What I Didn’t Get in my MBA

So my friend Andy messaged me on Facebook and commented that he mentioned me on his blog.  Somehow, I missed the memo that he even had a blog… so of course I jumped over and checked it out.  His blog brought two things to my attention:

1) Catching up on a blog that you care about but has been in existence even only for a few months can take a while.

2) Andy totally caught what I was missing in my MBA program at Liberty: the chance to meet people and create a network of friends and peers.

I chose Liberty because I wanted a fully online education experience.  With as much online work as I do, it was important to me that my education encompass the very same strengths and weaknesses that my career might have.

Where Liberty totally missed the boat is creating any kind of social structure for us.  There was interaction, but it was all just names and assignments for 90% of the classes.  There were no faces put to names, no conversations outside the flow of the assignment, and no way to keep in natural contact after the completion of a course (or the program).

I think this is a vital part of the Master’s experience: to be able to learn from, lean on, and grow with your peers.  There should be a camaraderie between us.  We should care about how the knowledge helped us a group.  I should be able to share about new media with the hr guy and i should be able to learn from the military men that I took classes with.  But Liberty dropped the ball and didn’t set anything like that up for us.

I feel like I missed out on a lot of great people because of this; whereas I walked away from my undergrad with friends for life and social growth, I leave my MBA program with too few new friends and contacts.  This is an issue that must be addressed by online learning programs.

I could take some of the blame onto myself and say that I didn’t try hard enough to build the relationships.  However, trying to force something like that to happen when you’re in the throws of course work, full time employment, being a husband, having friends, etc etc… it just isn’t going to come if it takes effort upon effort.

Now that I’m done, I wouldn’t mind going back and tracking down some of the cohorts that I thought were interesting, intelligent people.  But it’s too late as the classes are closed and none of us will likely ever check our Liberty University email addresses again.  Sigh.

So enjoy your classmates, if you ever get the opportunity to take a Master’s program.  They are a key element you don’t want to miss.

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