Top 5 things I knew before starting the One-Year summer core
1. Take some time off and get ready to re-adapt to student life
As an Atlanta resident before starting the One-Year program, working through the month of April felt tempting, but I’m glad I took a one-week vacation before starting. Re-adjusting to student life can be a bit of a challenge for the first couple of weeks. I hadn’t gone through a syllabus, read a textbook or taken an exam in over five years! Taking some time off is a great way to reset and prepare for this transition. It’s also a good time to reflect on what’s to come and solidify your business school goals.
2. Get to know your core team
Your core team will be revealed to you during the beginning of the onboarding process, and it’s important to get to know them well, and quickly. Your team will be your family! All of the summer’s group work will be with your team, and the core will go smoothly if you feel comfortable communicating with your teammates openly and honestly. It’s also important to lay down ground rules with your teammates as soon as possible. For example, two of my teammates are parents, so we immediately agreed we would not work as a team on Saturdays to make sure they would have time with their families. Finally, make sure you keep track of milestones (if there are any) over the summer. For example, my team surprised me with an impromptu birthday party during a meeting, and it meant a great deal to me.
3. Take time to reflect and get feedback
The academics of business school are incredibly important, of course, but developing leadership skills was also one of my top motivators for coming to business school. Fortunately, the core experience gives you ample opportunity to develop these through team building exercises during onboarding, the core leadership course and the Leader’s Reaction Course at Ft. Benning. After each of these experiences, take time to reflect on them and identify how they can help you further improve your leadership skills. I would also recommend getting feedback from your core team and other classmates. While these conversations may not always be the most comfortable, I would rather hear about my areas for improvement from a classmate than during a performance review when I am back in the corporate world!
4. Utilize the quiet campus to the fullest
One nice perk of the One-Year Program is that campus is very quiet during the core. You and your classmates will be the only students on campus for much of the summer. Take advantage of this! The core is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your professors better outside of class time to discuss class material, career advice or anything else. Similarly, the summer is a great time to take advantage of all of the resources at the Career Management Center before the hectic recruiting season begins in September. If you start meeting with your career coach during the beginning of core, you’ll have plenty of time to polish your resume and work on your interview skills at your own pace.
5. Remember to have fun!
Without a doubt, the One-Year MBA is serious. Leaving a comfortable career for the prospect of something better at the other end can be scary! That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t enjoy time with your classmates outside of school. Fortunately, Goizueta helps facilitate this with weekly K.E.G.S. (Keeping Everybody at Goizueta Social) events. Make sure to take advantage of opportunities like these to blow off some steam and get to know your classmates better. Even though I’ve known my classmates for only a few months, it feels like a lot longer, and I’m looking forward to staying close with them after graduation.