I spent three days a week of my summer pretending to be a part-time MBA student. And no one would’ve thought otherwise – I took copies of all the handouts, occasionally took notes, rose my hand to answer questions, and scurried across the street to grab a large coffee during break. Heck, I even made some friends in class.
It was clear that I was having fun with being a fake MBA kid. I was, after all, eagerly waking up for Saturday 9AM classes and shuffling myself from my uptown office down to campus each day that I had class to make sure that I was always on time. And when people would ask me if I would be up for hanging out after work hours, I replied, without second thought, “Sorry, I have class,” which would more often than not bring about a look of confusion and bewilderment their faces, followed by a puzzling “Didn’t you… already graduate?”
But let’s be real – I’m not as much of a rebel as I’d like to make myself out to be. Clearly, the professor knew that I was sitting in, although the students were none the wiser. When they finally noticed that I wasn’t participating in the culminating project for one class and not presenting for the other, they either deduced me to be either the TA or an audit.
So why’d I do it? Well, the opportunity presented itself, and everything about it, from the professor to the students to the content, was much more interesting as a whole than most of my classes in my undergraduate career. It was one of the few times where I felt that I was actually learning something, and having actual conversations about it both in and out of the classroom setting.
I leaned forward in my seat. I didn’t fidget with my phone. I was engaged. I didn’t consider walking out. Time wasn’t an issue. To phrase it simply: I didn’t feel like I was wasting my time.
Plus: my ID still swiped, so I figured that I might as well make use of it.
Image via Flickr (user: julio_costa)