5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting my MBA Program at USD

  1. Not Having a Background in Business isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing

So you don’t have a background in business. You think debits and credits are types of bankcards. Your idea of inflation and deflation involves helium and latex. It’s OK.

Plenty of MBA students don’t have a Bachelor of Economics and it doesn’t make them any less capable. Sure it can be intimidating listening to your classmates list off lofty credentials while you cringe thinking of past bartending jobs, but remember that you’re here to learn.  MBA programs are designed to provide you with an overview of a variety of topics. The University of San Diego does a phenomenal job of making sure you are prepared for the course content.  With orientation workshops that include Excel, Statistics, and Finance, you will be provided with all of the background you need for the program. And chances are, whatever your past experiences, they will provide you with a unique way of looking at business.

  1. It Isn’t All Business

Remember why you chose grad school in San Diego and not Lincoln, Nebraska. Business school is important but so is maintaining your sanity. Don’t be afraid to have some fun while you’re here.  Luckily, San Diego has countless opportunities for adventure. Practice your Spanish and take a day trip to Mexico, learn to surf, check out the zoo, watch a Padres game, explore the countless hiking trails, play some beach volleyball, or engage in the hundreds of other exciting pastimes of the San Diegans. Life is about balance, and speaking of balance, try some aerial yoga while you’re here.

potato team

  1. You’re Smarter Than You Think

Although The University of San Diego provides you with the basics you need for classes, the program is rigorous.  Course concepts become increasingly complicated and they may seem daunting. Just remember, if you are smart enough to be accepted into the program, you’re smart enough to complete it. Not everyone will have the same aptitude in every class. If accounting challenges you, it isn’t the end of the world. You will have other classes in which you excel.  Don’t lose sight of your own talents and the value you bring to the program. You were selected for a reason.

  1. Networking: Just Do It

A huge component of the USD MBA program involves networking events. If you’re a normal person like myself, the idea of walking up to a stranger at a career fair and giving an elevator pitch terrifies you.  Don’t worry. It isn’t as bad as it sounds.  Your cohort will support you and have plenty of advice. Take notes from your classmates who are naturals at introductions and try to emulate their methods.  Walk in with a group of classmates to feel more confident and supported.  You will quickly find that networking is much easier than it sounds.

  1. Embrace and Learn from Your Cohort

The diversity of your cohort might seem overwhelming at first, but it is one of the most advantageous aspects of the USD program. Rarely will you have such an opportunity to collaborate with people from around the world in such an open environment. Take full advantage of any chance to interact with your classmates.  Ask questions, show interest, and learn as much as you can from these amazing individuals. The diversity of the answers and advice you receive will ensure that you leave the program with a cosmopolitan perspective.

Submitted by Robin Gustafson, a 1st year Full-Time MBA student in the International Business track.
Robin is from the beautiful state of Montana and prior to USD worked in development, marketing and communications.

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This entry was posted in class experiences, classmates, full-time MBA program, International Business track, networking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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