One-Year at Goizueta: Alanna Holman – There’s No Reason to Stop
So, Alanna, you agreed to a one-year accelerated MBA?
Yes, I did!
And you are completing an entire year of core classes into one summer semester?
Yes, I’ll get through it!
Then my mind wandered…Wait, am I sure about this?
The word “accelerated” is not taken lightly here at Goizueta. On the first day of onboarding, we sat down in our seats and were reminded of how quickly the year passes. A few PowerPoint clicks later, and we were already discussing graduation day!
And what do we have to accomplish in that short time? Not only should we learn the material in our classes, but also we must focus our career path, add a few extracurricular activities, and grow relationships with each other.
As my classmates introduced themselves, I was in awe of our diversity. We have international students who moved to a new country (my hometown Tampa is only 450 miles away). And there are classmates with academic accolades, or those who are pursuing dual degrees. Some have started their own businesses and service organizations. Others have a few more years of work experience.
Wow. They are impressive. Will I be a valuable contributor to the class?
I tried to push these thoughts aside at Enota (see Brett’s blog). And as I got to know my core study team for the summer (Team 3 – Rainbow Zebras…you had to be there), I realized, we are in this together. In each situation, we each played an important role, whether I was the leader or assisted the leader. Then we allowed our barriers to lower, and shared our journeys and ambitions.
Each one of my teammates had a story that impacted me, but I want to share one from Zhana that really resonated with us. Zhana is a strong person, and she courageously told us her personal story. Last year she was trying to solve another GMAT problem while in the patient room, where her father was battling with cancer. She got it wrong again, so she decided to surrender. Zhana told her dad “I can’t do this anymore, I am giving up.” Her father put his notes aside (he was trying to finish his book), and told her “There is no reason to stop. I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to do this”. These words remind Zhana every day to value herself and persist. This year her family finished and released her father’s book for him. She wanted us to remember to never give up.
And as she opened up to my team, I realized that my worries were small. Not only did she experience hardship, but also she has remained resilient. I changed my perspective. Yes, this experience can be challenging, and at times, overwhelming. But with each hurdle, comes stamina. We strengthen ourselves. And afterwards, we reflect on the journey. We realize that we are exactly where we need to be.
As classes began, I kept my calm. But when a professor told us we had completed 40% of the class content at the end of Week 2, my mind spun again. Later in our study team meeting, I looked at my four teammates. Their focus and determination reminded me to continue. And their positive attitudes made me smile and remember that I enjoy learning.
In these few weeks, I have definitely experienced Rigor in the One-Year MBA program. But my Team gives me confidence, and I know that I have the Courage to continue. I will keep this mindset, and in return, support my classmates on their journeys.
The program is not stopping, and I have no reason to.