The 5th Degree: Summer 2015 Update

by Just Juan

Going back to last August, I’ve been sprinting to the finish line of the Facility Management MS. The hope is to wrap this thing up at the close of Fall 2015 in December. I just finished up the 3rd and final term of the 2014-2015 school year. Here’s an update on the 4th leg to this drive for a 5th degree.

With all of the core classes out of the way, I had to address the professional electives. The offerings weren’t overly impressive for the Summer term but the mission was the focus only on the graduate project in the Fall so I went with Theories of Career Development and Marketing Concepts & Commercialization as my courses. I can honestly say that I didn’t really push too hard in these courses but I still did well all things considered. I finished the term with a 3.67 GPA and I’ll head into Fall 2015 with a 3.77 GPA.

Theories of Career Development —HRDE 750 in the RIT course catalog—introduced me to traditional and emerging career development theory and the way it applied to workplace issues. We worked from the 2nd edition of Career Theory & Practice: Learning Through Case Studies by Jane Swanson and Nadya Fouad. The course was a lot of discussion on different factors that influenced career development. If I was deep into human relations, this class would’ve been different. Nevertheless, I completed all of the discussions and case studies…and it wasn’t minimal effort either. In the course, I learned the following:

  • How to recognize and differentiate important theories and theorists
  • How to apply career development theory to the analysis of employee issues from an organizational and individual standpoint

Course Grade: 91.8 (A-)

Marketing Concepts & Commercialization—MKTG 761 in the RIT course catalog—was an introduction to contemporary principles and practices of marketing. It was a course really geared for the MBA students but I was able to get in with some help from my advisor. For the most part, the course centered around the process of marketing planning leading to the development of successful marketing strategies. Unlike all of the other courses in the program to this point, there was no textbook. We mostly worked from a series of articles and products of the instructor’s choice. The 1st 3 weeks of the course were discussions about different companies and marketing issues they faced. My favorite was the challenge Stouffer’s faced in pushing forward a new fresh food campaign in the midst of a near 10% drop in sales. The remainder of the course was 7 weeks of group work and a final exam in Week 11. The group project was to come up with a marketing plan for a product. We did a mock plan based on a picture frame called FLIXI. It was the brainchild of a Montreal-based company called Toboggan Design. You can check out their Kickstarter right here. Anyway, we did some very thorough background on this product. We identified competitors and hot markets. We floated the plan, which showed a path for them to sell 30000 units a year by 2019, to Toboggan but they weren’t interested. We still got the A so our feelings weren’t hurt. Because of this course, I am able to do all of the following:

  • How to set and evaluate measurable objectives

Course Grade: 92.2 (A-)

The summer term is done. Now, it’s time for the grand finale.

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