For the last four years (holy crap, I thought it was just three), I’ve been chipping away at my MBA degree at UND. While I finished my final course last summer, I still have one thing left: my independent study.
I actually started working on this final project in the spring of 2005, but delays soon set me back. I spent about nine months on something that I found very interesting and promising, only to hit a dead-end that August. My adviser and I quickly came up with Plan B, which involved extracting marketing data about edible beans from USDA food consumption surveys. Not nearly as exciting as my original project, but I was willing to do whatever I needed to finally graduate.
Fast-forward a couple of months. In my research, I found that the government had changed the format of their most recent survey, and removed a few pieces of demographic information that really limited usefulness of any marketing data we could get. This was right around the time when our son made his appearance into mine and Casey’s lives, so my December graduation aspirations soon faded.
Before I knew it, this year’s spring and summer semesters passed too, with my independent study still hanging over my head. I finally sick of it. I just want to be able to say that I have my graduate degree.
So, I’ve jumped back into my research and have started working on the “Shitty First Draft” of my paper/article. It’s not much (yet), but it’s a start, and right now that’s what I need.
Besides the intrinsic reward of graduating and finishing this project, I also have another good motivation: Casey and I both agreed that if I finish in December, my graduation present will be a Nintendo Wii system. I really want one of these things, so this is a great way to keep me focused.
November 16th is my first deadline, when a “Preliminary Approval of Thesis or Dissertation” form needs to be submitted to the Graduate School. I’ve got my target…