Review of Introduction to Corporate Finance

I just posted my review of of Wharton’s Introduction to Corporate Finance Coursera course under the Curriculum section of this site.

Wharton's Intro to Finance, part of the Wharton Foundations series

Wharton’s Intro to Finance, part of the Wharton Foundations series

Perhaps this review of Intro to Corporate Finance is a touch premature, being that I haven’t received my official Statement of Accomplishment yet, but it should arrive in short order so I figured I could go ahead and review the course.  FYI – I did complete this class in its entirety.

 

Let me know what you think!

Review of Introduction to Operations Management

I just posted my review of of Wharton’s Introduction to Operations Management Coursera course under the Curriculum section of this site.

Intro to Operations Management, part of the Wharton Foundations series

Intro to Operations Management, part of the Wharton Foundations series

Perhaps this review of Operations Management is a touch premature, being that I haven’t received my official Statement of Accomplishment yet, but it should arrive in short order so I figured I could go ahead and review the course.  FYI – I did complete this class in its entirety, via the practitioner track.

 

For those of you who also took this class, did you take the academic track or the practitioner track?

 

If you took the academic track, I’m really interested to hear what you thought of it.  Please leave some feedback in the comments below so those of us who took the practitioner track can see what it was like.

 

Those of you who also took the practitioner track, what did you think of the Coursera Operations Project?

 

Regardless of which track appeals to you, if you’re thinking of taking this class (if it is offered again), I highly recommend it.  I think this is one of the most practical, applicable courses on Coursera.  It is certainly the most directly applicable class I have taken yet as part of my Homemade MBA project.

 

Good luck!

Review of International Organizations Management

I just posted my review of of University of Geneva’s International Organizations Management Coursera course under the Curriculum section of this site.

IOM 3

I apologize for the delay, as I completed this course some time ago, but have only now gotten around to writing this review.

 

As I didn’t discuss my Homemade MBA project in the discussion forums of this class, I don’t know that many of my International Organizations Management classmates are familiar with this site.  However, if some of you are reading this, what did you think of the class?

 

For those of you out there that are considering taking this class in the future, I recommend reading my full review of the class before enrolling so you can determine if it really meets your needs or not.  If you do end up taking the class, please let me know what you think, and if your experiences differ from mine!

 

Good luck!

Homemade MBA Progress Report: December 8, 2013

It was smooth sailing this week, with no major surprises or milestones.  I kept pace with my current classes, and wrote my review of Wharton’s Intro to Financial Accounting.

 

This week’s Gantt chart:

Homemade MBA Progress Report: December 8, 2013

Homemade MBA Progress Report: December 8, 2013

Here is my class-by-class breakdown of last week:

  • Operations:  (Same as last week) I left this class as 99% complete because technically, I still have to submit 5 more peer evaluations for the last module of the Coursera Operations Project.  However, these evaluations are not available until December 9, so I must wait until then to complete the last step.
  • Marketing:  I completed the Week 8 videos and took the third Quiz this week.  I am nearing the finish line in this class, with only one week of videos and the final exam remaining.  As far as I know, I will finish Marketing next week.
  • Corporate Finance:  I got a slight reprieve from Corporate Finance this week as we were back to the normal videos-and-a-homework routine after last week’s bout with that Case Study.  I’m getting a little nervous for the Final Exam, though, as the videos this week are implying that it will be a timed exam, and that we’ll have to be on top of our game to finish the exam in the allotted time.  TBD if the Coursera version will also be timed.  Let’s hope it isn’t.
  • Leadership through Emotional Intelligence:  I spent some time working on Leadership this week, and was able to cover a lot of ground.  I caught up with the discussion posts, “personal learning assignments”, quizzes, readings, and videos for Weeks 4, 5, and 6.  I still am in the process of writing my “personal vision,” but I hope to finish it this week.  This brings me back up to pace with this class, which I had been putting off for the last week or two.

 

This was a pretty calm week.  Or, perhaps it just seemed that way in comparison to the workload of the Corporate Finance case last week?  I am kind of dreading the Corporate Finance final exam next week.  Who knows, maybe it won’t be that bad?  I’ll let you know what I think next week.  Also, next week I hope to write my review of Wharton’s Intro to Operations Management.

Review of Wharton’s Intro to Financial Accounting

I just posted my review of Wharton’s Intro to Financial Accounting Coursera course under the Curriculum section of this site.  For the record, I did complete this course in its entirety.  I watched every video, laughed at (or rolled my eyes at) every Accounting joke or pun, and got to know my virtual classmates and their crushes.  (Note, for those of you reading this that didn’t take the course, please ignore the previous sentence).

 

Fellow Accounting Courserians – what did you think??

My virtual classmates celebrate completing Accounting

My virtual classmates celebrate completing Accounting

For those of you out there that were in this course with me, what did you think of it?  What did you think of Prof. Bushee?  What did you think of the virtual students, the exams, or anything else?  I’d love it if you would read my review and let me know what you think.  Write your thoughts in the comments section below the page, so we can all add our two cents/pence/øre/etc.

 

Future Accounting Courserians – take this class!

Accounting course page

For those of you who didn’t take Intro to Financial Accounting this time, stay tuned to Coursera because I think it will be offered again soon.  In his final “goodbye” video, Prof. Bushee said that he is going to work on refining and improving the content of this class and that he intends to offer it again in the future.  He also mentioned that there might be a cheap textbook to accompany it, so be on the lookout for that as well.  If you’re on the fence about whether or not to take this class – my advice is to take it!

Homemade MBA Progress Report: December 1, 2013

Corporate Finance dominated my Homemade MBA effort this week (the case study was intense!), but I was able to complete the required materials for Marketing and Leadership as well.  I also spent a considerable amount of time on the Coursera discussion boards talking about my Homemade MBA project and comparing it to those of my classmates.  It was really fun to hear that other people are doing this too, and to learn about their various approaches.  Much more on this later!

 

This week’s Gantt chart doesn’t really do my effort for this week justice (Corporate Finance!), but it shows I’m pretty much on track:

Homemade MBA Progress Report: December 1, 2013

Homemade MBA Progress Report: December 1, 2013

Here is my class-by-class breakdown of last week:

  • Operations:  I left this class as 99% complete because technically, I still have to submit 5 more peer evaluations for the last module of the Coursera Operations Project.  However, these evaluations are not available until December 9, so I must wait until then to complete the last step.
  • Marketing:  I completed the Week 7 videos this week, as well as the Quidsi case study.  Two more weeks of content and the final exam are all that is left of this consistently awesome class.
  • Corporate Finance:  Corporate Finance dominated my time this week.  I started by going back and finishing all the videos I hadn’t watched yet.  Then, it was on to the massively important (25% of the final grade) case study.  As anyone who is taking this class with me can attest to, the case study was intense!  Although only twice as many questions as the weekly homework assignments (20 instead of 10), it took me waaaay more than twice as long to complete!  I would guess that I spent roughly 12 or 13 hours on it in total.  I submitted it twice, and got full credit on my second submission, so I guess the time was worth it…but man was it a challenge!  This was the most difficult single task I have completed so far in making this Homemade MBA.  If anyone reading this also just completed the case, please let me know what you thought of it in the comments section!
  • Leadership through Emotional Intelligence:  I did Week 4 of this class this week, and will carry on with week 5 next week.  No surprises here.

 

That was quite a week.  I’m really lucky that the Corporate Finance case study was due this week.  Fortunately, I didn’t have much other work this week, and wasn’t traveling or anything like that.  If I would have been traveling, or had a particularly busy week, I wouldn’t have been able to complete the case study with the attention that it required, and my experience with Corporate Finance would have suffered as a result.  I’m not sure how much I care about the Statements of Accomplishment at the moment, but I do feel like I learned a lot by working through an entire case like that (which I would have missed out on if I didn’t have the time to dedicate to it).

 

This week, I also started publicly talking about this website.  As a result, many people brought up good points or had good suggestions, so I tried to keep up with them and the coursework throughout the week.  Over the next week, I hope to focus a little more on improving the new social media pages I just made for Homemade MBA (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter), and trying to move some of the good discussions we’re having on the Coursera forums onto those social media platforms so we can keep the conversations going after the courses on Coursera end.

 

I have to say, it has been really inspiring to see how many people are passionate about improving themselves through independent learning.  I’m sure I am only seeing the tip of the iceberg on the Coursera discussion forums, but I like what I see.

Homemade MBA is now on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!

This week, I “went public” with my Homemade MBA project!  In other words, I finally posted to the Coursera discussion forums about my Homemade MBA idea, and asked if any of my fellow students were doing the same thing, or something similar, and asked for their feedback on my approach as documented on this site.  The response has been fantastic, and I’m excited to hear that there are other people out there doing this with me.

 

A few of the comments I received asked if I had a Homemade MBA Facebook page, LinkedIn Group, or Twitter account.  Of course, it seems so obvious to me now that I should have had these social media accounts set up all along, but I didn’t.  So, I quickly created them yesterday!

 

Fb logo

Homemade MBA Facebook page

LinkedIn logo

Homemade MBA LinkedIn group

Twitter logo

Homemade MBA Twitter

 

Now, we can all discuss our Homemade MBA projects via Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter!  You can also get to these pages by clicking the icons at the top of the website.

 

I hope you will use these new channels, as well as this site, to post your feedback, share your ideas, and help each other out as we all try to make our own MBAs.

Homemade MBA Progress Report: November 24, 2013

For the first time in a few weeks, I was back at home and back to my normal routine.  My normal routine, this week, happened to be chock-full of Coursera!  I made massive progress on my homemade MBA this week, and polished off not one, but two Coursera classes.

 

Thanks to a big effort this week, my Gantt chart is back to looking pretty:

Progress Report: November 24, 2013

Homemade MBA Progress Report: November 24, 2013

Here is my class-by-class breakdown of my very productive last week:

  • Accounting:   This week I completed the video lectures for Weeks 9 and 10, the final homework assignment, and took the final exam.  In other words, I completed Accounting this week!  According to my calculation of my grade, I should receive a statement of accomplishment for this one with room to spare.  Now that I’m done, I will soon post my full review of Wharton’s Intro to Financial Accounting Coursera class in the curriculum section of the site.
  • Operations:  All went well this week, and I was able to complete everything in this class except the peer evaluations for the Coursera Operations Project.  This week I finished my own Coursera Operations Project and watched the last week of video lectures.  I have two peer evaluations left to complete (when they are available), and then this class is finished.
  • Marketing:  I completed Week 6 (Customer Centricity) of Marketing this week, and completed the second quiz as well.  This class continues to impress, and I’m looking forward to Week 7.
  • Corporate Finance:  I finished the Week 4 practice set on time this week, however I did not watch all the video lectures.  There are about 3 full hours of video lectures per week for this class because it is just recorded real-life Wharton Business School lectures.  The lengthy video content was too much for me to get through this week, so I will come back to these later when I have some more time.  This is another great benefit of a homemade MBA!
  • Leadership through Emotional Intelligence:  This week, I finally made some time for this class.  I was able to complete Weeks 2 and 3 this week, and I found them both pretty interesting.  Week 4 material is already available, and I will start there next week.

 

It feels good to be back on track with my Homemade MBA, and am happy to have completed Accounting and (basically) Operations.  Both of these classes were very good, and I learned a lot from each one.  Stay tuned for my full review of Wharton’s Intro to Accounting Coursera class, as well as Wharton’s Intro to Operations Coursera class.  When I have some free time in the next few weeks, I will write my full course review for these and post them in the Curriculum section of my Homemade MBA site.

First Impressions: Case Western Reserve’s Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence

The latecomer to my homemade MBA is Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence.  The course title and description piqued my interest, and now I have consumed a week of material here is what I think.

 

Professional video lectures

Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence (which I will shorten to “Leadership” henceforth) makes use of a very news-roomy green screen/studio setup much like Wharton’s Intro to Marketing and Darden’s Foundations of Business Strategy.  The look and feel is very high quality and polished, and I wish other universities would follow suit.

Leadership 1

Good use of video lecture features

In addition to a nice look and feel, this professor makes good use of the features available to students watching video lectures that aren’t available in class.

Leadership 2

For example, the professor introduces a question or an exercise and then asks you to “hit the pause button” while we complete the exercise or answer the question.  Then, a few seconds later, he resumes the lecture and discusses the activity you just did while the video was paused.  Basic? Yes.  Effective? Yes.  This is the right way to use a video lecture.

 

This professor is good

More specifically, this professor is a good lecturer.  In addition to making good use of the video lecture format, this professor looks right into the camera (feels like he’s making eye contact with us virtual students) and speaks to you directly.  The professor knows what he wants to say before he says it, and doesn’t ramble or go off on tangents.  It’s very obvious that he is well-prepared and focused.  The tone of the lecture is also very conversational, and it genuinely feels like a one-on-one lecture that is customized to me, the virtual student.

 

Lots of things going on

Most courses I have seen so far stick to a regularly small set of tasks per week including things like homework assignments, quizzes, and reading assignments.  This class is breaking free from the pack, and seemingly throwing every possible tool Coursera has to offer at us students.  There are homework assignments, quizzes, discussion posts (required), a final exam, something called personal learning activities, another (different) thing called action learning activities, and a course journal.  Needless to say, this is a lot to juggle and keep track of to make sure I don’t miss a deadline.

 

As with all of these First Impressions posts, please keep in mind that they are exactly that – my first impressions of a course.  It is plausible, perhaps even likely, that my first impression will be wrong and my opinion of the course will change over time.  Please read my Full Review posts about these courses (written upon completion of the course) for the full story.

Progress Report: November 17, 2013

This was my second week of business travel in a row.  I was in the UK from Tuesday – Saturday, and occupied with work-related meetings and evening events the entire time.  I am back home now, but I’m exhausted, and I only had today (Sunday) to work on my homemade MBA Coursera classes.

 

Being that I only had one real day to work on my homemade MBA this week, I prioritized my classes much like last week and focused on the material I had to completed today to avoid grade penalties.  All other work will have to wait till next week.

 

My Gantt chart is starting to run away from me a little bit, but I intend to catch up this week and next weekend.

Homemade MBA Progress Report, November 17, 2013

Homemade MBA Progress Report, November 17, 2013

Class-by-class breakdown of last week:

  • Accounting:   no progress this week.  Next week I will complete Week 9 & 10, and hopefully take the final.  If all goes to plan, I can complete Accounting next week.
  • Operations:  no progress this week.  Next week I intend to finish the Coursera Operations Project and watch the last week of video lectures.  If all goes well, I can also finish Operations next week.
  • Marketing:  I watched the Week 4 and Week 5 videos on Customer Centricity this week.  It was very interesting stuff and relevant for my job and meetings this week.  When the things I am learning from my homemade MBA help me at work, I really love my homemade MBA project!
  • Corporate Finance:  I completed Week 3 this week.  In addition to Marketing, this was the only other real Coursera work I did this week.
  • Leadership through Emotional Intelligence:  No progress this week.  I will complete Week 2/3 next week.  This is the class I am most behind in, but I’m going to try and finish off Accounting and Operations before I catch up here.  The next hard deadline in this class is November 24, so I have some time to finish the other courses and get caught up with this one.

 

While waiting at the airport(s) while traveling this week, I was also able to write up my full-text review of the University of Maryland’s Coursera Entrepreneurship class.  I posted it here in the “Curriculum” drop-down menu next to my review of the Darden Foundations of Business Strategy Coursera class.  Hope you like it!