Not everyone remembers their very first day of school, but I’m sure you can recall the old photo your mom took on that momentous day. You know, the one she always seems to have handy around the holidays when your boyfriend or girlfriend is visiting. As that photo seeps back into your mind you begin to remember the look on your face. For some it is the look of joy and excitement for what is to come, while others have the telltale scowl and soggy cheeks from the tantrum thrown earlier that morning. If your experience during the two weeks of MBA orientation was anything like mine, then I know you felt a version of both those extremes and just about every other emotion in between.
With the amount of information, new people to meet, and names to remember, it was no wonder the first day of MBA orientation flew by. You were probably thrilled to meet such a professionally and culturally diverse group of talented people. Maybe you felt a rush of pride as Dean Pyke nodded in agreement to the brilliant point you made during his case study workshop. Perhaps you were simply relieved that after hours of flying and more than a few layovers, you finally made it to San
Diego. For some of you, making the decision to go back to school full-time and put your career, and paychecks, on hold was probably difficult to make. In fact you may still have had some doubt as you drove up to campus that first day. But after hearing about opportunities like case competitions, student organizations, international practicums and study abroad classes, all doubts were laid to rest.
As the week went on you began to get more acquainted with your cohort. Countless minutes were spent sharing your professional and educational background and listening to the fascinating experiences of others. Soon enough you were exchanging phone numbers with your newly formed team and trying to find your identity as a cohesive work group. The beehive building activity in Rosarito and the sandcastle building activity in Mission beach taught you and your team how to work together. These team projects brought out the best in you, while revealing areas of personal improvement. Having the spotlight shown on your weaknesses was intimidating and uncomfortable, but with help from USD faculty and staff, as well as the support of your cohort, it was amazing how quickly you began taking strides towards self-improvement. After all, isn’t this why you chose the USD MBA program?
So, if you ever feel overwhelmed by the amount of information being thrown at you on a daily basis, or if classes, on top of searching for internships and attending networking events, seem insurmountable, remember that this moment is yours to grow, explore, and take on new challenges. You were meant to be here. You were meant to be a USD MBA student.
–Submitted by Alfred Collazo, a 1st year MBA Student in the International Business Track with a concentration in marketing.