It is amazing how much our perspectives can change over the course of a summer. Less than four months ago I was a first-year W. P. Carey MBA student, still overwhelmed by the energy of my peers and the whirlwind of experiences and opportunities available to W. P. Carey students. It still feels like yesterday when our class wrapped up finals, emptied our lockers, and headed out to conquer our internships.
A short 15 weeks later, I returned to campus to find that everything has changed. How could that be? I’m still surrounded by the same exceptional peers and faculty as last year. Yet, it is clear that a significant transformation has taken place amongst the class of 2013. I wanted to take a few moments to share my thoughts on the key aspects of this transformation:
I’m going to let you in on a secret – the first year of business school is full of rejection. I applied for internships, went to a national MBA career fair, ran for club positions, and tried to get A’s…all while pretending that I had it all together. And I got rejected, over and over again. Despite my qualifications, this process made me question my intelligence, my abilities, and whether I had made the right decision to attend the W. P. Carey MBA program. Fortunately, by the end of the first year everything was all right (trust me – it was for everyone).
After an amazing summer at our internships, one of the greatest traits our class has re-gained is self-confidence. Personally, my renewed self-confidence is based on my internship with Deloitte Consulting, which demonstrated to me that the W. P. Carey MBA program has provided me with the knowledge and skills needed to compete with MBA students from other top schools. As we start our second year, I think our entire class is more confident in our ability to tackle the complex challenges of Fortune 500 companies, especially now that we have conquered our internships.
Openness to New Experiences
All of us came into the MBA program with certain preferences, such as career goals, hobbies, and personal interests. Although you don’t have to join every club or be friends with everyone in the MBA program, one my key takeaways as a second-year student is that you should try everything that you are comfortable with. You never know who you will meet at new activities, who might end up in your study groups, and who might become future colleagues or best friends.
The MBA is an Experience, Not Textbook Reading
As a first-year student, it was easy to lose sight of the MBA program’s key purpose – to expose you to insights and experiences that cannot be easily found in the “real” world. Looking back at last year, I am saddened to think about how many cool experiences I missed because I was worried about studying. My plan this year is to attend every valuable event open to W. P. Carey MBA students, even if I am bogged down with work. It may take extra effort on my part, but I am confident it will be worthwhile.
It is incredible to look back at accomplishments from my first year in the W. P. Carey MBA, as well as scary to think that I only have nine months left at ASU before I set out to conquer the world. To my peers and prospective students, my advice is to be confident in yourself and the W. P. Carey MBA – it is amazing how far it can take you in life. Good luck!