ONE-YEAR AT GOIZUETA: SCOTT KAGAN – Let the Games Begin!

It’s hard to believe that just over one month ago I was working from my home in Washington, DC and am now living in Atlanta studying for midterms!  Before I arrived at Goizueta I had the opportunity to speak with some current students and alumni about the One Year Experience.  Like many reading this, the question on the front of mind was “what’s the summer like?  Sounds kind of crazy.”  Resoundingly, I received some derivation of the same answer; “the summer is crazy intense… lots of hard work, and slightly overwhelming… but man it’s pretty awesome.”  I found this answer to be a bit vague so I am here to clarify that statement and tell you that the summer is crazy, intense, filled with lots of hard work, and is slightly overwhelming, but man it’s pretty awesome.

I think the best way to describe the summer experience is to go through a “typical” day.  Please note that your results may vary and that each day is different, but I hope this gives a rough idea of a day in the life of the summer experience.

7:00 AM: Hopefully I have done all my work from the night before so I can sleep until 7 knowing I can have a relaxing morning getting ready.  As a married student, this is usually a good time for my wife Sarah and I to chat, make our lunches for the day, and spend some time mapping out who will make dinner 🙂

8:00 AM: Out the door for Goizueta.  I live close, but I’ve learned that is a relative term in the area so expect some traffic!  I have come to enjoy the traffic, however, as it gives me time to call my parents, friends, or just blast some music and zone out.  I know some classmates who prefer to take the free bus service in the area and catch up on case readings during their commute.  For me, not until the caffeine sets in.

8:30 AM: Let the games begin.  I have chosen this phrase because most classes hold some sort of game quality to them.  Some are more outrageous than others (IE Beer Game or Widget Building) but I can honestly say this is not the undergrad lecture hall managed by professors with PhD’s in lullabies.  Last week we ran data analysis on the salaries of college basketball head coaches in relation to revenue brought to the school by the program.  Sorry Louisville fans, Rick Pitino is statistically way overpaid.

Widget making in Econ

Widget making in Econ

Learning about process mapping by moving beer in Process and Systems Management

Moving beer in Process and Systems Management

12:00 PM: Lunch!  As I mentioned earlier, I like to pack my lunch for cost and time savings.  I will usually meet with my team for lunch but sometimes we agree to take a break from each other and our group work.  In this case, I will usually be found eating outside in the courtyard soaking up some Georgia sun while perusing some case reading.

4:00 PM:  Done with classes!  Time for some Kar’s nuts and a Diet Coke in the Commons.

4:30 PM:  After a quick mental break, our team will meet in a breakout room to get to work on group assignments.  Most of the rooms in GBS are equipped with big screen monitors, white boards, and a few even have Smart Boards (these are particularly handy when developing trees or for conducting brainstorming sessions).

Team 1 working hard in break out room

Team 1 working hard in break out room

7:00 PM:  Done with group work and heading home!

7:15 PM: Cooking dinner with Sarah, recapping events of the day, acting like a normal couple.

8:15 PM:  After eating, watching TV, etc. it’s time for individual work to begin.  I like to map out what is due over the next few days, finish any readings that need doing and complete/submit homework assignments due the next day.

11:00 PM:  That’s a wrap!  At this time, I will (hopefully) be done with my work for the next day and will watch some TV to wind down, or, in the case of tonight (current time 11:22 PM), I will write a blog!

It is important to set priorities for yourself and your team at the beginning of the summer.  For me, getting some solid sleep is pretty high on the list.  As a result, I will occasionally work through a lunch, eat dinner while reading, or whatever it takes to make sure I get some quality shut eye.  I am thankful to have a loving and supporting partner in my wife to help whenever needed to make sure this happens.

This “typical” day leaves out a lot, including countless corporate visits, social events, guest speakers from every industry and specialty, and the fact that I get to spend each day with 61 incredible classmates turned lifelong friends after knowing each other for just over one month!  I hope this helps paint a picture of a day in the life – it’s crazy, intense, filled with lots of hard work, and is slightly overwhelming but man it’s pretty awesome.

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