SEMESTER SERIES : Giselle Barrera – Orientation: Getting ready to hit the ground running

Starting the orientation process at Goizueta is an extremely exciting time, you are getting to know all your future classmates and the people who will become your family for the next 2 years.

Before classes started we were able to share our first Kegs with some students from the One-Year program who have been at school all summer and will join the class of 2014 in the fall.

Our Two-year Program community started building even before orientation, at informal get-togethers organized by international students who want to meet more people, or domestic students who have recently moved to Atlanta.

As time goes by and you start meeting them, you are really amazed by your classmates. Not only will you be surrounded by extremely talented and smart individuals, they are also some of the nicest people you will ever meet. You will build relationships that will last a lifetime.  I feel really blessed to be a part a group of with such a diverse mix of backgrounds, skills and interests.

Some of the second years I met at Welcome Weekend gave me advice on how to get ready for classes and it was really helpful! You will hear often –from both faculty and current students – that you have to get ready to “hit the ground running”.

Another aspect that is especially different at Goizueta, is that you can reach out to anyone from your network.  If you have the opportunity to attend Welcome Weekend or visit for an Admissions event before you move to Atlanta, I would definitely recommend doing so, because the people you meet are extremely helpful and valuable contacts as you start your MBA.

An highly anticipated part of orientation is getting to know who your teammates will be during the first semester.  The program office has a –secretive- but extremely effective algorithm that groups people together according to their areas of interest, whether they are career switchers or want to learn about other industries, they also make sure we have diverse backgrounds in our teams, so that when you are working on team projects you have a lot of different perspectives.

As a closing event we had a 3-day retreat at Camp Twin Lakes. It was packed with activities that helped us get to know our classmates better and bond with our respective teams. There was also a Luau party and an “International Highlights” Show, where some of us international students were able to share aspects of our culture. There were dance performances, Q&A sessions, and sketches. Overall it was a really fun experience and I think coming back from it we were a much stronger group.  Compared with other MBA Programs our class size is much smaller so we are able to know most of our classmates by name, even though we are just starting orientation!

At the end of or stay at Twin Lakes we received our first lecture from Dean Brian @DeanBrianGBS. Orientation was officially over! Now it’s time to start classes (Block 1), hit the ground hard, and start running!