Week 1 of altMBA: One Starfish at a Time

June 15. That date has been looming on the calendar full of anticipation and excitement. As the day arrived, I was anxious to meet my classmates and get started. There is quite a bit of ambiguity that accompanies the altMBA, so getting to see faces and read through our assignments started to bring some clarity and shape to the program. 

First up was our assignment to talk about making good decisions. This assignment was full of learning from both a business perspective and a personal aspect. It's amazing how you can break down a decision-making process to be very methodical and deliberate. My portion of the assignment was about sunk costs. You can read my analysis of how I recommend successfully addressing sunk costs by Thinking Forward.

Next up was our chance to set goals for both the altMBA program and beyond. This assignment proved to be very personal for everyone, myself included. In my post, No More Color-coded Optimism, I articulate how I want to create meaningful content to spark change and be a speaker at Plywood Presents 2016. Now, I'm on the line to deliver on my goals.

We wrapped up the week with a big task – Create a list of 99 businesses. It seemed daunting at first, but after some brainwriting and lots of hours on video chat with my team we conquered it. We shared our collaborative list of ideas, and you can view my take on this at Once Upon 99 Times

Obviously we shipped a lot of work this week. But the first 7 days of altMBA has taught me a lot more than meeting deadlines. I've learned to be a better listener, to collaborate through new frameworks, to not make snap judgments about people based on their bio, to be inclusive of all ideas and to work as a team to ultimately be successful in this environment. It hasn't been easy, and I am sure it will get harder. The nights are long, but thus far the rewards of shipping have been worth the lost sleep.

And the people. Oh, the wonderful people. I've met four great people during my first week, and definitely want to continue a friendship with them after this course concludes. This beautiful feedback from my classmate, Liz, is one of the sweeter moments of this first week for me. It's also a great reflection of the camaraderie of altMBA. 

Kristen, I’m in awe of your commitment to doing something that fuels your spirit and I have no doubt that when you accomplish your goal, you will set yourself on a course to change the world. You remind me of the woman in the Art of Possibility who is throwing the star fish back into the ocean one at a time. :) She is making a difference in the lives of each one, as you will do (with people) through your humanitarian endeavors, and have done already in the lives of others in this program.

Stay tuned as I embark on week 2 of this epic journey