As anyone in the business world will tell you, one of the most important factors in being successful is building relationships. Whether with potential clients, co-workers, or in our case, fellow students, the importance does not diminish. Getting to know your classmates and their interests will be paramount not only to building relationships with them, but also to your success. In a program that is as team oriented as the Fisher Specialized Master in Finance, getting to know your classmates is even more important because they are also going to be your teammates.
That being said, the SMF program does a great job of helping us to get to know our classmates through a two week orientation period. During this time we did activities to get to know our classmates as well participate in seminars that would help us to understand the expectations we should have for ourselves. This orientation period was a great time for us to get to know each other outside of the classroom as well since we had plenty of free time with classes not yet in session. Our program set up a picnic at a local park where we were able to not only meet all of our other classmates, but try food from different cultures. We also had the opportunity to take a tour of campus with pre-assigned groups which gave us the opportunity to get to know our way around campus as well getting know more of our classmates.
As we start to get into our classes and split up into groups for our many projects, the many activities we did the first few weeks are really showing their importance. Ensuring that you are working with the best possible group of people for you is paramount to your success and we would not have been able to gain that knowledge before classes start without our efforts during orientation. In closing, the main lesson is that even when you have downtime there are plenty of things you can do that are going to set you up for success once school really starts.