Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Master's Degree Obtained!

The signed front page of my Master's thesis
I normally do not post personal topics like this, but I felt that I would like to post it on my blog since it is quite an accomplishment. After many years in the graduate business school of California State University Polytechnic Pomona, I have finally finished off my Master's Thesis and signed off the final paperwork, finishing graduate school. Upon completion of graduate business school in Summer 2012, I obtain a Master of Business Administration (or MBA in short) with an emphasis in marketing and international business. In my years of graduate business school I was one of the top students in the program, with one of the highest GPA's of my graduating class. I also graduated with zero debt, since I worked part time and budgeted my finances well. In a rare snapshot where I talk about myself, this post will be on why I joined graduate business school, my graduate business school experiences, background on my master's thesis, and how my grad school experience will improve your blog reading experience.

If you told me that I would obtain a master's degree in business 10 years ago, I would have done a double take since I thought my path in life would go a different direction. I was hoping to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in History, a MA in history, and ultimately a PhD in History. If you looked at my potential direction back then, the road map would have ended with me being a history professor at a four year university. My life changed when I started doing work in a nonprofit organization called the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation. In my many years working there, I fell in love with management. The idea of motivating people to work for a common short term and long term goal was fun. It introduced me to the fundamentals of business such as operations management, information technology, marketing, budgeting, and strategic planning. That is why once I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in History, I decided to use graduate school to pursue my other love, management.

The graduate business school I attended was California State University Polytechnic, Pomona. It was not an Ivy League school, but it was a wonderful AACSB accredited graduate school that was an easy commute. Since my background was not business for my undergrad degree, I had to take a wide variety of prerequisite classes in accounting, finance, marketing, operations management, computer information systems, international business, business law, organizational behavior, human resources, management theory, and a variety of other topics. Once I hit the graduate level classes, I fell in love with three subjects: marketing, international business, and operations management. The downside was that doing three emphasis would have taken too much additional time to graduate with the MBA, so I narrowed it down to marketing and international business. Cal Poly Pomona is a polytechnic university, so we learn by hands on experience. It was evidenced when I took a marketing class where we worked as a marketing consultant for large outside firms and come up with a marketing strategy to deal with the changing world. During grad school, I made friends with many of my fellow classmates from all over the world. It was a wonderful experience, and I would love to do graduate school again in the future to obtain a second Master's degree or a future Doctoral degree. 

Any legitimate graduate program ends with either a comprehensive exam or a master's thesis (or dissertation on the doctoral level). In Cal Poly Pomona, the MBA program ends with a master's thesis that follows the scientific method. As you can see in the top, my Master's Thesis is entitled, "Job Satisfaction: An Analysis in Relation to Self-construal and Motivation." My master's thesis is an organizational behavior master's thesis, so it combines organizational theory with psychology. I decided to do this thesis based on my work in Cal Poly Pomona's Police and Parking Services and in the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation.  It came about when I noticed that some employees in paid and volunteer work stay in an organization for a short time, then there are some who are there for a very long time. I wanted to see if there was a cultural/personality aspect (self-construal) or motivational aspect to job satisfaction. Needless to say, my experiment produced fascinating results and a copy of my Master's Thesis can be found in Cal Poly Pomona's Library.

What does a Master's degree mean to you, my amazing readers? First and foremost, obtaining a Master's degree means that I have a certain level of proficiency when it comes to analyzing the business end of video games, cosplay, anime, and manga. This degree means that I have the knowledge and training that most C-level executives have that are leading these large Fortune 500 companies. Secondly, there is a certain level of writing that comes from a person with a Master's degree. As a person with a BA in History and an MBA, I have quite a background when it comes to writing. This means that you will have the quality writing and analysis missing from many websites. Thirdly, I also have executive experience in the anime and manga industry, so you have a mixture of experience and theory that most websites wont have. 

I end this article thanking my loyal readers, I will continue to write this blog that combines business theory with the fandom of anime, manga, cosplay, and videogames. This blog is still very young, and I hope that you will continue to support me as I go through the real world and opine about the changing industry. Obtaining an MBA is a highlight in my life, and I will continue my knowledge and experience. Thank you everyone!


SegaMon said...

Very cool, Kris. All of these accomplishments that you have made took a lot of hard work. You have certainly deserved the accolades! You have obtained an MBA without debt, received top-notch grades, and got experience in management during the process. Amazing stuff. Continue to be that inspiration for others.

KrisZ said...

I am very proud of graduating with no debt from student loans. The common narrative we hear from the news that a debt bubble is created by the rising cost of high tuition. I do agree that at its current trajectory that it is unsustainable in the long term, but in the dark headlines of bubbles and depressions, I do want to give a glimmer of hope that a student can get top grades in graduate school and not leave as an indentured servant to past debt.

Mark Taylor said...

Hey Kris many thanks for your success . Completing MBA without a debt is not easy . i hope it continues and have a carrier of your choice

KrisZ said...

Yes, it isn't easy, but it is worth it.

Devon Smith said...

Hey Kris, congratulations on your achievements and finding your calling in life those feats are quite amazing. I'm currently in the pursuit of a MBA and I was wondering if you had any kind of advice towards trying to stir more into anime marketing? I have a Bachelors of Science in Business (Marketing) and no debt. However no direction in the least.