October 24, 2011

A First Year MBA's Reflection on Approaching the Midpoint of Fall 2011

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Dana Connolly (center in photo)
MBA Candidate, 2013

If someone were to have asked me a year ago what I expected out of my first eight weeks as a full-time MBA student, I can say without a doubt that whatever answer I would’ve given would only cover a miniscule fraction of what has actually transpired since I came to BU for pre-term on August 22nd. In this relatively short period of time, I’ve already had my first group presentation, Integrated Project is well under way, and I’ve had to tackle a few exams (and not-so-fortunately, there are a few more tests coming up in the very near future). I’ve attended my first Career Fair, participated in informational interviews, and connected with 2nd year students about their summer internships. I’ve had fantastic conversations over drinks – with both classmates and professors, I’ve had the chance to attend a conference and a number of panels, and I have gotten an opportunity to achieve a leadership position in a student organization. Although so much has already happened, I’m almost completely bewildered when I try to justify the speed at which this time has passed. Was it really only 3 months ago that I was still employed and the fall semester seemed so far off in the future?!

Another aspect of the life of an MBA student that I definitely underestimated is the speed of and extent to which my life has plunged into what I like to call “manageable chaos”. To be fair, my experience may not be typical of colleagues, who could have potentially acclimated to the lifestyle of a full-time student instead of a working professional more rapidly and less awkwardly. For example, I have not gone food shopping in over a month, and instead I rely on whatever food I can find in SMG, delivery, and candy as my primary forms of sustenance. I also did not think that I would have to adapt to sleeping an average of 4 ½ hours per night quite this early in the game. Nevertheless, the stress of coursework and career development and my personal care becoming more reminiscent of that of an 18-year old are tremendously small prices for me to pay for the extraordinary benefits the full time MBA has rendered so far on both an academic and, I would argue more importantly, a personal level. Every opportunity that has been presented to spend time with classmates, explore Boston, or broaden my horizons in terms of potential career paths has been too good to pass up, and such experiences make convenience-store turkey sandwiches quite a bit easier to swallow.

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