The first quarter of our first year at the GSM is behind us. And thank goodness! It was a struggle to remember what it was like to be a student, and even more of a struggle to fight that persistent desire to procrastinate. Watching football is a good use of my time, right? Well, yes… and that is what I had to learn. Balance.
The GSM is based on the IMPACT curriculum: we have designated core classes, take electives of our choice to round out our concentrations, and culminate with our IMPACT project. IMPACT, or Integrated Management Project and Articulation and Critical Thinking, is an opportunity to bring our collective business skills and knowledge to work on 20-week team projects for partner companies. As such, the first quarter is all about building our foundation. Learning to walk before we run. Training wheels. Baby steps. Choose whichever metaphor resonates best.
We took 4 core classes: Microeconomics, Articulation and Critical Thinking, Statistics, and Financial Accounting. All expected MBA-types of classes, I dove in with varying levels of preparedness… and varying degrees of success. There were definitely times I made it through a week – going to class, club meetings, homework, group work, study sessions, and (ok, stupidly!) trying to date someone – by the skin of my teeth. It was definitely a practice in humility, admitting I don’t have all of the right answers. Or sometimes just choosing my battles and letting “pretty good” be good enough. Figuring out, as a former engineer, there really is something to this business thing, and it is a heck of a lot harder than I ever gave it credit for.
So 11 weeks and a Winter Break’s reflection under my belt, and here it is: balance. Grind it out and get your stuff done, yes. That procrastination thing really isn’t helping anyone. But do the yoga, go wine tasting in Napa, run that half-marathon you signed up for three months ago (when it sounded like a much better idea), meet up with classmates for a drink after class, and, yes, watch football.