Choices, choices

May 19, 2009 at 7:41 pm 5 comments

This is going to be a long one and a might get a tad ranty at times.  Just preparing you.

I am a little frustrated with the amount of choices that exist out there. Sometimes, I truly believe it is a good thing, especially when it comes to vegetables as I really like some and really dislike others. But mostly, I think there are way too many choices in the world today.  When it comes to fresh foods or place to live, choice is great. But when it comes to things like mascara (I find this absolutely friggin ridiculous and no, I don’t wear any but it’s still the dumbest invention that keeps getting reinvented in what seems like every ten minutes for fuller, plumper, thicker, longer lashes. Who cares!!!) or other inane crap like that, I just don’t get it. I really don’t.

My frustration isn’t about inane stuff like makeup (less is more people – or none is even better) or anything else material like that.  It is actually about education. I know, crazy huh.  I think education, or more accurately, learning is a fantastic thing. There are many ways to pursue this – the school of life, working, school, traveling.  Whatever your path, awesome.  My path, recently, has been school and I am enjoying it immensely.  I know, you are thinking, well then what’s the beef?

Well Clara Peller (I just crack myself up), the issue is about doctoral programs.  When I was finishing my MBA in 2005 and going through the hell that was writing a 100+ page thesis within 10 weeks, I learned that it wasn’t as daunting and scary as I thought, which meant that the dream of going farther was now a possibility.  I researched about thirty different doctoral programs – both traditional and online, near and far.  It was interesting to really do this because I did not do this when I picked IU for undergrad. After we moved from Greenwood to South Bend right before 6th grade and then to Harrisonburg, Virginia the following year, I knew I would end up at IU. I never visited campus, just applied, and assumed I would get in. Whew.

I narrowed down the schools and applied to a few doctoral programs that I thought would be the best for me.  In January of 2006, I started my PhD program and even later that spring, attended a week-long colloquia.  I had made a poor choice and by the fall of that year, knew it and took a leave of absence to figure out where I went wrong.  As it turned out, it wasn’t me.  The school wasn’t challenging or rigorous enough for me and the instructors were lazy and uninvolved.  I know, I am a total dork; who complains about that stuff?!

During this time, I had become infatuated with positive psychology, reading and learning quite a bit. By the end of 2006, I was completely immersed in learning about engagement, strengths, positivity, appreciation, and feedback; just couldn’t read enough books, research, or articles.  I decided to find a doctoral program that would help push me toward this more for research and professional application (more so than my MBA program, which I tried to make more applicable especially with my thesis).  In the meantime, I found another master’s program on leadership that I really knew I would enjoy, applied, and started.  Halfway through this program, I learned of  MAPP, or Master of Applied Positive Psychology. I really wanted to get into that program too and be a part of their second cohort but I honestly wasn’t sure I wanted a third masters degree and the cost was more than I was comfortable with (mainly due to travel).  Interesting side note: Tom Rath and Yakiv Smirnoff are graduates, as well as two fellow coaching colleagues I think are amazing, Kathryn Britton and Senia Maymin.

I began exploring alternative doctoral programs again, as I firmly decided that I wasn’t going to go for a third masters no matter how much I wanted to learn about the topic academically.   I found a PhD program at Claremont University in California that was just starting a positive psychology program in the summer of 2007 but sadly, not a lot of desire to move to California, program was not quite exactly a fit nor did I want be a full-time doctoral student.  I could not find a hybrid program that would allow an adult learner to remain working but still be devoted academically. So I found the next best program I could find that would allow me the freedom to pursue the research topics I wanted while still being in a concentration that would be applicable long-term.

Again, you ask what’s the beef then? I started one PhD program and took five courses that despite my efforts and good grades were not allowable to the 2nd program. Doctoral programs don’t accept work from other doctoral programs it seems.  I started an EdD program this past fall and am three courses into it and have attended a residency already. The program is going well enough, no major complaints about the instructors, program, or rigor.

But Bellevue University, a school that is practically in my backyard and one that I recently joined as an instructor, has a PhD program that would be perfect for my long-term research and professional pursuits.  The press release about the program was in mid-July and I believe has five doctoral students in it so far, so it’s a fairly young program and not one I was aware of during my last program search.  Do I start over – again? Won’t there be continual educational evolution?  Will another ‘perfect’ choice show up a few years from now? Why is that some of the leaders in the industry seem to have found their research calling despite having started in one program a decade or two ago? I know I am not a researcher in the sense that they are, but organizations will be my laboratory so there is some equivalence.  Does the program matter in the long run? Is it more about the issues you are studying and less about the coursework?  Any thoughts or impressions from a neutral perspective??


Entry filed under: Books, Miscellania, Relationships, Saturation, school, thoughts, Who is?. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Choices, choices  |  May 19, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    […] Original post by anissastein […]

  • […] Read the rest here: Choices, choices […]

  • 3. Ashley  |  May 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    What is the difference between one online MBA and One Year Online MBA ? Are all online MBAs one year MBA ? Please help me..

    • 4. anissastein  |  May 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm

      Hi! Online MBA’s are as demanding as traditional programs. Most masters programs are approximately 14 months up to a year depending on the program rigor, content, thesis, etc. The time element is a personal choice based on what you are looking for in a program.

      Some things to consider – is the school regionally accredited? Do you know anyone who has gotten a masters degree in a program you are interested in – if so, ask them what they liked best about it and what they would have changed. Does the program have a capstone project or a thesis component at the end – this is a great thing in a program but not all masters program have them. Both of mine had a thesis and I am happy that I had the opportunity each time, despite the challenge.

      There are some fantastic programs and would encourage you to look at the kind of programs you are interested – MBA with a concentration in HR, or International/Global management, or Project Management, or Marketing, Human Capital, Strengths, etc. Based on the concentration that you are interested, you can concentrate your search.

      Let me know how else I can help! Anissa

  • 5. Ashley  |  May 23, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Actually most of my friends either did their MBAs directly after graduation or later after leaving their jobs.No one is following the online method. Do online MBAs provide with full time degree certifictes ? Any examples of such MBA schools?


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