5 initial takeaways from business school
1. Hard work pays off (actually). We have heard it time and time again, yet coming into a fast-paced, challenging program and putting it into practice is the only way to truly live it. I can speak for everyone I know at Goizueta when I say, you will get out of it exactly what you put in. If you want to do great in classes, be successful in recruiting, build meaningful friendships and enjoy everything business school has to offer, the effort needs to come first.
2. We all need our people. I could not have done any of it without my friends. There inevitably comes that “first day of school” feeling where you look around and wonder “who are all of these people? Am I ever going to make any friends here? How do I even start a conversation?” Those questions go away as fast as they come. Just like any new adventure, school will have its fantastic times and its tough times — having the people to celebrate the good and power through the bad is irreplaceable.
3. Be open to new experiences and adventures. Business school is all about entering a different environment, meeting hundreds of new people and getting to know yourself all over again. I learned that it is OK to grow, change and adjust in this kind of transition. The world is so big beyond what we know, and each open door presents its new set of opportunities. I have loved opening myself up to more travel, spontaneous concerts and festivals, and all sorts of ethnic foods and novel cultures. Keep it coming, Goizueta!
4. Use all possible resources while you have them. We are so lucky to have the professors, databases and networks that we do. It doesn’t all dissolve upon our graduation, but it is certainly easier to take advantage when strolling down the grounds during the school year. To keep myself accountable on this, I have made sure to enjoy coffee chats with faculty, reach out to Emory alumni, and make the most of the offline and online resources available.
5. It is OK to take the road less traveled. In b-school, it is easy to get caught up with the crowd and trend towards doing things the way everyone else seems to be. Whether it is related to career, peer groups, hobbies or anything else, I have learned that it is OK, and sometimes even better, to step outside of the norm. For me, this came to light during the recruitment process, where the firm I wanted to work at was not utilizing the typical on-campus recruiting process. A number of my friends questioned my use of my time, poking fun at me for networking and putting energy into something that “simply won’t happen.” I worked at it, and by a stroke of luck and some wonderful people, it happened. This was not the easy path, but it ended up being the most rewarding for me.