Thank you for visiting my MBA blog!

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It’s been about two months since I officially finished MBA school, but it seems many are still interested in Rotman MBA and my journey (unless you’re a marketer trying to sell something through blog searches), so thank you so much for coming!

Just as how much help and support I received from my school and I learned from my classmates, it’s my hope to continue to support and provide help to prospective students, just the way I was given help and advice by existing students at that time when I had no idea how MBA worked and if I can even get in.

I welcome any questions through my LinkedIn as well as official email at joshua.oh16@rotman.utoronto.ca. If you’re also pretty chill, you can even facebook message me, while you’ll have to look me up as I don’t want to publicly disclose my Facebook account here.

The best way to search, of course is to take advantage of various services and info sessions that our admission services provide. I will occasionally drop by this blog and continue to provide support!

-JOSH JONGMU OH

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What I’ve been up to

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I don’t believe it.

2nd year MBA is already almost half way there!

Compared to 1st year, 2nd year goes real, real fast and I need to find a job too.

Let’s just go over how my 2nd year looks like so far.

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  1. Gym

Nope. I paid for this membership (part of tuition fee) and I’m making such a great use of it. It’s just that now that I’m only taking three classes this term,  I come to school less often, which is pity (excuses excuses excuses).

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2. Morning and evening class

One class is at 630pm and the other is at 7am…I’m not kidding. 7AM!!

which means I wake up at 530am, try to do my morning thingys (?), and come to class like a zombie…passionate zombie though as this is the class I’m actually learning from (network and digital strategy).

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Meanwhile, I’ve also been doing some job researches for gaming companies, fixing my resumes, do a few coffee chats. I really should start kicking.

Clubs Fair…once again from last year…except that I’m on the other side of a table

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It was just about a year ago when I posted my excitement about attending the Rotman clubs fair and how I had no idea what each club was.

View my last year’s post here

and before realizing, I am now already a 2nd year and I am now where they were on the other side of the table!

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2nd years had a welcome-back brunch and had chances to catch up.

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There was a feeling of nostalgia when I was quietly walking inside the empty Desautels Hall. Sometimes there is so much excitement here and sometimes it’s quiet. So much time had been put into this by all the 2nd year students.

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and all of a sudden, the hall is jam packed.

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Some snacks we gave out as Rotman Health and Wellness club.

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At least in the present, you might be thinking what the value of clubs is, but perhaps after a few years, maybe 5 or 10, or even 20, when you recollect your memories from MBA, it is my hope that you have something to take away from and can say that you were very busy, but learned a lot through clubs.

Join the club.

Officially a 2nd year student!

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Before realizing, 2nd year at Rotman is finally here. It’s only a first week, but here’s what’s different so far.

  1. Take courses that you want.

First year mandatory courses still come as extremely useful for an engineering student such as myself, but also very stressful at the same time. I am taking only courses that I want that will directly help me with a career I want.

2.  Fulltime job search pressure is on…!

Finally, it’s your first moment to shine and make a career transition or go for that great jobs that you want for a better future! (or to pay off the tuitions…). There are currently many jobs being posted on a career website, but it is also very important to do a personal search based on the LAMP list if you know what I mean.

3. More free time

It really depends on students. I intentially took two summer courses in summer and am planning to take two intensives during upcoming Winter, which means I’m taking…3…three fun courses this semester. But, that doesn’t mean that I can chill all I want (while I’m writing this blog post after a relaxing nap). I still have certifications to study for to qualify for jobs I want, take extra courses from MOOC and prepare for upcoming full marathon this October.

That’s about it so far. I took one class yesterday and it was very engaging and fun. I’m hoping that rest of the classes are as engaging and interactive.

I will end this post with a photo of a grilled pork chop I recently had to remind me to eat something nice when I’m stressed during school.

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10 Things I wish I Knew Before Starting MBA

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We signed up for MBA for many reasons and no matter what our goals are, we obviously want to spend great two years (or three) during MBA (it is a lot of investment after all!).

After one year of MBA, I’ve experienced success, but also numerous failures. Certainly, I said to myself many times that I would be more diligent and successful than undergrad days, but things didn’t work out smoothly all the time whether it’s because of me or many external factors.

While I do not regret…(ok I do regret a bit here and there)…mostly how I made choices in my 1st year MBA, below are top 10 things which I wish I knew before starting my 1st year that would have made my life perhaps easier or me a better person. The list is intended for prospective MBAs of any schools (especially if you’re coming from gmatclub.com), but some could be Rotman MBA-specific, which I indicated separately.

It’s totally a personal opinion of course and some might disagree, but oh well.

I WISH…

1. I spent more time travelling and meeting friends and families.

A lot of homework. group work. case competitions. drinking. networking. resume building. Sometimes I’m not even sure how my 1st year passed by. Preparing for MBA studies is important, but do make sure you spend some quality time with your buddies and families.

Suggestion: Visit a different country. Get drunk (you will be anyway, but like more relaxed I guess). Go to a cottage with a family. You will have less time to do these especially if you will be moving to a new place for MBA.


2. I practiced how to use an Excel, especially pivot tables, and creating charts.

I never knew how important to be able to play around with data efficiently. Regardless of your educational or professional background, knowing basic excel will help you a lot with homework and most especially for hunting internships.

Suggestion: Take a basic excel course online, or borrow excel books from libraries. Learn how to create basic pivot tables and be familiarized with manipulating data. There are prep courses on excel too by school too.


3. I knew that I’m not the best (duh)

I was #1 in my highschool calculus class, but as soon as I started undergrad engineering, I was in bottom 10 of the class (uh…would be a lie if I did study a lot). The point is, wherever new places you go, there are people better than you, or I should say people who are more knowledgeable and wiser in certain areas. World is wide and there are always people who come from different experiences which you can’t comprehend or understand. Confidence and arrogance are two different things.

Suggestion: Share what you’re best at, and learn what you’re missing.  Most importantly, don’t try to become that person. Be who you are and let geniuses pass. You are not that genius and you can be a genius of your own.


4. I did not undermine my classmates’ opinions because my major/professional experience is more related to a certain task.

Related to #3. Besides various technical and soft skills, what I am learning the most, is humility. Just because I come from a certain industry does not 100% mean my ideas are accurate in that area and in fact, I was surprised to see that often my classmates and buddies are a lot more thoughtful, and knowledgeable in my areas and brought great insights during group work and competitions. As Chinese president Xi Jinping said, you have to really become a blank, whitepaper to be able to see things from a new perspective and appreciate others’ opinions.

Suggestion: Don’t kill your classmates/teams’ ideas just because you think it might seem outdated or ‘out of context to the situation’. Try to see if there are ways to incorporate them into the situation and if not, sincerely appreciate and see a workaround, not just pretending to listen while your eyes are onto something else.


5. I had found my own ways to relieve stress sooner.

First term MBA (Fall 2014) was extremely tough for me that I completely neglected exercising and mostly lived off poutines (Canadian) and hot dogs every night. As a result, I quickly gained back at least 8-10kg by December. Eventually, I started hitting a gym again in January, but I wish I realized sooner and continued to do so since starting MBA and then I would’ve been in a top shape right now.


6. I joined a lot of clubs (Rotman MBA-specific possibly).

Of course, club signup fees aren’t cheap and your time should be spent on things that you’re only interested in. However, you don’t get that club’s specific info sessions/workshops/interviews if you are not in the clubs. In fact, I sometimes heard about a certain event or workshops from my classmates, but I wasn’t a part of that club, so I signed up for it and it was worth it for sure.

Suggestion: If you have a doubt during clubs fair going ‘hmmm should I sign up for this…?’, just do it anyway. More information is better in my personal opinion.


7. I started looking for off-campus internship opportunities starting September.

While MBA does have career centres to help support with your internship opportunities, most likely you will be one of hundreds of students fighting for that one position and in the end, you might even be out of hands to play and applying to positions that you might not be interested in. That is of course not to say I don’t like my current internship as I am where I want to be fortunately, but I could’ve been way more efficient with my time allocation and don’t go to every single job session which some of them I just felt peer pressured because others are going.

Suggestion: Start researching for off-campus opportunities right away. Try to go to event sessions and see when that company’s internship season starts and if they do hire interns. School is there to help, but won’t spoonfeed you

8. I took basic statistics course from MOOC or pre-program.

I assure you, statistics will play a role in various aspects of your MBA.

Suggestion: Take basic stats course from the internet or pre-program.


9. I took some global programs/language learnings in consideration.

MBA is a great place to consider global opportunities and you will soon find out that Canada or North America is not the only region you can work in. There are also so many international students that you can also start doing language exchanges even. Of course when things become easy, who cares about language exchanges and stuff, I know. However, use all the possible chances to learn something new when they are there for you.

Suggestion: Consider how your MBA can also give you a different aspect/opportunity with your life in terms of your location.


10. I attended more events in Toronto, both Rotman and outside Rotman.

Honestly, there is so much to do to visit everything all the time and you just want to go to bed. However, looking back my 1st year, which one would’ve given me a more long term memorable experience, going to a cultural event/festivals in Toronto downtown, or studying until 3-4am to solve that one more question which might be on the exam, or not.

Of course I’m not discouraging perfection and effort of studying. It’s just that after 9 years of undergrad electrical engineering + 6 years of work, I’m hitting 30 in less than 2 years and I start to think more often how I will best have fun and make that time meaningful. If what you are doing right now might be the last thing in your life (owkay now I’m getting too serious, bear with me for a sentence or two lol),  you might want to think if that is indeed a valuable way to spend your time: with books or with friends/families. There is no right answer. I’ll leave this to you.

Suggestion: yep open ended answer 🙂

I’m happy to answer any questions.

-Josh

more than half of summer passed

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I just realized that I actually didn’t write anything in my blog for past 2 months at least. So why not a quick update before I forget again lol.

Is summer as a MBA student any different from when you were in undergrad?

mmmm to be honest, it doesn’t really matter to me as I am from engineering co-op undergrad major with no concept of summer vacation, but it is definitely time when you can readjust your pacing and think about what you want to do. This could be my first and the last official long break in my twenties probably.

What have you been doing?

A picture it worth thousand words. here it goes.

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summer intensive course (2 wks of intensive lectures and hw entire day).  that’s one less course for me in 2015-2016.

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concert.

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chill w my favorite buddies

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lift without much cardio (recently started that as well)

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old school gaming out of nowhere

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broken chair

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eat

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broken tablet which got worse after A/S.

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summer internship at a startup

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let me just mention eat one more time

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visit different school

Youth Science Academy 2015 coming soon english

organizing youth science class

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ok more concert

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preparing to go to China for school research

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all of this in Toronto

Phew

I do think maybe I’m doing too much stuff, but at least it’s keeping me busy.

I honestly can’t believe that there are less than two months before I get to go back to school…and of course the fulltime job.  lot of thoughts, lot of thoughts.

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at least let me forget all about this today and think again tomorrow.

Days pass by

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Winter is perhaps one of the most brutal or discouraging season for many including myself. Distance from the school makes commuting more difficult and makes me feel lazier with commute, but things have been alright.

There are strikes going on and final exams are coming.

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I do have to talk about the beer game which I had a chance to play recently. Created by a group of professors from MIT, the game is meant to demonstrate importance of communication, reaction to variability in inventory and decisions are important in bringing costs down. It was pretty interesting how what started simple starts to become more complicated as backorder kicks in.

Rotman Problem Solving Challenge 2015

Admission

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EDIT: Deadline for submission for this year’s RPSC2015 has been passed. Good luck all the participants!

This year’s RPSC2015 is back!

It’s an event hosted by Rotman MBA to encourage both prospective and admitted students to be engaged, have fun, and also get to know more about Rotman. Especially if you are aiming to apply in later rounds, perhaps competing in this challenge can also help improve your applications (just my personal thoughts as I was a late applicant). I personally also competed, and it was an interesting experience.

http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/Degrees/MastersPrograms/MBAPrograms/FullTimeMBA/GettingIn/AdmissionsEvents/ProblemSolvingChallenge.aspx