ONE-YEAR AT GOIZUETA: AMANDA LINTELMAN – A comparison: First Block and Second Block of Summer Semester
During the summer session, you will complete all required coursework for your MBA. The summer session at Goizueta is split into two blocks. The first block lasts about six and a half weeks, whereas the second block is just over four weeks.
Block 1 Classes: Economics, Data & Decision Analysis (DDA), Leadership & Organizational Strategy (LOS), Process & Systems Management (PSM), Management Practice (MP)
For me, the first block was much more aligned with my prior experience and skillset. I majored in economics in undergrad, and spent five years prior to graduate school working in consulting. Don’t let that fool you, though. Economics was still a tough course for me, and in fact required the most time commitment for me outside of scheduled class time. For each class, students were required to turn in an individual homework; most classes also required a group homework assignment as well. The course material was extremely relevant and taught me to think critically about information presented to me. DDA was also familiar territory for me. I truly enjoyed continuing to learn about regressions and experiencing decision analysis for the first time. On multiple occasions I have already thought back to the material I learned in this class in my non-academic life! I highly valued the material I learned in LOS and PSM. Particularly, as a consultant I found this coursework to be highly relevant and interesting. Most of the preparation and coursework for these two classes came in the form of reading and written papers. MP is an experiential course that teaches students how to analyze a problem and present a solution (think consulting skills). Primarily, the first block consisted of classroom learning with a few assignments to prepare students for the major project. While I can’t go into the specifics of our project, each MP class works with a real client to help them solve an actual business problem. This is the only course that spans across Block 1 and Block 2. First block was also marked with a number of site visits, where we had the opportunity to learn first-hand about businesses and how they function. At six and a half weeks, the first block was also marked with some breaks and seemed like a more manageable pace in comparison with Block 2.
Block 2 Classes: Finance, Accounting, Leadership, Marketing, Management Practice (MP)
If Block 1 was familiar ground, Block 2 was uncharted territory. I have never taken finance or marketing, and have only enrolled in one accounting class. This block was much more quantitative in nature. While the amount of required homework was less, the preparation required for exams was much more for me than the first block. Even though I don’t plan to work directly in the finance, accounting, or marketing space, I can honestly say that after the second block, I feel highly competent in these areas. The style of the classes were more lecture based than the first block, particularly for finance and accounting. Marketing also featured three virtual simulations as part of the coursework. While the simulations were fun, they also brought out the very competitive side of my class! The second block of classes only featured two official finals, and wrapped up a week later with the final Management Practice Presentation, where each student delivered their suggestions for the business problem discussed above.
While the two blocks in the summer semester were quite different, they each offered high levels of exposure to qualitative and quantitative skills essential for an MBA. In addition to the coursework, the summer semester brought my class from 62 strangers in early May to 62 close friends by mid-August. Truthfully, I feel like just yesterday I was driving to campus for day one of onboarding. Writing this retrospective review of summer semester seems somewhat surreal. So, enjoy it, because if flies by! Here’s to an amazing summer, One Year Class of 2016!