Starting Ashford MBA

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by PatsGirl1, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    Hi all! Just thought I would pop back in and post an update, since it has been FOREVER since I’ve been on degreeinfo.

    I’m still going strong at Ashford! I’m on my 4th class (almost done)- should’ve been my 5th class but I had a death in the family and a 3 week trip out of the country so I had to withdraw and repeat the Quant class (yikes!)

    It is doable but is a LOT of work. I mean, a lot. I am not a procrastinator or an academic slouch and I spend quite a bit of time writing. The program is writing-intensive (Quant is the only class I’ve had to date where they had quizzes- everything else is Discussion papers and APA-formatted papers until you are sick of writing papers! Lol) I have gotten into the swing of things, so I am able to keep my grades high (save my W from the 1st Quant, I have all A’s in my classes), but I am exhausted and crabby from all of the work.

    It is strange- on the one hand, I like how much I have grown in knowledge since I started the program, and I do love that it has inspired me to go back and actually finish my B.S. in Accounting that I started way back in the day (before I did my quickie TESC B.A.) Those are both great things and I really do have the format at Ashford to thank for that. By throwing me back into school and not even attempting any “hand holding” or softness, it has made me get with the program. On the other hand, I still consistently find myself disappointed in my fellow classmates.

    Warning- rant ahead: This most likely is the case in a lot of MBA programs, but I have people in my classes who should not have graduated high school, let alone undergrad. I am learning because I CHOOSE to learn, not because my peers are inspiring me or asking any truly thought-provoking questions. Instructors are generally ok or acceptable, I had one horrible one and one great one, but the other two are mediocre. It truly is an independent learning experience. That’s fine for me- I like it that way and do just fine with it, but others may not.

    And with that, I have to go and finish writing a paper, but I’ll be back again soon!
  2. damooster

    damooster New Member

    PatsGirl1: How is the MBA program at Ashford going? I graduated from Ashford with my BA in Sociology and decided to go back for my MBA.

    Since I'm an Ashford Alum, they waived my first class. So my first class is BUS 610. Any tips? :)
  3. tennis8363

    tennis8363 New Member

    It is great seeing this thread as it provides insight into the Ashford Program. I am just wrapping up my 3rd and 4th classes, Law and Marketing. I should have never read this post because I am taking Econ and Operations Management next session and everyone has scared me with the difficulty of those classes.
  4. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Excellent replies on this thread all around. TheWalker, I think you have had your questions answered as fully as possible with perhaps one exception. I saw the post above where someone took 2 classes at once and they said it was like a full time job, that’s absolutely correct and in my opinion ill advised. I took 2 classes at once exactly 1 time and it was the single most harassed, stress filled, sleep infringing, difficult time I’ve ever had as a student and if you hold a full time job down it will very likely be too much, especially if you are taking any quantitative courses.

    I did have a few tests but they were in the Quantitative Methods leveling course (which you will likely not have to take because of your BS) and if I remember correctly I think I had one or two exams/quizzes in Managerial Accounting and/or Managerial Economics.

    Two warnings, Ashford is easy to enroll in and difficult to complete (the MBA program anyway). Though the school has an open enrollment policy there is nothing second rate about the program and rigor. Like PatsGirl1 I was somewhat unimpressed with some of my fellow classmates for the first few classes until we hit the “quantitative hump” (the popular term for the 3 to 3 quantitative courses in the middle of the program) Managerial Economics, Managerial Finance and Managerial Accounting. These courses had high dropout rates and I noticed that the final few courses of the program were a lot less crowded and the people in the courses were tired, hopeful and relieved as well as largely intelligent.

    Just a couple of thoughts.
  5. damooster

    damooster New Member

    You're scaring me! I have Quantitative Principles, then Accounting, Finance, and Management (in that order)! What was so difficult about those courses?
  6. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Don't be scared, just know what to expect. Of the three courses I found Managerial Economics to be the toughest to complete. I recommend you buy the Portable MBA in Accounting and Finance as Ashford will largely cover what is in that book. It's a quick way to a head start.

    As for Econ, there is a portable MBA on that and though I bought it, I didn't read it in time which could be why I found that course so much more difficult.
  7. rcreighton

    rcreighton New Member

    You will do fine in all of them. The key is to properly prepare for them. As friendorfoe mentioned, the Portable MBA books are great guides to utilize in addition to the course books. Take the time to read and re-read the information, consult with the Portable MBA books, allow ample time on the quantitative related portions, and do not be afraid to reach out to others in your class for assistance if needed. Managerial Economics seems to be the class that "thins out the field" in terms of class size going forward as it tends to be the most difficult of the three. Believe me, I did not consider myself a financial type of person before taking these classes but the lowest score I received of all three was a 97%. Because of this, I changed my concentration over to Finance and never looked back from there. It is not rocket science tough, just a lot of information to absorb in the time allotted for each class. Create a schedule to allocate enough time for these classes and stick to it. You will be fine and soon realize that it was the quickest 18 weeks that you ever realized. Good luck and please let us know how you are doing.
  8. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    It’s been a couple months so I thought I would check in with my honest assessment lol even though it won’t make me sound too good. I have a 3.75 GPA at Ashford but I had to withdraw from my Legal Environment class and I’ll be starting that later (wasting money in the process :( ). I’m currently in Managerial Econ and it is KILLING me. I am not stupid, nor lazy, but I am hardcore struggling through this class. It just isn’t sinking in so I’ll be buying the Portable MBAs in both Finance/Acct and Econ and cramming. I desperately need help.

    Part of the problem is events outside school have happened- I’m pregnant and struggling with a very, very difficult pregnancy. I have been in and out of the ER, have a permanent nutrition line put in my body for at least another month, etc. I almost lost my job from missing so much work, so I am struggling to do schoolwork. Not Ashford’s fault, but it is next to impossible to keep up with this rigorous pace being 4.5 months pregnant and having other kids at home plus running a household.

    This degree is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and that’s saying a lot. If you miss even a single week, you ruin your grade in the class. There are also some very understanding instructors, and well, some not so nice ones. I have had the same instructor for two of my classes and he is ridiculously strict about minute details of APA formatting, grading down to .1 of a point, etc. This degree has become a chore and something I dread. I am burnt out, tired of the subject matter, ready to scream/cry/throw my book at the wall (all of which I’ve done lol), etc. The only reason I am seeing this through is that I’m not a quitter and I didn’t pay this much $ to only finish ½ of an MBA. After all of the stress this degree has caused me, I deserve that piece of paper on the wall. Trust me when I say I WILL have earned it.

    Incidentally, my next degree after this one will be completely, totally for self-interest and something I love to study, because right now Ashford has sucked the joy out of learning for me. I was originally going to do a B.S. in Accounting through EC or TESC after this MBA and then stop, but now I think no more math or quantitative anything for a long while. I’m thinking CSU Pueblo’s self-paced B.A. in Sociology/Criminology as I’ve recently had a job opportunity open up for the Dept of Corrections and it would be fun to study. Who knows? All I know is 1) I’m honestly not cut out to study business at a Master’s level, and 2) I’ll finish this degree but I will never take another Master’s level business course in my life if I can help it!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2011
  9. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    Just bought both the Portable MBA in Finance/Accounting and Econ. They're scheduled to arrive on Friday and I plan to spend Friday night reading them and cramming and then Saturday/Sunday (in between a BBQ and my little bro's 21st bday party) studying my butt off and trying to somehow have an epiphany and understand Mgrl Econ. This is all assuming, of course, that I'm not violently ill and stuck on the couch :(
  10. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Great choice!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Abner :)
  11. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    I definitely DO like the school and i'm glad I chose it, but my excitement over the MBA and what I'm studying has gone downhill since I started. I also keep getting stuck with this one difficult professor for my courses and he is a BEAR, seriously. I'm close to a nervous breakdown every time I take one of his courses.
  12. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I had a teacher like that at the University of Nebraska. The guy was a lunatic!!!! He never actually wrote or suggested something that could have helped me improve. He just wrote crazy stuff in huge RED letters all over my paper!!!!!!!!

  13. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    I am ready to tear my hair out! I am finishing up my Managerial Econ class, 18.5 weeks pregnant, and I’ve already broken down and cried twice today over this class! WHY did I think I could do this?! This professor is such a stickler that I am ready to have a nervous breakdown (yes folks, he took off 0.05 of 1 point on an assignment!) I have Managerial Accounting up next and that provoked another round of tears, thinking about six more weeks of this stuff. My big problem is I get what these concepts are in everyday language- I know budgets and financial constraints very, very well. I can come up with an answer using personal examples and I’m always right. I’m just NOT understanding regression analysis and the various equations used. I can’t show my work- I know the answer, but not how they want me to show it!!!

    I am heading into the final paper in this course, and it’s typical MBA stuff- 8 to 10 pages, exclusive of appendices, references, abstract, etc. However the directions were vague, I asked for clarification and received even more confusing responses, followed by (paraphrasing), “Welcome to being an MBA student”. Um thanks, I’ve been one for 11 months now so I’m familiar with the concept of difficulty and higher-level thinking, thanks. I just don’t understand your requirements!!!! *grrr*

    I like the school, but am beginning to think that had I to do it over again, I would have maybe gone with another school. The office and financial aid staff requires several phone calls before they will respond, and I think in hindsight these six week classes are much too fast-paced for me. I didn’t anticipate getting pregnant which, to be fair, threw a wrench in my plans for the program. I think maybe 8 to 10 week classes would give more time to digest the material. I am intelligent, take school seriously, have pretty decent time management skills, and I am floundering. I had to give up my quest for a 4.0- I have more A’s than B’s, but I do have 2 B’s in my courses.

    To reiterate, it is not Ashford’s fault I became pregnant (obviously lol) or had so many health problems, and they DO advertise pretty openly that the courses are 6 weeks in length, however, they do not tell you just how much you have to give up in order to make it work. As the courses get harder, more and more people drop out- we have 9-10 students left in this class out of an original 23. I consult other books than the textbook, use the Portable MBA guides, and this is kicking my butt. The only thing I have not done is spend all weekend studying, every weekend, but I’m about to start implementing that because I am at a loss.

    Has anyone made it through this program and lived? Friendorfoe? Rcreighton? Any advice?
  14. rcreighton

    rcreighton New Member

    Ashford BUS 640

    Hi Heather,

    The good news is that I felt that Managerial Economics was the most difficult of the "Big Three" in Ashford's MBA program. The reason that I am saying good news is that you are almost done and can soon move on from it. I took this class a little over a year ago and received a 97.5% for a final grade so hopefully I can help you. Of course, I am assuming nothing has changed since then.
    First of all, yes, you can do this. I am not an Economics guru by any means and I simply took a real life experience that I used for the basis of my final paper. I did spend 1.5 to 2 hours a day, Monday through Friday, reading and rereading the course applications along with the Portable MBA for Economics over and over because they did not stick with me initially. On weekends, I would allow around 4 hours a day for both Saturday and Sunday. I felt anything beyond that was mental overload and would not stick with me. This may sound like a lot of hours but remember that the classes are only 6 weeks long so, like the class, your study habits need to be accelerated too. I personally did this because I believed that 6 weeks would go by quickly and I would eventually have my normal life back soon enough.
    Getting back to Economics, there is not always a proper and correct answer for everything. Everyone’s values are different and subjective to the case at hand. The key is to properly back up and prove your point to the best of your ability. The final paper for this class is describing and answering, in economic terms, a managerial decision you have knowledge about. You do not have to necessarily agree with it as the decision has already been made. The basis of the paper is to dissect the decision, using hard costs and the factors that made the final decision (or at least what you think made the final decision if you were not part of it). You need to back up your beliefs with the various methods of data collection, measurements, objective analysis and the methods that you would use based upon the various ones reviewed in the textbook. Again, it is not a right or wrong selection, it is merely a final check to see if you do understand the concepts presented in the class.
    I hope this makes some sense and helps you out a little. I am more than willing to expound on this if and as needed. Let me know if you need any more clarification.

  15. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    Well I survived Managerial Econ and passed with a B. I'll take it, even though it wasn't my highest grade. That class just about made me lose my mind! Thanks to some serious help from Rich, I made it through and now I'm in Managerial Acct. I would much, much rather take this course than Managerial Econ EVER again lol. So far the instructor is very fair and the students in the course seem involved. Plus, the material just plain isn't as difficult as Econ.
  16. rcreighton

    rcreighton New Member

    Congrats on your grade in Managerial Economics. While it is not "easy", Managerial Accounting will seem that way in comparison to Econ. You are doing well. Keep going forward and you will be done before you know it. Good luck to you.
  17. LarrySteve

    LarrySteve member

    I did search this university and the MBA course too over web.The university provide good material and the skills on management.You can be a good practitioner of management after getting the degree and the experience form this university.
  18. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Heather - Your baby is going to be brilliant. Stay strong. Stay healthy. You'll do great.
  19. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement, everyone! :) I am back with my monthly-ish update. Baby and I are doing well (in the home stretch now!) and most of the health problems have been ironed out, so I am able to participate more in life and finally feel like I have a handle on this school/work/home life thing.

    I am in my final week of Managerial Acct and will start the dreaded Managerial Finance next Tuesday, then "the hump" is over for me!!!! After Mgrl Econ, Mgrl Acct is great. It is still not easy, but the instructor has made a world of difference (he actually participates in discussions, explains concepts, and has helped me quite a bit). My fellow classmates appear to be of a higher "caliber" (for lack of a better word) than in the beginning of my MBA program.

    I actually took a breather last night and realized it has been a little over a year since I started my MBA. In that time, I can't believe the amount I have grown, personally and professionally. Learning to think analytically under pressure and think well have been the biggest things I have gotten out of this degree. I probably could have gotten those skills from any MBA program (and to be honest, I already had some of it- I'm a governmental analyst in my career) but in just a year I have grown more than I did in my entire undergrad program. It has been a lot of sweat and tears (no blood yet, luckily!), questioning my decision, and doubts, but I survived a year of this. These classes are INTENSE- not necessarily because of the subject matter but because 6 week classes force you to be on your toes. There is no other option. You sink or swim. While this has caused me a few sleepless nights, I already see the value in it. I can multi task like no one else I know. I worked 11 hrs a day at a stressful job, raised a family, suffered horrible health problems, and I kept a good GPA. I am not superwoman, trust me. I just learned time management. No, Managerial Communication didn't teach me that, but learning how to juggle 6 week classes did.

    My friend recently asked me if I had to go back and do it over, would I change anything? Yes, and no. I am still not sure if Ashford is entirely the best fit of a school for me, but I am now glad I chose an MBA. I had moments this last year where I really thought I was too right brained and creative for a degree like this but I am just now (as in, the last month) starting to see what a value I am getting out of it. Ashford has its pluses and minuses. Most classes are the exact same format- discussion questions 2x/week with responses expected, plus either a paper or assignment every week. I like it, bc it helped me get in a routine. It can start to seem "cookie cutter", though. It is an open entry school, so definitely in my first 4 classes or so, I had a lot of classmates who were very sub-par (as in, I had flashbacks to freshman year of high school). By now, those students are mostly gone and the ones who are left for the most part are just like me and working hard. The instructors run the whole gamut from really great (my current one!) to horrible, and they can make or break a class for you. I asked my friends who are in B&M MBA programs and they are all pretty much doing the same amount of work that I am and seem to be learning the same things. The main difference is AU crams the subjects at you in 6 weeks and they all get 12-16 weeks to learn it, so they do sometimes go more in-depth on things at other schools. The office and financial aid staff still require several phone calls before they will respond, but to be honest it's been like that at every school I've gone to (my local B&M community college was the worst at that) so I have no frame of reference for if this is normal or not. AU is also expensive. Not horribly so, but they are up there in price. You are paying for the convenience and accelerated format.

    So that's my current update! Until next month...
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2011
  20. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Good job Heather! Thanks for the update. Keep plugging away and you will be done before you know it.

    The MBA will be a good springboard for promotions in the government Analyst field.

    Have a good one!

    Abner :smile:

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