ONE-YEAR AT GOIZUETA: RACHEL PETERSEN – DEAR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

I was in your shoes not that long ago and I know what you’re thinking. Why would you voluntarily go back to school to spend all-nighters stressing before exams? Why would you cram 2 years worth of material into 1 year? And why would you quit your job to do it?

Well lucky for you, I’m here to give you a few reasons why:

1) The unique group of classmates you’ll meet from all over the world who happen to be smart as hell

2) The chance to interact with faculty who turn those boring business concepts from undergrad into real-world situations

3) The opportunity to visit company headquarters, network with the top Fortune 500 companies, and land your dream job

4) The 365 days you’ll get to live like a local and explore the awesome restaurants, the music festivals, and the breweries in the city of Atlanta

Convinced??  Maybe I should start from the beginning.

I’m a 26-year-old Chicagoan who worked in merchandising for the past 4 years. Like most Northerners, I never imagined myself in the south but I have quickly fallen in love with the city of Atlanta, especially the Emory campus. I was even more excited to go back to school and relive my undergrad life of taking naps at 2 pm and having no real responsibilities.

Boy was I wrong! 

Our class hit the ground running during the first day of Foundations Week.  Professors were trying to refresh our brains with essential information – like how to build a balance sheet or how to find the equation of a line. After 5 days of refresher classes, my head was spinning and I was struggling to remember the names of my 57 classmates. Luckily that wasn’t a problem after the following week of orientation.

Orientation is a week full of information about how you will spend the next 10 weeks of your summer. For a class full of type-A MBA students, this was wonderful. We learned about the expectations of our professors, we were introduced to all the resources on campus like the business librarians and the career center, and received a lot of free lunches! The best part about it, though, is that you get to know your classmates. I was pleasantly surprised by how diverse and talented my class was. Several classmates had started their own businesses, lived in countries all over the world, and had hobbies ranging from song-writing to marathon running. During orientation, we even got a chance to get out of the classroom (we didn’t realize how much we would appreciate this later) and went on an overnight retreat to a camp called Twin Lakes. I don’t want to spoil the experience but I’ll tell you this is where you will really bond with your classmates.

Bonding at Twin Lakes

Whether it’s pushing each other to step outside of your comfort zone, sharing a beer, or bonding over your hatred for the outdoors, you are guaranteed to walk away with new friends. We made sure to enjoy this week because, after it was over, we knew Room 204 would be waiting for us…Monday through Friday….8:30 to 4….the same room. Bring on the caffeine!

Enjoying a Friday afternoon at KEGS