I am currently writing this blog post from my couch, and it is glorious. Though I am still battling this nasty cold, at least I am battling it in the comfort of my own home. The break between Emory’s summer and fall semesters has allowed me to reflect on the past few months and draw some conclusions from my experience. Therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen, behold my Top Ten List of Revelations from the one-year MBA summer semester (in no particular order):

10. Learn to love the word “rigor.” Not only is it one of the Goizueta core values,it is a placeholder to define our school, our classes and our attitudes.  If you hear the word rigor shouted from the courtyard, someone is either about to take a test or drink a beer.

9. Never underestimate what a team can accomplish in 48 hours…Given the nature of the program, most papers  and projects formulate and study sessions take place within 48 hours of a deadline. While this seems like a small window to do everything (especially for a planner, like me), five like-minded people with the same goal could probably build a pyramid in 48 hours.

8. …As long as you take breaks. My team learned this lesson the hard way. Taking breaks allows you to recalibrate, relax your brain, and return to the team feeling refreshed. It is the waking version of taking a catnap. Even under the strictest of deadlines, a team will function more effectively if given a 10 minute break every couple of hours.

7. Your school locker is an excellent place to store snacks and ground coffee. When a team begins burning the midnight oil after a full day of classes, that locker becomes an oasis of hope.

6. It is never too early to perfect your elevator pitch. Inevitably, everyone you meet at business school (students, faculty, business partners, staff, etc) will ask you what you want to do. The sooner you get your 30 second spiel together, the more effective you will come across.

5. Work those business cards! We have 365 days at Goizueta and 250 business cards. You do the math.

4. Alumni are excellent resources. The passion of Goizueta alumni is infectious. They are always willing to assist with networking or to answer a question honestly. And most of them are just delightful lunch or coffee partners.

3. Getting out of your comfort zone is a requirement, and a good one at that. At some point, everybody has moved beyond their realm of comfort during this experience. Beyond the point of comfort is where growth begins. And we are all here for growth.

2. Business school kids drink beer for a reason. See previous post on rigor.

1. Spending all day, every day with the same people for 3.5 months yields some fast-forming and lasting friendships. I have learned as much from my classmates as I have learned from the classes themselves, and would not trade this experience for anything.

With that, I will leave you with a couple photos of our end of semester party, thrown by the program office:

Some of the ladies in the program:

Enjoying the rooftop patio with some pizza and drinks: