During the first week of class, I was introduced to what would become my second home: Room 204. As a one-year student, you will learn to love this room. You will eat, occasionally sleep (through any class on Friday afternoon), and experience many moments of panic.

To be transparent, the 10 weeks of summer is incredibly grueling and filled with many hours of case readings, endless group meetings, and econ problems that will make you tear your hair out.  Luckily, Goizueta has an incredibly supportive staff that helps you get through the chaos (The professors encourage questions, and love talking to you after class). This feeling of being embraced by a tight-knit community extends to the program office, the deans, and the career center. Over the summer most of the staff will get to know you on a first name basis.

Another Day in 204 – Asking Professor Valerio questions after class

In addition to the staff, you will also have the support of your team, a random group of 4 to 5 people you’re assigned to. These are your new best friends and you will quickly learn the meaning of sink or swim. You will bond with each other, get frustrated, bond again, have a meltdown, and then finally figure out how to be efficient! Basically, you are with this team for the duration of the summer and the majority of your school work will involve working together. For me, this has been the most challenging and most rewarding experience of the summer and I have learned more from my team than any individual class. Go team Spice!

Although you’re stuck in the classroom all day, there are plenty of opportunities to have some fun.  Here are some of my favorite events from the summer:

Guest speakers: Our class has met several of Emory’s alums ranging from last year’s students to graduates who have been out of the program for 15+ years. One of my favorite speakers was an executive from Porsche who told the class about his unique career path and talked about Porsche’s latest models!

KEGS: Yes, it’s exactly what you think. Every Friday (during the summer) the students enjoy the afternoon with beer and pizza and reminisce about Block I when we learned about regression models, game theory, and why the world is a “strange and scary place”. Just kidding… we’re normally trying to figure out what bar to go to but KEGS is a time to relax and play Bags (or as the southerners would call it “Cornhole”). The professors have also been known to grab a beer or two at KEGS and it’s a great time to get to know the faculty.

Fort Benning: This is a new part of the one-year program that teaches you leadership and how to work as a team. The class ventured to the Fort Benning military base for a day of boot camp and overcoming obstacles. Many of the obstacles involve crawling, swinging, or balancing on a wobbling board to get across a big pool of water but getting wet is the fun part!

Company visits: Over the summer, the class visited several company headquarters. My favorite visit was touring the facilities at Kids II, one of the leading manufacturers of kids toys. We not only met their designers and customer insights team but we also learned about their marketing strategy and made recommendations of our own. Did I mention they have a slide in their office?!?! By the end of the summer, the class will have visited UPS, the Fed, and Coca-Cola.

Overall, the summer is intense but there’s no doubt the one-year class gets the full MBA experience!

Why are we smiling? It’s time for boot camp at Fort Benning!

Posing in front of the slide at Kids II