Graduate Blog / Graduate Life

One MBA Program, Many Opportunities

I’ve been going flat out for the past few weeks since classes started back up. Mod III at Babson has been the best of the lot so far, in terms of content, professors and pacing.

And then I got the flu. Pretty bad. Fever, chills, sleeping 14 hours at a stretch, etc. Which means I’ve got a lot to catch up on now that I’m coherent enough to think about work again.

In the meantime, I figured it’s a good opportunity to reflect on what I’ve been getting up to.

In no particular order:

– Progress proceeds apace with the fellowship. In working with my advisor, Ankush Chopra, we narrowed the scope of my research from crowdsourcing down to using prediction markets inside the firm. Something like this: Crowdsourcing > Enterprise 2.0 > Prediction Markets. What’s a prediction market? A topic for another post. In the meantime, here’s what Wikipedia has to say. The next stage is parsing out something novel to say about the Q value of information and how it interacts with internal prediction markets – the Q value being the relative importance of information. Eventually, the goal is to publish the work in a research case. Incidentally, I also applied for the Paul F. Greene Telecommunications Research Award from the Babson CIMS center to work on the subject as well. Fingers crossed.

– Will be putting my Google Analytics, Google AdWords and Hubspot Inbound Marketing certificates to work for Trade Show Internet, a company incubated by the Babson Venture Accelerator. Excited to put my skills to the test and deliver some real results.

– Pending discussion, I may have the opportunity to blog for BostInnovation, thanks to a connection through the Babson Social Media Council, which would be tres exciting.

– I’ve firmly established my reputation as the “social media guy” with my classmates. Huzzah! As such, I’ve had several classmates ask me for input on their startup ideas, which is cool. Hopefully we’ll start hearing names like Plinq and AltruHelp on a regular basis around the Internerd.

– I’ve put my ambitions for academia on the backburner for now (research paper aside). I think I’d be quite happy as a professor, but believe that I can probably achieve the same satisfaction with the right position in the private sector, while maintaining more mobility. In any case, I’ll have about a three year window after I graduate to reconsider (30+ is pushing it for PhD candidates). Or, I can return when I’m veteran.

– Booked my flights and bought my tickets for SXSW Interactive 2011, for which I am tremendously excited. Still need to get my SXCalendar together, finish my SXSocial profile, figure out where I’m sleeping, and download the SX app once it’s available. All in good time!

– Signed up for Launchbit to improve my tech-fu and be able to build a website without needing to code (which I really should know how to do), but haven’t made the time to do any of the courses yet. Failsauce on my part. It’s hard, with all this other learning I’m already doing! But soon, I’ll make some time somewhere.

– I’ve probably got too many things on my action list right now, and I need to start rotating things to the B list before I get myself in trouble.

– Nerd projects, currently on the backburner: 1) Set up a Linux server. Maybe I’ll host my blog on it. 2) Install an aftermarket touchscreen overlay on my Asus EEE PC. Will it play nice with Jolicloud? 3) Get all my bookmarks on a social service like Delicious.

– One last note: I’ve rediscovered my entrepreneurship bug. I imagine it’s bound to happen eventually, if you spend enough time hanging around Babson (#1 in Entrepreneurship since forever!). Watching the tumult in Egypt, I was unusually alarmed when I learned the Egyptian government shut down their Internet. This trend coincides with other authoritarian regimes blocking Facebook and Twitter, since it empowers their populations to mobilize without using state-controlled media channels. Like any red-blooded American, I immediately thought two things: 1) That’s not right. 2) There must be a business idea in there somewhere. In all seriousness, I want to develop an economical way to deploy a network that can’t be disrupted by authoritarian goons. Thanks to my classmates and Twitter friends, there are already some concepts on the table. If you’ve got a passion for freedom of speech and the Internerd, let’s connect.

Ryan W. Cohen
Babson MBA, Class of 2012
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