May 19, 2018

You Do Not Know Anything | #FlexPath MBA Journey

Disclaimer: I’m an actual Capella student compensated for posting about my experience at Capella. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
So, my first course is LEADERSHIP. Here is a breakdown of my academic program...
Three courses from my MSN courses transferred over. So, I'm seven courses away from my MBA!


I hope I don't sound like a fool, but I honestly thought I knew what business involved. No, I do not have a background in business, but I thought I knew a little something. And within just a week of my leadership course, I was proven wrong. Our first assignment was evidence-based management. Sounds simple enough, but it was like a gut punch after eating a large meal. I have a new found respect for people in management positions after starting this course. It's not about the financial terms or operational aspects of a business. It's all about balancing multiple elements from people to products. You are balancing various decisions based on a thorough, multi-leveled analysis. The hard part is locating and sifting through quality research. Making decisions based on evidence, rather than personal strengths and business history is an uncommon practice.


Do you know how many times I've heard nursing managers say, "I made this choice because it has worked in the past" or "This is a strength of mine and will work?" Often, very often. This course is helping me to examine my decision-making process not only as a business student but as a bedside nurse as well. Now, remember, I already have a Master's degree in Nursing. I knew these concepts would be new to me, but I thought they would be somewhat known to me. Not at all! From VUCA to benchmarking to critical thinking processes, it all consists of layers of information. When I started reading the course material, my ears got warm, haha. I've never had to think using this many layers of data before, then consolidating the data into a plan, and making an educated decision. It's an odd feeling. I'm getting used to it now (luckily), but it's new, and I'm stumbling along. I know nursing, I do not know anything about business. I could see how a medical provider could be overwhelmed with managing a business, it's a complicated process.

"We've suggested six substitutes that managers, like doctors, often use for the best evidence - obsolete knowledge, personal experience, specialist skills, hype, dogma, and mindless mimicry of top performers - so perhaps it's apparent why evidence-based decision making is so rare."Pfeffer & Sutton @ https://hbr.org/2006/01/evidence-based-management


My first paper was a disaster. I read all the course material, but I wasn't getting it. All the basic concepts were foreign to me, and I just couldn't relate to them. I had to read articles three times for them to finally sink in. Then last week, I had an epiphany. I stopped thinking of the course as a "business class" and started thinking of it as "life education." All these business concepts can be applied to nursing and my personal life. After that, things started clicking, and the previous barriers disappeared. I'm talking Lego Master Builder mode. This isn't just a class, and these aren't merely assignments. I'm learning things that will help me professionally and personally.

I'm new to Capella University, but I'm very impressed with the school thus far. Each assignment comes with pages and pages of resources. You are given the tools you need to complete the assignments. You aren't given an assignment and expected to find journals and articles on your own.  For the first assignment, I was given eighteen resource articles to educate myself on the necessary content. Capella offers access to various business journals through their library. My current favorite is the Harvard Business Review.

Overall, these two weeks have been eye-opening, and I'm learning so much!