Talk about a major life change… I had just spent the last 2 ½ days driving across country from Chicago and walked right into Day 1 of orientation having been off the road for just over 24 hours. You would think I would be weary from the road after all that driving, but as I drove up the hill and saw the sun lit campus and felt the warm August air from my open car windows I knew it was going to be a great semester. The first few days were pretty hectic as with any orientation, giving you a full overview of the program, getting to know your new cohort, even having lunch with some of your future professors.
One of our first activities as a class was a scavenger hunt around Old Town! After being split into our study groups, everyone headed to Old Town to figure out riddles, puzzles, and clues in order to outscore the other groups for prizes. It was fun and challenging to solve the problems and helped get our cohort familiar with one another. After tallying up the points at a local cantina, our team came in 3rd place and everyone got to enjoy a San Diego sunset with some food and drinks!
I think the scavenger hunt was great at giving us a way to get to know our class and study groups outside of the classroom (the cold beer at the end didn’t hurt either), as we had a very demanding task ahead of us. The day after the scavenger hunt we started our Strategic Thinking and Communication class with Professor Zimmermann, which was a full day class for the first three sessions. The class was challenging and a great way to get us into the MBA mindset; it also helped our study group grow closer as our final project was a presentation on a government sponsored program. We had to work as a team to put on a 25 minute presentation on our topic which I feel broke us in well for further team projects. I also think the class helped set the expectations of graduate level work and present real life business situations we should expect to see during the semester.
The next week, we started the other three classes in our module, Accounting, Statistics and Ethical Leadership. When the Harbor Cruise comes around about two weeks after Day 1 of orientation, it feels like a much needed break from the class readings and managing my time being in graduate school. The sun set was gorgeous on the cruise and the fresh harbor air gave me a sense of relaxation, which made it easy to get to know the USD MBA community. With Labor Day around the corner and a good sense of my new schedule, it feels great to finally settle into the USD lifestyle.
Chris is a first year full time MBA student. He worked in the executive search industry in Chicago after earning a BA in History from Southern Methodist University.