Like many others, I came to Tippie from a full-time job, far removed from academia. Due to this, returning to school was a difficult decision. Sure, I was excited to advance my career, and, sure, I knew the possibilities that an MBA would open up to me. That did not ease the worries of giving up a paycheck to be a student, though.
IMPACT week, the first experience back on campus, affirmed to me that I had made the right choice. We arrived at 8 a.m. Monday morning for an informal meet and greet with our new classmates and very quickly we realized that this was an amazingly diverse and accomplished group of people. My excitement built throughout the week as we were whisked between speakers, interactive activities, and social events. The culmination of this somewhat frenetic week was a real life business case competition. For many, this was the first time they had ever been asked to analyze a business situation. It seemed a daunting task, and it certainly pressed us to work just as hard as any job, but it was incredibly rewarding as a group to go through this experience.
In one week, I felt more engaged and challenged than I had in a long time. I loved the small, focused approach to MBA education that we had the opportunity to be a part of. There were early mornings and late nights, and we had been pushed to think far beyond any skill set we brought with us. Through it all, I’ve made great friendships I know will last a lifetime. It really has set the tone for everything I want my MBA experience to be.