Published: May 13, 2019 By

MBA BlogHey there! I’m Mark Harris, a first year in the Leeds Evening MBA program focusing on operations. In addition to taking night classes in Boulder, I work a full time job at a chemical manufacturing plant in Denver, CO. In my (very limited) free time, I like to chase my 2 year old toddler around. 

Here’s what a typical day in my life looks like:


5:30 AM – Alarm goes off, and I only press snooze once, I swear! I hop out of bed to take our dog, Fitz, for a walk around our neighborhood near City Park in Denver.

6:30 AM – After a quick shower and some espresso, it’s time to wake up my wife, Kayla, and our son, Theo. Theo has simple, but very persistent demands each morning – one ‘nana and milk.

7:15 AM – Out the door to drop Theo off at daycare and commute into work. Traffic isn’t too bad at this time of day, and I know all the shortcuts! 

8:00 AM – I sit down at my desk and do some planning for the day and week.  We have a customer quality audit from a big potential client, meetings all week to manage our production schedule and supply chain, and we are also in the midst of re-negotiating our internet and phone contract and are looking to drive down costs while making our system easier to manage. 

8:30 – 9:30 AM I try, in vain, to reach the mythical goal of “inbox zero,” respond to questions and requests from coworkers, suppliers, and vendors, and try to push a few efficiency and quality projects ahead.


11:30 AM – Given such a tight schedule, I know that opportunities to squeeze in a workout are slim, so I sacrifice my lunch hour for a quick jog around the local park.  Luckily, there’s a gym close by, so I run through the shower as well.

MBA Blog12:30 PM – I scarf down lunch at my desk while I run through our Material Resource Planning Module.  I need to analyze new sales orders and build and schedule production jobs to satisfy demand.  As a custom job-shop, almost every order requires multiple jobs, and everyone wants their stuff yesterday!

2:00 PM – Our weekly production meeting is scheduled for today, so the production team sits down with customer service and we juggle and adjust our production schedule to meet customer’s shifting requirements.  Unfortunately, a key raw material is stuck in transit, and we need to work a full production and changeover schedule around the delay.

3:00 PM – We have a few improvement and quality projects in flux, so I meet with our process engineer to brainstorm ideas on corrective actions, suitable verification steps, and try to drill that pesky labeling issue down to a root cause. 

4:30 PM – The commute up to Boulder is pretty quick from my office, US-36 is nearby and it takes me just under 30 minutes.

MBA Blog


5:00 PM – I’ve got about an hour and half before finance class tonight, so I stop by my favorite coffee shop to crank on some time-value of money problems and down more espresso. I also swing by the C4C for dinner with a few classmates. My team and I have a few minutes to discuss our upcoming marketing case, and I slide into my usual chair at Koelbel S125 just in time.

6:30 – 9:15 PM – Corporate Finance with Professor Donchez. He regales us with stories of his time on Wall Street, his adventures in opening and running several breweries around Colorado, and also teaches us more about bond valuation and interest rates. I keep my attention high thanks to some delicious peanut butter cookies snagged on my way out of the C4C. 

10:00 PM – I walk in the door of our house after another long, but fulfilling day in the books.  My wife and I have a few minutes to chat about our days over a glass of wine and we make some tentative plans for an upcoming ski trip to Steamboat Springs.  She also fills me in on how Theo acted at daycare and during dinner - he threw his broccoli on the floor for the dog (I can understand), but he also ate all of his mac and cheese (I can also understand).  I’m asleep before my head hits the pillow.