Second Semester First Years: A changing (still busy) life

As a second semester 1st year, it’s very interesting to look back and see how things have changed since the end of August.  We all went from being strangers to creating great friendships in the span of just a few months.  The program allowed us to participate in so many things first semester that it was a complete whirlwind.  From info sessions and case competitions, to exams and interview prep, we were busy from August through mid-December.  Second semester hasn’t been any less busy and in fact, I sometimes feel like we are even busier.  However, there have been some changes since the beginning of January and it has definitely kept our entire first year interesting.  There are few main changes I think the whole class has seen:

1) Less Exams, More Group Projects

Our first semester included classes like Finance, Accounting, Data Analytics & Econ.  As you can probably guess, these were very heavily data and fact-based, which led to lots of midterms and final exams.  This semester we have classes much more based on discussion and theory.  The shift has led us to many less tests and many more group projects.  While there are pros and cons to this shift, I know we can all say that we have a new appreciation for time management.  I have never seen Gerlach as busy on Sunday as it has been these past few weeks.  Multiple projects mean multiple group meetings, multiple deadlines and multiple deliverables in the form of papers, PowerPoints and presentations.

2) Less Information Sessions, More ‘Development’ Sessions

As soon as we arrived on campus in August, companies began to flock with info sessions.  It was great because it made us realize that Fisher has a very well respected MBA program.  It also meant we spent a lot of lunch hours and evenings in information sessions.  Now, we spend more of our lunch hours and evenings in what I will call ‘development’ sessions.  From learning how to personally brand yourself and marketing to millennials, to learning about the real estate process and hearing from influential leaders in the corporate world, we are learning a lot that can be applied to our careers and lives.  While there is definite value in every ‘extra’ event on campus, I think we are now learning how to stretch ourselves even more as leaders and businessmen/women.

3) Less Interviewing, More Celebrating

The interviewing process is definitely ongoing throughout our whole first year.  In fact, most of us don’t secure our summer jobs until the second semester.  However, it is great to feel the stress level drop as people get and accept offers.  Interviewing and interview prep has been a main part of our year and the celebration feels that much sweeter when all the hard work pays off.  I am also extremely happy to see how many of my peers are getting the internships they dreamed of.

By the end of this semester, we will all feel like pros at the MBA lifestyle.  It’s crazy to think the end of year one is already rapidly approaching and I am excited to see new and exciting changes continue to come our way.