Fall Quarter Lessons: We Were Accepted for a Reason | by Rachel

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Our first quarter as MBA students is coming to a close. Looking back at some of my concerns before starting the program, it’s crazy to think how much I’ve changed in only 10 short weeks.

  1. Getting back into the groove. It’s been more than five years since I was a full-time student. I was very studious in college, and had no problem pulling all-nighters to get my work done. I wasn’t sure if I still had the attention span or stamina to handle being a student again. Believe me, the first three weeks were tough. There may have been moments when I asked myself why in the world I decided to do this. But I’m amazed by how quickly I fell back into the study routine. And it helps to have the support of 49 other classmates who are all in the same boat.
  2. Core class concerns. Having been a marketing major in college, I had already taken most of our core classes like financial accounting, microeconomics, and statistics. They weren’t my favorite classes then, and I dreaded having to take them again. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, even though the classes are taught assuming no former knowledge of the subjects, they are taught at a much higher level with a focus on strategic thinking and relevant, real-world situations. The teachers were engaging and, in fact, the classes that I hated as an undergrad became my favorites this quarter.
  3. Worried about being the weak link. When I first met all of my new classmates at orientation, I was so impressed with everyone’s background and work experience. I became convinced that my experiences weren’t nearly as impressive, and I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I learned quickly that we all had those same fears. We each have a unique set of skills to bring to the table. It’s been really interesting getting to know my classmates and their individual talents this past quarter.
  4. Lack of confidence. This sort of goes along with number 3 and yet I choose to elaborate anyway. Before starting at the GSM, I had zero confidence, especially when it came to interviewing. After working with the Career Development Team, the Marketing Association (which runs an incredible interview workshop to prepare us for the internship and job hunt), and my classmates, I’ve learned a lot of great interviewing techniques to highlight my strengths and experiences. I have a long way to go, but I feel great knowing I’m the right path.

The truth is, being back at school has been exciting, challenging, and fun, in all the ways I didn’t expect it to be at the beginning of the quarter. My advice for prospective classmates: go into your classes with an open mind, be confident in your abilities (I mean, you were accepted for a reason!), and enjoy your time here. It’s already flying by so fast!

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