Smartly Week 1

Smartly Program Breakdown

A few weeks ago, I was accepted into the 2016 Fall Cohort of Smartly, “The World’s First Elite Online MBA.” It was my second time applying – I wasn’t accepted after my first application, likely because I was distracted by traipsing around Portugal at the tail end of our honeymoon (nothing says romance like learning the basics of accounting!). While disappointed, I remained hopeful.

I applied a second time because of how interesting the prospect of a free, online business education is. I often worry that the skills I’ve learned and developed for television production won’t apply more broadly to other jobs or careers; I have no intentions of changing paths in the short-term, but I firmly believe in learning as much as possible in order to open up opportunities. In regards to that learning, I also worry about incurring massive student loan debt to get another degree (or taking time off to pursue it) when I’m not entirely sure what I want that theoretical degree to lead me toward.

So when I came across Smartly, a program that assuaged both my educational and financial concerns, I was won over. The program itself lasts through February of 2017 (including a few weeks for prep and exams), during which I will be working full-time as a television producer.

While their “MBA degree comprises courses across business disciplines including Finance, Marketing, Management and Entrepreneurship” I’m supplementing these courses with books of my own selection. On average, I’m hoping to add two books related to the week’s lessons, so that by the end of my degree, I’ve read an additional 40 relevant books. In the beginning, many of my selections come from Josh Kaufman’s Personal MBA Reading List.

This week, we’re working through courses on basic accounting, as well as a primer on stocks and bonds, so I’ll be reading Accounting Made Simple and Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits.

Each week, I’ll write a short post recapping what we’ve been studying, and the books I’ve added to expand on our lessons. I hope this is helpful for my fellow classmates already enrolled in Smartly, as well as anyone else considering applying to the program in the near future.

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