ONE-YEAR AT GOIZUETA: BRETT PATTERSON – CHEERING THROUGH THE CHALLENGE

Hill's AngelsAs you can imagine, an MBA challenges you in a lot of ways!  As we round out the end of Summer Block 1, our skills have been put to the test – our presentation ability, our regression modeling ingenuity, and even our toe dexterity…  Yes, it is exam week at Goizueta, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop!  This past weekend our study teams participated in the First Annual One-Year MBA Summer Decathlon, ten grueling games designed to challenge our strength, mental agility, and sense of humor!  We participated in Emory themed trivia, color sorted Skittles using only our toes, and wrapped ourselves like mummies in toilet paper.

Bucket

The competition escalated rapidly, along with the cheering and laughter.  There was even a little bit of friendly sabotage in the form of water gun distractions.  Unfortunately, some members of my team were unable to attend the decathlon, but we quickly recruited a replacement in the form of our economics professor, Ray Hill.  While we won’t see our team’s name on the golden trophy this year, we were a force to be reckoned with, especially when it came to the ice bucket challenge event.  We didn’t have to dump buckets of ice water over our heads, but the challenge was equally numbing.  Each team positioned themselves on the ground with their feet holding a bucket of ice water up in the air.  While the task began quite simply, its difficulty progressed as we were challenged to move the bucket up and down without spilling its contents.  To take our focus away from the tightening of our leg muscles, Prof. Hill proceeded to sing Christmas carols, which immediately took the furrow from our brows and added smiles to our faces.  One by one, team members were instructed to remove their feet from the bucket, until I was the only one balancing a bucket with one foot.  Yet another test of toe dexterity!  It certainly seemed like an eternity as we continued to lift the buckets up and down.  My leg instantly began shaking and I regretted not keeping up with Pilates classes, but my team members and classmates continued to cheer me on.  It came down to the final three individuals and we eventually all dropped our buckets within seconds of each other.  I laid in the grass for a minute trying regain the feeling in my leg before hobbling to the next event.  All the while, I could still hear the cheering and several people telling me I had done a great job.

Two days later, I am still unevenly sore and walking with a bit of a limp, but it was totally worth it!  Looking back on the challenge, I think it is a great metaphor for not only exam week, but also the entire MBA experience.  There will be days that are hard or painful and you’ll think you can’t do it, but you’ll somehow manage to put a smile on your face.  You’ll get through it because you chose to be be here and you want to succeed.  The best part is that you’ll soon find that your classmates and professors want you to succeed too.  Sure we are quite the competitive bunch, you’ll soon find that the same high fives that are passed out after a day full of fun and games are also passed out in classrooms after delivering a great presentation or finishing a lengthy exam.  Yes, we chose to be here to get a great education, but we also came for the supportive (and fun) community that is Goizueta!

Decathlon Team

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