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Real artists ship

Last night at 10pm I finished my last MBA exam, ever.

I’ve spent the past 2.5 years completing my MBA part-time at the Rotman School (at the University of Toronto). Since I had already done a 3-year masters (I know, it’s a lot of school), I had decided that my opportunity costs were simply too high and I wanted to remain working.

But in order to do that, it meant I had classes from 7-9am and then went to work for the day. This past semester I had those morning classes 3 times a week. It’s made for an intense 2.5 years, especially when you add in group meetings, tutorials and other commitments.

But as much as I’m happy to be finished the program (I fast tracked to finish a semester early), there’s always something bittersweet about closing one chapter and moving onto another.

Since 2011, being a “MBA student” has been part of my personal brand. I would talk about the classes I was taking, and I would try and apply what I was learning to what I was doing in real life—both professional and personal. Believe it or not, I once had a debate with a Baptist Minister over the discount rate I used in one my calculations for a lease agreement.

And while I have learned a lot through almost 6 years of graduate education in both Canada and the US, this is in many ways only the beginning. When I was younger I used to tell myself that my 20s should be about formal education, exploring, and crafting my identity, and that my 30s should be about execution.

Well now it’s time to execute. In the words of the Steve Jobs: “Real artists ship.

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