corporation whose business practices are very questionable because there is no written law or code that specifies the need to act differently and
philosophy defends their conduct. I am then presented with another case where
philosophy may defend the business' practices; however, I disagree
completely with what the company is doing.
Ethics is an extremely difficulty
endeavor to tackle in the business world and this class is opening my eyes. Though I am forced to look at a difficult case, analyze it, and make a
decision on the matter where no “right” answer exists, I am very happy I am
being put into this situation in a theoretical sense. Seattle University is
preparing me for these ethical dilemmas, which are more than likely to
arise in my business career. Once I complete this class, I am confident I will
be able to understand unethical behavior, know the root cause, and present
realistic solutions. I am discovering through
this class that there are certain practices I will not stand for in a company and if
a company engages in these practices I know I do not want to work there. The
hardest part about this course is having your eyes opened to the unjust and
terrible things that happen in the world. That is why I am happy Seattle
University values an ethically driven business curricula. They are training
future business leaders in a manner that will hopefully encourage just and ethical conduct.
I enjoy the challenge of learning
about business ethics, because though it can be hard at times, I understand its
necessity. I understand that these difficult issues are not going to go away
unless students like myself take our ethically driven education and put it to
use. This is not to say students like myself will be the ones defining what is
right and wrong; however, it is to say we will be the ones who are able to
identify what is clearly wrong and
what can be done to make it right.
Spring break has come and gone and I
find myself in the midst of my third quarter of the Bridge MBA program. I am
half way to my degree and I could not be any more excited about it! These
past quarters have been challenging, but very rewarding. I am more than happy
with my decision of pursuing my MBA at Seattle University and I could not be
more proud of my accomplishments, thus far.
Winter quarter ended the
same way it started, busy. Many of my classmates and I have discussed how last
quarter was one of the more challenging and time consuming quarters we have
faced in our academic careers. In my opinion, it was challenging in a different
way than one might think. In my previous blog, I spoke about the art of group projects
inevitably found in all business curriculums. It is within these projects where
I think most of the challenges arose. Coordinating schedules and devoting much
of your outside class time to projects can be (and was) hard work. This is not
to discourage you from wanting to apply to the Bridge MBA program, as I am
happy that I obtained these experiences prior to entering my future career.
Winter quarter was a valuable quarter as it prepared me for the workload that
will, more than likely, be similar to my job one day. As thankful as I am that
winter quarter is over, I am just as thankful for the hard work I had to put
in. Without this hard work, I don’t believe I would have grown as much as I
This is not to knock on
fall quarter at all as that quarter presented challenges and learning
opportunities, as well. However, I am a little biased as I did discover through
winter quarter that supply chain management is the field I want to go into one
day. This has changed drastically from two years ago when I believed that I
wanted to be an Audiologist. I majored in Speech and Hearing Sciences at my
beloved alma mater, the University of Washington, and was challenged
academically there, as well. People always ask me what the differences are
between the two schools and I always find it hard to answer. For one,
undergraduate studies and graduate studies are different in their own right.
That fact alone skews my understanding of their differences so I really cannot
give a justified answer. And two, business presents different challenges than a
science degree and vice versa. There are some things I think were hard from my
undergraduate studies like neuroanatomy, but there are also things that I think
are hard from my graduate studies like accounting. Yes, accounting is just as
difficult for me as understanding neuroanatomy. I actually got a better grade
in my neuroanatomy course than I did my accounting course.
But I digress. The real reason I am
writing this blog is because I want to let you know that it has been a long
journey in higher education. I didn’t have to pursue my MBA at Seattle
University. I’m sure most of you are having difficulty deciding whether or not
you should even apply. I hope this blog can put to rest some of the fears and
doubts you may be having. I absolutely questioned whether or not this program
was worth my time and my money while I was applying. And I’ll be honest with
you; I even had my doubts at the start of the program when classes had already
begun. Was this worth it? Will it pay out? But doubts and questions are
natural, especially early on. But with two quarters under my belt and two more
left until my graduation, my doubts cease to exist. Seattle University has an
amazing curriculum, amazing professors, and an astounding amount of business
connections. I cannot tell you specifically where this degree will take me down
the road; all I know is that I’m happy with the route it’s taking.
As winter quarter draws to an end, I
find myself in the midst of completing four group projects for four different
courses. Add this number to the three group projects from the previous quarter
and my grand total is seven group projects in six months. You can pretty much
call me a group project master at this point. Okay maybe not a master, but you
see the trend. The Bridge MBA program provides many opportunities for group
work in the form of reports, presentations, and analyses. My classmates and I
have grown accustomed to this style of work, helping us to prepare for our
Each quarter my classmates and I are
divided into different study groups (4-5 members in size), giving us the
opportunity to work alongside different people. These study groups are then the
same groups used by our professors for group projects, which makes it easier to
juggle the many different projects going on at one time during the quarter.
This is nice because it gives us the ability to work on different projects at
one time (in some cases) and not have to worry about meeting with different
people at different times. Schedules conflict enough as it is at times, so it
is nice to only have to schedule around 3 or 4 other people’s schedules for
four projects, instead of many other people’s schedules for separate projects.
As you can imagine with four
projects, my group has had to meet many times during the quarter. Often times
we meet before class once or twice a week and occasionally after class to touch
base and possibly work on other aspects of a project. As the due dates for
these projects become closer, we have scheduled a couple of weekends in advance
to meet and spend a few hours dedicated to organizing, outlining, and
practicing presentations. This group time is great because it gives us all a
chance to bounce ideas off of one another, makes us feel productive in our
completion of project milestones, and allows us to rely on one another for
aspects of the course we might not grasp as well as another group member. This
is not to say we meet for every
aspect of each project. Both of my groups from each quarter have been good
about delegating different aspects of the group work that can be completed
individually. Often times it does not make sense to meet to work on something
we could all be working on separately.
The biggest thing I have learned
from this group work is selflessness. I will not lie to you, there are times
where I am so exhausted from class that the last thing I want to do is meet
with my group about a project. I am probably not the only person in my group
who feels that way. However, in those moments I suck it up and remember that
the meeting is important to more people than just me. Everyone in my group is
sacrificing something in order to complete our project; time that can be spent
elsewhere (with family, friends, doing homework, etc.) or energy that can also
be spent doing something else. At the end of the day, each student knows we are
all in these projects together and sacrificing something in order to meet. This
aspect makes group work much easier and much more enjoyable.