I’ve survived Term 3, which means I’m half-way through the Weekend Executive MBA (WEMBA) journey. In the Term 2 and 3 courses, I have not only learned about the detail orientation needed to manage business, but also have developed an understanding of the nitty-gritties required for execution.

The ride started in Term 2 with a flipping of coins and throwing of dice to understand basic concepts in our Probability and Statistics course. Then we started sliding upwards and downwards on the demand and supply curves of Managerial (Micro) Economics before arriving in the land of Financial Accounting with tons of accounts in the form of receivables, payables, assets and liabilities.

Others parts of the learning journey included the German formula, “Probability Distribution Function,” in statistics, the Nash equilibrium in economics, and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP) in financial accounting.a

While wading through the books was one part of the journey, the fun weekends on campus were another. For example, ‘Partner Weekend’—where significant others come to campus, hang out with each other during the day, and play casino games with the entire group in the evening—was one of the multiple opportunities to socialize and bond with team members. That fun Friday night ended with a drawing where people won gift cards through raffle tickets they bought with chips earned playing the games.

The journey through the Term 2 classes of statistics, economics and accounting continued into November and culminated with finals ending four days ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Term 3 marathon started in the first week of December with ‘Team Changeover.’ It was a fun 3-day residency which included bidding good bye to old study team members and getting to know new ones, as we transitioned into the term.

Term 3 coursework started by sifting through Excel files and assignments for the Decision Models course. The journey continued with Operations Management, which helped us understand the mechanics of queuing, and a Managerial Accounting course that helped us understand the details of financial control and break-even analysis.

Duke Weekend Executive MBA students
Building gingerbread houses before tearing them down

We approached the Christmas and New Year’s break with an activity and contest just for fun: “Who has the most innovative way of breaking their ginger bread house?” Adam, one of my new team members, won it hands down by belly-flopping on his.

The roller coaster ride of business concepts continued with the Andon Cord in operations, balanced scorecards in managerial accounting, and ended with Crystal Ball analysis for decision modeling.

As I mentioned, by end of term 3 had I learned quite a bit about the various aspects of business and perspectives that affect business management. I dedicate this post to my WEMBA ’15 classmates with whom I have survived and enjoyed the roller coaster so far.