Y’all. I’m just over 3 years post undergrad and I decided, mostly because everyone else around me was doing it and I felt FOMO???, to finally get my Master’s Degree. Now, don’t judge me for doing it because other people are doing it — I’m doing it for myself first and foremost. But everyone got me thinking that they were onto something and in 2019, it almost feels like a Bachelor’s Degree is obsolete, which just sucks. That’s not to say that they are obsolete, but so many companies, especially in Higher Education which is where I work, are looking for those advanced degrees.
Orange is the New Black. Master’s is the new Bachelor’s.
Anywho. I decided I was going to get my Master’s at the University of Colorado Denver, mostly because that’s where I work and I would get tuition reimbursement soooo, duh?? A free education, hell yeah! One requirement to get into the program I wanted, an MS in Management and Organization, was to take the GMAT and get a score of at least 500. Seems easy enough, right? Well when I commit to something, I really, genuinely commit and the last test I could get scheduled for and still apply to grad school on time came two weeks after I decided I was doing all of this.
Before I event get into it, DO NOT TRY TO TAKE THE GMAT WITHOUT MORE THAN AT LEAST A MONTH OF STUDYING. I went in, essentially cold, only having had two weeks to study through practice tests and other material I’d found online, and got a 480. A 480. I was upset as you can imagine. A 480 is embarrassing. But on the other hand, I went in with barely any studying and only scored 20 points less than what I needed….I guess it depends on how you look at life, but I was looking at it from a standpoint of, well there goes $250 for this test down the drain. What would have boosted my score up those 20 points was the math. I did so well on the reading and writing, but the math absolutely killed me. I know I’m historically very honest on this blog, but sorry, I’m not even going to tell you what percentile I fell into in the math category. It was that bad.
That all being said, if I wanted any shot to get into my desired program, I was just going to have to find another $250 and take the test again. The problem was I had my heart set on the Spring 2019 semester and I didn’t want to wait until Summer or Fall. That’s when I started looking for alternative programs that I might still have a chance at getting into with my current GMAT score, or even better, not having the GMAT as a requirement at all. Now, please don’t look at this as me giving up on CU Denver – the only reason I even considered CU Denver was because I could get 9 free credit hours per year and even then, I wasn’t totally sold on it.
That’s when I stumbled upon Colorado State University Pueblo. Is it your most prestigious school? No. Will it get the job done? YUP. Now, CSU Pueblo didn’t have the MS degree I wanted, so MBA here I come! Ya’ll, an MBA is an MBA. I can guarantee that, unless you went to Harvard or some other school that for whatever reason all the movie characters magically get into, a potential employer is not going to care where you get your graduate degree from, they’re just going to care that you have one at all. So even though I struggled with what felt like I was taking a step backward to a “lesser known” school, I decided that I was going to change my perspective to a positive one, because hey! I was gonna go and get my MBA!
Turns out, I was well above where CSU Pueblo needed me to be as far as my GMAT score and that along with my 3 years of professional work experience, undergraduate transcript with a 3.7 GPA, and letters of recommendation propelled me into acceptance rather quickly. (Excuse my humble brag of a paragraph, but I’m telling you some embarrassing things in this post, so let me have this one win).
PS, what originally attracted me to CSU Pueblo was not the admission requirements, but the structure of their MBA program. Classes start every 8 weeks, year round, and you can take up to two classes during those 8 week periods. That means I could finish my MBA in ONE YEAR. Now, THAT is what was attractive to me. Like I mentioned above — when I commit to something, I really commit. I want to start it, jump right in, and get it done.
LOLOLOL BUT GUESS WHAT. Because I completely BOMBED the math on the GMAT, CSU Pueblo needed me to take two leveling courses before starting classes: The Fundamentals of Economics (booo) and The Fundamentals of Corporate Finance (puke). So. That’s what I’ve been working on lately. Completing these two courses. I actually just completed The Fundamentals of Economics TODAY (at least at the time of me writing this). And man, it was hard. I just suck at math and any concept related to it. I can certainly manage my budget at work, but that’s the extent of math I want to be doing on a daily basis.
Each of these leveling courses has 6-7 chapters, each with a quiz at the end, and a final exam consisting of 40 multiple choice questions based on all the chapters. It felt like I was back in high school, only in high school, I was allowed a 3×5 notecard with notes on it for these tests! I got through the 6 chapters of Econ and failed my first attempt the final exam (you get 3). I went back the next day, studied and reviewed the material, and passed.
I PASSED. Barely, but it still counts!! Now I will be on to the Fundamentals of Corporate Finance, yaaayyyy. Wish me luck. Hopefully, by the time you read this, I will be completely done with these leveling courses and ready to jump into my MBA program!
Moral of this story – I’m 25 and I suck at math. And it’s made the decision to pursue my graduate degree more difficult, but certainly not impossible. I guess I’m just here to say if that’s what you want to do, there is a program out there for you or an opportunity where there might be some obstacles, but you can and you will exceed at it as long as you put in even just a little effort. That’s really all it takes.
Thanks for reading. Until next time,