My first year at Tippie has been an awesome ride but a bit difficult to share in words.
It’s a lot like being asked to describe a vacation or memorable event – you need to experience it to really appreciate it.
My Tippie MBA experience started off last August with the IMPACT week that involved introduction to classmates, seniors, student organizations and staff through various team-building activities and a 24-hour case competition. The case competition, especially, made me understand what life as an MBA student is going to be like. The following week I started off with my core classes that ran through the entire first semester and provided the basic knowledge of the various aspects of business. I have an engineering background and, at first, found the MBA classroom to be very different as it involves lot of class participation, teamwork and presentations.
Simultaneously, I started off with regular meetings with the career services team who helped me formulate my resume, cover letters and interviewing skills. Each of us also prepared our elevator pitch, which is a 60 second summary of our experience, skills, interests and future goals. I have to appreciate the effort that the career services team puts into each student. They know you personally and can thus suggest job opportunities that suit your profile, connect you with alumni and conduct mock interviews with senior professionals. With all these newly learnt skills I went to the NBMBAA and the Midwest MBA career fairs where I met potential employers, attended various networking events and gave my first interviews. Later in the semester I went on the fall trip to Minneapolis where we visited five companies and had a table talk session with some of the alumni in that area. We also had the academy forums where business leaders came to Tippie and shared with us their learning’s and experiences. Such events provided great networking opportunities and helped me formalize my career path post MBA.
The fall is also a great time for experiencing the Iowa culture through football, tailgates, TGIT’s, Diwali night, Halloween and many other festivities and events. The closely-knit Tippie community and the university town feel of Iowa City made the super busy first semester very enjoyable as I balanced studies, job search and social activities while adjusting to a new culture.
After an awesome holiday during the winter break, I came back in January to start off my second semester. I decided to join the marketing academy as it fell inline with my career goals and provided a flexible curriculum that allows me to tailor my MBA experience. But the best part of the second semester was the Business Consulting Project. We were a team of 6 with the second year student as the team lead. We acted as external consultants to our client – GE Healthcare. The project was a refreshing change from the regular classes as I got the opportunity to work with a real client on current problems that effected the company’s business. We tackled challenges, brainstormed solutions, interacted with the client on a weekly basis and eventually gave our final presentation to the client’s CFO, which was a great experience in itself. In the end I think the client was really happy with our recommendations and I can’t wait to see them implement the strategy.
I believe, participating in the University of Illinois, Strategy Case Competition was another integral part of my experience at Tippie. We were a team of 4 first year students that represented Tippie and competed with 12 business schools from all over the country. After 36 hours of hard work, minimum sleep and two rounds of presentations in front of tough judging panels, we grabbed the second place and brought the trophy home! I also decided to further enrich my MBA experience by gaining some interdisciplinary entrepreneurial experience and joined the Iowa Medical Innovation Group (IMIG) where I am working with a team of five students from the medical, engineering and law schools. We have conducted the initial market research and look forward to manufacture, patent and potentially commercialize the device next year. I also represent the MBA Association at the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students, and am involved with the United Nations Association at the University of Iowa. I also volunteered for organizing events such as president Obama’s visit.
Apart from managing all the extra curricular activities and studies, I was hunting for a good summer internship. I was continuously in touch with our career services team, networking with industry professionals and alumni, going through mock interviews and attending on-campus company presentations. I interviewed with many companies and after the spring break, got an offer from a health insurance company that came on-campus.
Looking back, it seems as if I joined the program yesterday. But now that I am done with my first year, I have time to take a break, sit back and think about how the Tippie MBA is transforming me into a successful professional and I can confidently say that joining the program has been one of the best decisions of my life. Now, I look forward to work on my internship and am excited to experience my second year at Tippie.