Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

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Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby tjschraf » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:16 pm

Hello!

Have a couple questions, but first background:

23 years old
Just basically started my vanguard account so that is low and no 401k match since I am an intern
No debt
Make around 38k a year as an intern depending on how much I work.
The cost to finish my MBA will be around 16.5k which isn't bad in my opinion (I have been paying out of pocket as I go).
Also, I live at home and have minimal bills ($200/month) set bills (insurance, gym, and phone)
However, my gas expense per month is over $300 but that varies.

There is a good chance at my work that if I stay on board, I will get full time and salary. If that happpens, they pay tuition.

Here are the pros and cons I have figured out if I stop now:
Pro
FREE, money used for investments and not wasted.
I can't justify spending somewhere around 1k a month for the next 14 months to be done

Con
I will have more stress when I am full time so will not want to go as fast and will most likely be burnt out (right now, no stress).
I am getting older and will be settling down and getting married and all that jazz and that will be the last thing I'll want to do.
I am not guaranteed full time, so I may as well finish, i'll be worth more when I am done with it (or at least I think I will be)
I have a very flexible schedule at work


The other option I have is to just take 1 class per term and get some out of the way. (10 classes left).
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby CaliJim » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:35 pm

Keep on keeping on. Don't stop school now. Perseverance, and discipline are part of good character. Future employers will look at your ability to work through difficult times as an asset. Don't quit when the going gets tough.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby cheese_breath » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:49 pm

CaliJim wrote:Keep on keeping on. Don't stop school now. Perseverance, and discipline are part of good character. Future employers will look at your ability to work through difficult times as an asset. Don't quit when the going gets tough.

+1
One class per term is fine if that's all you can do. It took me four years to get my Masters @ one per term while working full time, but at the end of four years I had a Masters.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby Randomize » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:55 pm

CaliJim wrote:Keep on keeping on. Don't stop school now. Perseverance, and discipline are part of good character. Future employers will look at your ability to work through difficult times as an asset. Don't quit when the going gets tough.


+2

If you were starving to death, I'd say go for a more work but that's pretty darned good money you're making for being in school full(ish?) time and minimal living expenses. You'd be wise to get the degree now while it's easy.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby Tortoise » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:56 pm

CaliJim wrote:Keep on keeping on. Don't stop school now. Perseverance, and discipline are part of good character. Future employers will look at your ability to work through difficult times as an asset. Don't quit when the going gets tough.


I completely agree with CaliJim. Do not become a perpetual student by taking one class per term. Distractions along the way will make it much harder to complete your MBA. My older brother almost got a college degree 35 years ago. He only needed one or two more classes, but he started working full time, got married, had kids, and the degree went by the wayside. He has been mostly unemployed for the past 6 years, scrambling to get odd-jobs to keep the lights on.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby Quinn » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:30 pm

tjschraf wrote:Here are the pros and cons I have figured out if I stop now:
Pro
FREE, money used for investments and not wasted.
I can't justify spending somewhere around 1k a month for the next 14 months to be done

Con
I will have more stress when I am full time so will not want to go as fast and will most likely be burnt out (right now, no stress).
I am getting older and will be settling down and getting married and all that jazz and that will be the last thing I'll want to do.
I am not guaranteed full time, so I may as well finish, i'll be worth more when I am done with it (or at least I think I will be)
I have a very flexible schedule at work


Those "Pro"s seem a lot weaker than the "Con"s. Both points are kind of the same, and it can be rephrased as a $1k/month investment in human capital. There are many situations where an MBA doesn't make sense, but this doesn't look bad at all.

One situation that I could see being legitimate reason to stop in your situation is if this was an actual diploma mill and you already have a legit BS/BA. But if your MBA is from an AACSB accredited university, then it should still be worth it.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby shepherd » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:40 pm

I think you need to focus on getting the full time job first and then focus on completing your MBA as quickly as possible. Every time you change jobs interviewers will walk through your education and employment history. It is very important to have a credible and consistent story to tell and minimize the number of red flags. You don't want to have to either a) omit the coursework you have already completed or b)explain countless times why you didn't finish your degree. My career was moving along okay but really started to accelerate once I completed my MBA - my only regret is that I didn't complete it sooner.

Is the internship an official one with a designated end date or is it more of a temporary position?
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby curtin1060 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:01 pm

Keep making progress towards your academic goals. Find out what the limitations are with your graduate studies, it took me 4.5 years to get my MSCS. I think back fondly of these years ... for 2+ years I taught a class at the local community college, coached two soccer teams and took a single MS class. For me coaching my sons was a very valuable experience. I really learned time-management during this period which has helped me my entire career.

No need to 'hurry' through grad school, chip away. I hope it is a program that you truly enjoy.

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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby tjschraf » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:11 pm

Hey guys, I really appreciate all of your help and I am taking it all into account.

I have been leaning for the chipping away at it idea. The other con would be that regardless if I switch jobs or not, I am stuck in Michigan until I finish (not upset about it- but need to be open to other opportunities).


I am an intern but the position is not seasonal and it is indefinite. I asked a few weeks ago since I had an oppportunity with another employer and they offered me to stay basically as long as I want and also gave me another position.

The school is AACSB certified but not a common known or ivy league but my undergrad was from the University of Michigan which is a top school especially locally.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby shepherd » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:27 pm

The other reason to push for a full time job is eligibility for benefits - 401k, healthcare, etc. You may want to consider a serious discussion with your boss. It will let you know if you have a future at the company (whether you want to stay with this company or not).
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby tjschraf » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:30 pm

Having a further discussion is actually a very good idea, thank you.

Currently, I am okay on healthcare since I am on my parents for another 2.5 years. So there is time, but not too much time.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby WendyW » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:09 am

tjschraf wrote:The school is AACSB certified but not a common known or ivy league but my undergrad was from the University of Michigan which is a top school especially locally.

This MBA probably won't do much for you.

An MBA from Joe Random University is far less prestigious than an undergrad degree from U.Michigan.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby maroon » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:01 am

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Last edited by maroon on Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby SpecialK22 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:07 am

I'm assuming you had a reason in mind for starting the MBA, so I would stick with it barring any obvious reason not to continue. For instance, you receive a full time offer for a good job in another location. Sometimes it is far too easy to second guess oneself.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby dickenjb » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:19 am

Can you not transfer your MBA credits to U of M or MSU? When I was a young man working in Metro Detroit I started my MBA at U of M - they offered evening classes in Dearborn. This was not U of M Dearborn but actual profs from Ann Arbor gave classes in Dearborn. I believe MSU also offered an executive MBA program in Troy. U of M while not a Wharton or Stanford or Harvard is nonetheless a very fine MBA program. I wish I could have completed my MBA with them but transferred to the East Coast for a great job opportunity and they would not pay for Wharton so finished at Lehigh University which my employer did pay for.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby MN Finance » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:03 pm

If you're going to do it, do it while you have no commitments. Living at home and working with no bills or stress is the time. I went back for some education at 35 while supporting a spouse and 4 kids, with a mortgage, minivan, white picket fence, and working 60 hrs a week. Knock it out now so that it doesn't drag on and be one of those things you wish you completed but then can't find the time for (assuming you've already concluded this is something you want to do regardless).
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby Phineas J. Whoopee » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:31 pm

WendyW wrote:
tjschraf wrote:The school is AACSB certified but not a common known or ivy league but my undergrad was from the University of Michigan which is a top school especially locally.

This MBA probably won't do much for you.

An MBA from Joe Random University is far less prestigious than an undergrad degree from U.Michigan.

Hi tjschraf, WendyW,

WendyW, if you're saying that merely having the credential on one's resume won't result in a better job, you're probably correct.

tjschraf, if you're going to grad school to learn new things which you're intensely interested in, the skills you develop will help you regardless of the credential. If you're only going for little more than a milled diploma, then I agree, don't bother.

PJW
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby SeattleCPA » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:06 pm

I got an MBA from University of Washington (finance and accounting) in 1982. (I'd just a year earlier finished a BS in accounting from Central Washington University.)

It was worth it for me. It got me a job in the consulting division of Arthur Andersen.. and my wife. :happy Also, I think I've probably gotten a little edge a number of times over the last three decades because I was an MBA/CPA. The degree helped me sell some of my first books.

BTW, I also have an MS in taxation from Golden Gate University (I got that later on as a continuing professional education thing.) And that was also a worthy investment IMHO. (Though I think a specialist technical masters is better as a first masters degree rather than a second...)

I remember myself being pretty worn out with school stuff. But for what it's worth, I'm really happy that I got both of my masters' degrees and also the CPA. And you won't remember any of this three decades from now, but if you stay the course I think you'll be very happy you did when the future rolls around.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby Texas hold em71 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:49 pm

I guess I look at it this way- if you don't finish now what are you going to do with your time? Watch TV? If you think you will ever want an MBA, get it now. Your parents are generously paying for your living expenses and health insurance. When in your future will you have that again? You have a good paying job that allows you time for school. You don't have a family. Trust me- juggling work, family and school is exhausting. Try to finish school under what sounds like ideal conditions. As to the quality of the program, it depends on the employer and the industry. Some are impressed by brand name educations and some could care less and just want you to have achieved the degree (assuming accredited of course).
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby Mitchell777 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:52 am

I did about 90% of my MBA going full time at about 22 - 23. Get it now if you can. Going one class at a time can be tough, although millions of people do it. I think it is still a degree worth having if that is your interest. It opens up some doors when searching for a new jobs. Does not mean as much once you get the job. Then it is about your performance. I will say, in my case, I often feel like I learned more during those grad school years than I did during 4 years of undergrad work
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby lwfitzge » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:09 am

Michigan MBA here (I'm a bit biased, :wink: ). Why not go with your alma mater or another tier 1 program (top 15/20 or so)? I agree you should persevere in any case but top MBA programs provide the greatest value and return. As most of these programs want 3-5 yrs work experience, I suspect your a bit short here based on your age 22/23? One option, as suggested, is get more experience, save some money short-term, and transfer to the PT or Weekend program at UM or another top program? If this is not palatable to you, I say continue current path.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby TerryDMillerMBA » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:33 pm

WendyW wrote:
tjschraf wrote:The school is AACSB certified but not a common known or ivy league but my undergrad was from the University of Michigan which is a top school especially locally.

This MBA probably won't do much for you.

An MBA from Joe Random University is far less prestigious than an undergrad degree from U.Michigan.



I initially came into the thread to say if you aren't currently at a job that is paying for this, then to stop, unless you are at a top-ten school.

This. I learned this from experience. The fact that I used the same textbooks and case studies as the top-ten B-schools doesn't factor in either.

EDIT: I semi-grunched, so I have to add something. I made some assumptions as to your willingness to transfer. The people recommending transferring to you may be on to something. Think about it.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby BW1985 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:01 pm

WendyW wrote:
tjschraf wrote:The school is AACSB certified but not a common known or ivy league but my undergrad was from the University of Michigan which is a top school especially locally.

This MBA probably won't do much for you.

An MBA from Joe Random University is far less prestigious than an undergrad degree from U.Michigan.


I'd disagree. An MBA can set you apart from other candidates at a job interview, it can demonstarte your time/project management skills if you're working full time while getting the degree, it gives you talking points to reference in a job interview {"a specific example of this would be on this particular project I worked on during my MBA....")

And sure, you could say that about lots of things including undergrad. A degree from X is much more prestigous than a degree from Y. That doesn't by any means make the degree from Y meaningless. You could also say working for X company is much more prestigous than working for Y company, doesn't mean the job at Y isn't worth having.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby Meg77 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:39 pm

Am I understanding that your employer will reimburse you for tuition for the MBA if they hire you full time at the end of it? If that's the case then you should DEFINITELY stick with it. This MBA might not be the most valuable MBA on the market, but you only $16K away from the degree (which is NOT much I promise you in the scheme of life), and an MBA from Joe Wherever is still better than no MBA at all. Especially if you actually get involved and make some connections.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby DiscoBunny1979 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:56 pm

BW1985 wrote:
WendyW wrote:
tjschraf wrote:The school is AACSB certified but not a common known or ivy league but my undergrad was from the University of Michigan which is a top school especially locally.

This MBA probably won't do much for you.

An MBA from Joe Random University is far less prestigious than an undergrad degree from U.Michigan.


I'd disagree. An MBA can set you apart from other candidates at a job interview, it can demonstarte your time/project management skills if you're working full time while getting the degree, it gives you talking points to reference in a job interview {"a specific example of this would be on this particular project I worked on during my MBA....")

And sure, you could say that about lots of things including undergrad. A degree from X is much more prestigous than a degree from Y. That doesn't by any means make the degree from Y meaningless. You could also say working for X company is much more prestigous than working for Y company, doesn't mean the job at Y isn't worth having.


--------------------

I disagree with your disagreement. While a degree can set one apart from other candidates, it can also be used against an applicant as being "over qualified". The OP needs to discuss current job or job opportunities at the company that would require an MBA. If his present position does not require an MBA as an "intern" then would the permanent position not require one as well? Therefore, in my opinion, an MBA is icing on the cake.

What employers want to see is that the employee is steadily increasing his/her expertise or work place habits as noted on job performance reviews. Since performance reviews are given every 6 months or yearly, I would not rush through education just to get an MBA, but show progress over time so that it appears as though the skills are valuable to the company, not just the employee to move on elsewhere.

What I've learned in my work career is that it's more about the ability for the applicant to get the job done and how they fit into the organization. A degree is nice, and often required, but it's often secondary to whether the applicant has the required skill set and proper demeanor. That's because everyone (and yes I'm generalizing) has that 'degree'....it's kind of a so what else do you know?
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby dad2000 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:32 pm

I wasn't going for an MBA at the time, but was 1 year short of my BS when I accepted a full-time job.

I decided to suck it up and take a full-load at night and on weekends to just get school done with. It was a tough year, but I never regretted it.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby tjschraf » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:09 pm

Thank you guys for all the help. I definitely agree with much of what has been said. Essentially, I began the MBA because I always thought Iwould get one and wanted it soon after undergrad (regardless of whether or not that is stupid). I felt I was in an absolute perfect situation to continue (live at home, work, and zero debt whatsoever).

Regardless, I am going to finish it and I won't lose motivation. It's just if I do wait for full time then maybe I will be in more hurry to not be thinking about it any longer.

Yes, if I have it I will get a better job at my company or so I believe. Most of my direct bosses have one or are working on them. At the same time, I am already paid more for being in classes then the other interns.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby BW1985 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:52 pm

DiscoBunny1979 wrote:
BW1985 wrote:
WendyW wrote:
tjschraf wrote:The school is AACSB certified but not a common known or ivy league but my undergrad was from the University of Michigan which is a top school especially locally.

This MBA probably won't do much for you.

An MBA from Joe Random University is far less prestigious than an undergrad degree from U.Michigan.


I'd disagree. An MBA can set you apart from other candidates at a job interview, it can demonstarte your time/project management skills if you're working full time while getting the degree, it gives you talking points to reference in a job interview {"a specific example of this would be on this particular project I worked on during my MBA....")

And sure, you could say that about lots of things including undergrad. A degree from X is much more prestigous than a degree from Y. That doesn't by any means make the degree from Y meaningless. You could also say working for X company is much more prestigous than working for Y company, doesn't mean the job at Y isn't worth having.


--------------------

I disagree with your disagreement. While a degree can set one apart from other candidates, it can also be used against an applicant as being "over qualified". The OP needs to discuss current job or job opportunities at the company that would require an MBA. If his present position does not require an MBA as an "intern" then would the permanent position not require one as well? Therefore, in my opinion, an MBA is icing on the cake.

What employers want to see is that the employee is steadily increasing his/her expertise or work place habits as noted on job performance reviews. Since performance reviews are given every 6 months or yearly, I would not rush through education just to get an MBA, but show progress over time so that it appears as though the skills are valuable to the company, not just the employee to move on elsewhere.

What I've learned in my work career is that it's more about the ability for the applicant to get the job done and how they fit into the organization. A degree is nice, and often required, but it's often secondary to whether the applicant has the required skill set and proper demeanor. That's because everyone (and yes I'm generalizing) has that 'degree'....it's kind of a so what else do you know?


Personally I wouldn't be pursuing any opportunity in which having an MBA would make me 'over qualified' for, so I guess it depends on the individual and what kind of career they're looking for. I see alot of upside to it and very little downside, especially if the company pays for the program which would make it a no brainer IMO. Also, if everyone else has that degree that means you'd need it too just to keep up, not to necessarily set yourself apart. That's where your skill set, experience and personality 'fit' come in like you mentioned.

Edit: I actually think 'over qualified' is just an excuse employers give candidates that they don't want to hire. It doesn't make sense as an actual reason not to hire you. If you're over qualified then that would then mean you're sufficiently qualified for the job, so what's the problem? The compensation offered may be lower than what they think you're expecting but that would be up to the individual to determine. If the individual is willing to accept the compensation package offered for that particular position, then why would it matter if they're qualified beyond the requirements of the job? They can still be successful in that role.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby Dandy » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:20 am

Only about 16k to get a masters degree seems pretty good assuming it is a degree that has good value in the business or academic world. A full time job and some grad school can be stressful but it will only be for a short time and many people do it. Living at home should reduce the stress somewhat.
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Re: Keep going with MBA (1/3 done)

Postby RobInCT » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:06 pm

BW1985 wrote:Edit: I actually think 'over qualified' is just an excuse employers give candidates that they don't want to hire. It doesn't make sense as an actual reason not to hire you. If you're over qualified then that would then mean you're sufficiently qualified for the job, so what's the problem?

I've done some hiring as part of a committee, and the "problem" is that many people--especially when the economy is tough--will assume that either you'll keep looking for something better will jump ship when you find it, leaving them empty handed and out the cost of hiring and training you, or that even if you don't, you'll be really unhappy in the position and will cause the sorts of problems that unhappy employees are likely to cause.

You can disagree that these are likely or significant outcomes, but it's a real thing that some bosses think and worry about.

I think whether continuing or stopping is a good idea depends largely on your career goals. No-name MBA will be useful to you at certain kinds of jobs, will not be useful to you at others. If you have an idea of what you want to do long-term, get advice from people who have done it.

I think educational advice on this forum often suffers because it's very difficult to judge the academic potential or career prospects of the person asking the question, and the people responding (like me) generally have personal experience of only one very limited segment of the workforce.

A degree in biology from a 4 year community college may be fine if your goal is to teach high school. Probably less fine if your goal is to move on to a good Ph.D. program to work as a professor or researcher. A NoName MBA won't get you a job at McKinsey or in a hedge fund, but maybe that's not what you want anyway. Find people who have had careers that you would like to emulate. Ask them. They'll give you much better advice than anyone here can.
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