Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day 1

My overall thought at the end of Day 1 of orientation is: SO TIRED. I have not seen 6 o'clock a.m. in a very long time. There is the possibility that I had a very early flight to catch somewhere along the way, but that only requires me to be awake for a limited period of time before I can go back to sleep on the plane. Today started with registration (info packet) and breakfast (pastries and fruit) and then began a long day of lectures and discussion. The wise planners of orientation banned laptops. There were several moments where I would have enjoyed the opportunity to "multi-task" i.e. play games on the web, but alas, no computer. The morning welcome session was properly energetic. Our SGA president, whom I have met before is a five foot ball of freakish energy. I love it. The Dean has a great sense of humor that worked especially well towards the end of a long string of introductions.

Our theme (I cringed quietly when I heard the word "theme" come out of the orientation leaders' mouths) is "THINK BIG!" Such a motto can only appear in capital letters followed by an exclamation point. It is a necessary grammatical construction for such a theme. We got a book of inspirational quotes, which I appreciated as I have collected quotes as a hobby for over ten years. After the intro speeches we had a talk by the CFO/ Sr. VP for the Gap Brand, a 1988 Georgetown MBA grad. He had very useful, well articulated advice.

We then had a brief presentation by the head of facilities planning about the new building, which will be ready in January 2009. Supposedly.

After lunch, which was a bit food coma inducing, we spent the entire rest of the afternoon on integrity and professionalism. We broke into small groups and discussed various short ethics/ career development case scenarios. Most of the discussion was thoughtful and interesting, but a few people simply seemed to miss the point. Granted this was an academic exercise, so people were likely drawn more to extreme responses than they hopefully would if the situation actually presented itself. In many of the groups some individuals got caught up in debating the difference between a legal contract and just giving your word in a reneging your job offer acceptance scenario. The point of the exercise (apparently hammered home in one of the 4 groups by a careers rep) was that going back on your job acceptance will most likely hurt your peers and those who come after you at your b school no matter what your circumstance is. The case also covered several important points on handling career matters professionally.
After a few related integrity presentations and slides we finished the day and had a wine and cheese reception on the roof of the car barn.

The only things I did not enjoy about today were lunch, which was way too heavy, and the subtle yet present Harvard complex. Several of the second years during the opening presentations and a professor on the curriculum panel mentioned Georgetown's rankings and how we as individual students are supposed to compete with the top ten school students. It was not focused upon, but provided an unwelcome distraction from what Georgetown offers and what exciting things OUR program does. The Dean, from what I recall of all the speeches, did not make mention of any other schools by name. This is an excellent little example of his extreme professionalism and focus on Georgetown, which is an inspiring thing to witness in your school's leader. I was also disappointed when the statistics for our class were posted and women only make up less than a third of the class.

We do have about a third international students from 33 different countries. I am continually excited about the upcoming year and the people in my class. There is a such a diversity of international experience which I hope will increase the diversity of opinion and contributions in the classroom. I better get some sleep so I can "think big" tomorrow!


mbagladiator said...

Sounds super exciting. I'm sure tons of people will tell you this (if they haven't already) but enjoy every minute of your mba. Though i still have a year left, I already feel like the clock is ticking down.

Have fun and keep blogging! :)

~ mbagladiator

paragon2pieces said...

I'm also underwhelmed by the lack of women in my class at McCombs (20%!?! I hope someone calculated incorrectly).

embasurvival said...

The EMBA class of 2009 at Rice only has 25% women. The evening and fulltime programs have much more, however (sorry, don't know the stats.) Best of luck!