Student Voices: Looking Back on a Year of Change

As I start a new year, I’m always a little nostalgic. I made lots of changes in 2011: new job, new house and new MBA program. One year ago, I hadn’t even signed up for the GMATs. Now I’m in my third quarter of MBA@UNC.

I’m really happy with all three changes. I planned the new job and new house for awhile. However, the MBA was new. I’ve always thought about an MBA, but never really pursued it. The quarterly start dates allowed me to get a quick start on the MBA once I made the decision. I decided to take the GMAT in March, submitted my application in April, received my admission in May and started orientation in June. Whoa. By March this year, I will have already completed three of my eight quarters. I’m very pleased to have a program that lets me move at the pace I need to move.

I also get sentimental about my two daughters – thinking about how they’ve grown since last year. I’m glad this program allows me to pursue my MBA without taking too much time away from my daughters. In fact, my oldest and I often sit side-by-side while we do our homework together. Her homework involves mazes, connect-the-dots and a heck of a lot of coloring.  Mine has a different intensity, but I’m impressed by UNC’s dedication to making the material tangible and fun. Every quarter there is something unique about the asynchronous materials. This quarter, I’m  excited to follow along with the case study on the operations of UNC’s football stadium. Quite possibly, it’s turning me into a Tar Heel fan.

In hindsight, I’m glad I made all these changes in 2011 - the changes set me up for an ideal 2012. I just took on an awesome new project at work, and we have big plans to grow our home business (more on that next time). I'm super-excited for the MBA@UNC immersions in San Francisco and Sao Paolo when I'll finally meet all my new friends and classmates in person. 

And as for home, my biggest plan is to build a tree house in the backyard.  

About Brian McGrath: After 12 years working in management and technology consulting, Brian went through a major career transition in 2011.  While he loved consulting, Brian needed a career that better aligned to raising his two daughters.  Now, Brian's career is focused on running a global eCommerce technology platform . Along with his wife, Brian also owns a small business called Tiny Giraffe where they make wooden children’s blocks that are sold globally online.  Brian lives in central New Jersey, and splits the work week between New Jersey and New York City.  His undergraduate degree is in math and economics from Northwestern University. Learn more about MBA@UNC, an AACSB online MBA degree program offered through the Kenan-Flagler business school.