After Action Report

I've been missing for the past few days because I had some sort of stomach flu/gastritis problem that knocked me out. It's not that I couldn't get to the web and work if I tried, but I was doing rather poorly. It was far better for me to sleep (when I could) and not sit up too much. I haven't worn sweats this much in a really long time.

I lost about four pounds in three days. It's not water weight because that's about all I could keep down. I certainly have become reacquainted with Gatorade.

Even so, I'm at work now and already I am uncomfortable sitting up with jeans and a belt on.

What happened while I was gone? Well, I got back my grades for my two classes this past quarter. For MST 510, “Principles and Trends in Technology Management” I pulled an A- (mostly due to my first homework being a little wildly off the mark) and for MST 571, “Managerial and Financial Accounting for Science and Technology” I made a solid A.

Since I've never mentioned my current studies on this blog before, let me point out that I'm current a student in Management in Science & Technology program at OHSU's OGI School of Science & Engineering. Previous classes include MST 512 (A-), MST 513 (A), MST 531 (A-) and MST 590 (passed, 1 credit courses are pass/fail).

This coming quarter I'm taking MST 520, “Becoming an Effective Manager” which should be a reasonable capstone to my fifth year as a manager and MST 573, “Technology Marketing: Planning for Market.” By completing those two courses I will have met all the requirements for the Certificate in Management in Science and Technology although I am also in the degree program on the Managing in the Software Industries track. It will also mark the midpoint of my studies towards that degree.

What remains? After the Winter quarter I described, it's on to the higher level courses. The next quarter is for attacking MST 530 “Strategic Management and Planning” and MST 572 “Financial Management for Science and Technology”, the follow-on to the accounting course I just completed. After that it is track requirements, electives and at the very end MST 550, the Capstone Program, which involves developing a technology company business plan.

I do not expect difficulties from the remaining required course CSE 516 “Introduction to Software Engineering.” After all, this year I celebrate my twentieth year in the software industry. As far as electives go, I am still leaning towards MST classes instead of CSE classes. I have done the CSE track, somewhat, in my undergraduate years. In fact, in 1998 I took the database course that is listed as a possible elective, although I doubt I'll get credit for it. So what will my four electives be? I think MST 511 “Quality Management” and MST 574 “Going to Market: Delivering Value to Customers and Shareholders” will be important ones. The other two electives are still unchosen. I should chat with my advisor about them. One course not explicitly listed as an available elective is MST 523 “New Product Development” which many students and at least one professor have recommended.

At any rate, while my grades have not yet been posted, I expect I'll have 75.71 quality points at the end of the quarter, with 20 GPA hours, making my GPA 3.79. Not perfect, but I'll take it. Misty doesn't think GPA matters much in graduate work since few employers look at that. It does affect how my other academics go if I ever decide to do that. After all, my Dad retired and then went to law school (look for him in the masthead photograph wearing the white collared blue shirt).

Why am I doing this? Well, I am learning something from the experience, IBM is willing to invest in it for me, and it rounds out my stature a little. In fact, to progress at IBM it almost is necessary. I manage nearly 20 people, many of whom have graduate degrees. Looking back, it may have been better if I stayed at Widener University to finish my MS there (after all, it wasn't costing me anything), but it did help me a lot, career-wise, to get out of Philadelphia and into the private sector. That was almost ten years ago now. My, how things have changed.

This past weekend we had Thanksgiving Dinner with friends Katherine and Clarence and a host of kidlings. The day after Ryan became 5 and we had a rousing party at the Poulson Compound. To top off the weekend we found a decent Douglas Fir for a Christmas Tree, sentenced it to death and it is now standing proudly in the living room. We're keeping busy.

Josh Poulson

Posted Thursday, Dec 2 2004 07:20 AM

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