Looking back at the events of 2007, I count my MBA defense as one of the most significant.
February 12, Monday, was the date of my oral defense at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB), the final academic requirement for my MBA degree. My Strategic Management (Strama) paper was entitled “Manila Jockey Club: Strategic Directions for Thoroughbred Racing”. It was exactly 100 pages, and had quite a few charts, tables, and photos. (“Be creative!” said my Strama professor, Albert Buenviaje.)
I had submitted my paper on the second deadline (Jan 20), 30 days after the first deadline. Prof Buenviaje told us that there would be a deduction of 0.5 from the grade for the paper for those who would submit on the second deadline. So I knew that the highest grade I could get for my paper would be 3.50.
My defense was for 2pm, and my panelists were Professors Buenviaje, Ralph Ante (my Quanti teacher), and Gary Grey (Infote, but I didn’t take him). I went to the Faculty Office to find out the room assigned to me, and there I saw Prof. Ante. He called my name and said, “Galing!” Just that. I said, “Hunh?” he smiled and said he was one of my panelists.
I figured he was referring to my paper, and I thought he was just being nice. But before my defense started, he complimented me again on my paper.
The presentation itself went quite well, considering that I had made the Powerpoint for it just two hours before! Talk about “procastination” and “unpreparedness.”
The entire thing, including Q&A, took only 45 mins (1 hour is the maximum time allowed). I was asked to step out for a minute, and when I returned to the room, my panelists showed me the grading sheet.
All 4.0 across the board! Prof. Buenviaje said that even if my paper was late, he was not going to deduct 0.5 and would give me the full 4.0 for my paper! and that was my final grade as well.
These are my professors’ comments:
Buenviaje and Grey: “Part owner ka ba ng MJC? Kasi the way you write it’s like you own the place. Alam mo lahat.”
Grey and Ante: “Galing, it’s the best paper I’ve read!”
Ante: “It’s the first time I have given a 4.0.”
Grey: “Are you going to write a book? Give me a copy, ha.”
Buenviaje: (big big big proud smile)
Far as I know, I am the only one in our batch that has been given 4.0 for both the paper and the defense. Of course I was very proud and happy. Just last week, one of my classmates, Edmar, told me that I was the only one of our batch who did not have to do a revision of the Strama paper.This is one of the biggest achievements in my life!
Edmar, Gina, Cynthia, me, and Wilma at our graduation ceremony at Ateneo – Loyola in August 2007.
Gina (my classmate) said she talked to Prof Buenviaje a couple of hours after my defense, and she told me that he was “super happy” with my performance. High praise indeed, since Prof Buenviaje is also the Assistant Dean of AGSB and the program director for Ateneo-Regis MBA (the program I took).
Okay, that wraps up that chapter of my life. My deepest thanks go to my sister Aya who paid for my tuition and, most of all, believed that her ate could do it; my kids for the support; my friends for all their help and encouragement. Thank you, all!