Getting to Know…Well, Everything – by Jennifer

Experiencing Orientation from a Different Perspective: Part II

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I cannot believe that my first year of MBA at GSM has finished. I am living in Davis for a second summer now. Last summer, I arrived at Davis on a hot day, just like today, and started my new journey in  this lovely town.

I took several days to settle down, taking care of the small but important chores: getting a phone number, buying a bike (crucial to living in Davis), and adjusting to the jet lag (because I flew from the other side of the planet after all). It turned out to be a wise decision to arrive at school one week ahead of orientation. After a week’s adjustment, I got myself refreshed and ready for the Orientation.

International students attended the orientation hold by SISS (Services for International Students and Scholars) office first. From that orientation, I got to know more about UC Davis in general, and how to get support and help from SISS. The most important information provided is information about employment authorization of international students. To work in the United States with student VISA status, international students need to get CPT (Curricular Practical Training) or OPT (Optional Practical training) approved. SISS will help on the paper work!

After the international student orientation, main GSM orientation began. GSM orientation provided newly enrolled students the chance to meet all new classmates and the faculty. We also spend out time getting familiar with MBA curriculum, as well as preparing for the exhausting career search that makes up much of the business school experience. HINT: to maximize the output of orientation, it’s better to get all the assignments from Career Development Center done before orientation begin. Practice your two minute me in advance, because you’re going to introduce yourself almost every day during orientation (sometimes 10 times a day, day after day). It could be a formal version, which is used in workshop for networking and interview. It also could be quite casual, because you’re going to meet new friends and introduce yourself in morning coffee, lunch and at breaks. Also, don’t forget to bring some business dresses and suits to the U.S. In orientation, most of time we were requested to dress business casual, sometime we were expected to dress professionally. Unless you are sure you can get a suit fitted very soon after you get here, you’d better bring at least one suit to the U.S. with you. Also read the dress code on the orientation agenda every morning. Standing among a group of people in suits while you are in T-shirt is not a comfortable situation, which I went through before. But it was OK, because others noticed me and knew me since then! Not always bad to stand out as long as you are ready to engage and learn from the experience.

Orientation was not just for career, interview, and case study learning, but also for fun. We had an exciting pub crawl, amazing dinner at Davis Farmer’s Market, and a fun weekend retreat at Lake Tahoe. For me orientation was a wonderful chance to know my classmates, local community, and western culture.

In short, I believe every MBA will agree that networking is important. Orientation is the start of your networking in business school. Hope everyone enjoy this beginning.

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