A Flashback of First-Year MBA Student

One of the first experiences you have within the Mason School of Business is Orientation, where you meet the amazing people you will spend the next two years with.  With a wide range of interests, experiences, and backgrounds to draw from, getting an MBA is so much more than just classes.

Having at least one international student and one military student on each learning team is just one example of the diversity of the students in the program.   By working with the same learning team throughout the first-year, I gained valuable leadership and teamwork experience and was able to utilize everyone’s unique talents and strengths.  Almost every class has some level of group work including presentations, research papers, and other deliverables that helps to prepare you for a future after school.

The first year was filled with a variety of classes, everything from Economics and Data Analysis to Marketing Strategy and Organizational Behavior. Anyone will tell you I’m not a “quant” person, but that didn’t hold me back.  If anything, I got more “bang for my buck” (insert APA citation for Professor Hewitt here!) because I was able to learn so much more about the importance of data and numbers in decision making.  As the year progressed, topics were incorporated from previous courses and concepts were built upon.   By the end of Mod III, you have developed a background in such a wide range of subjects that it really helps shape you into a well-rounded business professional.

To put what I was learning into perspective, there were over a dozen distinguished guest speakers that visited Miller Hall from all areas of business.  From past alumni to high-ranking executives like Dan Akerson, Chairman and CEO of General Motors, there was always an important take-away from any speech.  The faculty, staff, Executive Partners, and students did an amazing job leveraging the program and their connections to provide such memorable presentations.

The MBA Association provides even more great opportunities and is comprised of a number of student-run clubs and committees with a shared goal to expand student development outside of the classroom.  Trust me when I say there is something everyone can get involved in!  Whether it’s Sustainability, Community Service, Consulting, or another passion, there were events throughout the year (like 110 of them!) that any student can attend or participate in.  Some of my favorite events were the International Nights that focused on the diversity of cultures represented in Mason School of Business through food, fashion, and performances.

It was challenging and busy at times, but also very rewarding to look back at how fast it went by and how much I learned and experienced.  First-year really did fly by!

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Alexandra LaRock

Alex LaRock is an MBA candidate with the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary.

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