ONE-YEAR AT GOIZUETA: ERIN NUSBAUM REHM – My summer as an “indoor kid”

I suppose in my previous working life I was still an indoor kid during the summers. However, being in a Goizueta classroom all summer has heightened my awareness of the outside world of I am missing out on. I am not alone either. At any and all breaks we got during our school day, all 45 of us would flock to the lovely courtyard balconies to soak up any amount of vitamin D possible.

Perhaps it is also because it is so gosh darn cold in these classrooms.

People would show up to class in a t-shirt and shorts, and by 9am, they were wearing a sweatshirt, clutching a hot beverage and are wishing for space heaters. Studies show that the cold makes students more alert, but I doubt that productivity can increase much more once you are able to see your breath. Yes, I exaggerate, and yes, we were warned. But it doesn’t make it any less comical. At least nobody busted out their earmuffs and mittens.

A perk of the second summer block was the Summer Speaker series, where alums who are 1-2 years out came back and talked to us about their experience before, during, and after their time at Goizueta. While this kept us in the afore-mentioned icebox for an additional hour, the time spent with Jason Gordon and Chervickia Thomas was delightful. They were each light, honest, humorous, and provided excellent insight on their traditional or non-traditional career paths (Jason is a professor and entrepreneur and Chervickia works for Delta).

Jason Gordon sharing his wisdom:

Good thing we had 3 boards for that 1 Finance problem:

Then as quickly as they began, Block 2 classes came to a close. Final exams and papers in Finance, Accounting, Marketing and leadership were drawing nigh. The only thing that stood between us and 8 days of travel/networking/career prep/lounging was the Management Practice project.

As you may recall, in a previous post, I had mentioned that we were addressing a real area of opportunity for a real client with this project. While we were originally introduced to both the client and the problem back in May (since we signed non-disclosure agreements, I cannot mention any company details), the project work really began once classes ended and finals were over. We had two half day sessions with Professors Noonan and Smith and then about 96 hours to research, analyze, solve, fortify and present our project.  I also want to mention that this could not have been done without the wonderful resources and staff at the Goizueta Business Library.

While each of the 9 teams presented to the teaching team, only 2 were selected to present to the client at their headquarters. Our team was not one of the two selected, which was a blessing in disguise, since after the 96 hours in a study room incubator, 3 out of the 5 of us had contracted the same virus. So on Wednesday morning, our whole class put on suits and real shoes and congregated with about 12 directors of the company for the final presentations. Needless to say, the presentations were both wonderful. I was so proud of my classmates and happy to be a part of the group as a whole. And just like that, year 1 of MBA was over.

My visitor badge at the company’s HQ:

Jeff extolling the virtues of Brazil and Mexico to the client (only about 1/6 of the room is shown in this picture):