After a short but sweet Spring Break, I'm sure most grad students are getting ready to hit the books again as the quarter kicks off. For the 2013s though, we're feeling the senioritis and looking forward to graduation in a few weeks!
Looking back on the last three years, it’s amazing to see how much time and effort went into completing the program, even for those who finished early. Along with a few gray hairs from late night studying, endless group projects, and devoting 6 months to a “little” project called GAP, there is an awesome sense of accomplishment.
But what if we could have saved ourselves a little bit of stress and some of the headaches? I would have loved some candid feedback and advice when starting the program or even as I went through it so I asked some of my 2013 classmates for the advice they have for current and incoming students. Here is what they said:
doesn't get any easier, but that's not what you signed up for. It stays fun if
you give it a chance."
– Charlie Aldave
embrace the opportunities ahead because these short three years are for you.
Never lose focus of the overarching reasons why you joined the program and
build as many working relationships as possible - these will carry you through
the next few decades of your career."
- Grace Chang
more social events if possible because those memories are what matters at the
end. Pick a good team that you can get along with for GAP - it's more important
than the other factors."
- Pete Santhappan
“My advice is to
embrace this crazy new schedule, which will quickly become your "new
normal." Adjust your schedules accordingly. Make time for family, friends,
travel, and also quiet time for yourself. Balance is key!”
- Jamie Greenspan
“My advice is motivated by regret. Ironic, because I say
skip the regret. Do you want to switch careers? Quit your job, hit summer
internship recruiting hard, land the offer, and don’t look back. Also,
remember to enjoy the company of your FEMBA classmates – and often – because
the student life party will be over before you know it.”
- Daniel Kim
scheduling back to back classes as much as possible! You won't realize it but
having that day between classes is just the amount of breathing room you need.
Anything less is suffocating."
- Jerry Sun
“Time and time again, the opinion I hear is that team
dynamics is key to a successful GAP experience. From my experience, I
completely agree. Look for group mates you have worked well with.
Leadership Foundation group and study groups are good places to start.”
– Bob Park
Other students had general comments as well. One student told me, “You can handle more than you think,” and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s not easy to balance a full-time job, part-time school, and life but somehow you find enough hours in a day to do so. Or as classmate Alex Valente urges, “Get involved. It's more fun to have a voice and a great way to meet people outside your section.” Great ways to do this are to get involved with student council and join clubs. You can also take your professors out to lunch to get to know them.
For those of you who are looking to switch jobs, my classmate Bob Park advises, “Start the process early. Meet all career center recruiting requirements in the first year and begin recruiting at the start of the second year. If you wait to recruit until your third year, GAP will add significant demand on your time.” Even if you don’t plan to go through the formal recruiting process, it can be good practice as another classmate told me, “OCR workshops are good exercises to go through even if you have no plans of actually going through with the recruiting.”
And if any of you are interested in the study abroad trips, you should definitely sign up! It’s a great a chance to meet people outside of your section and do something different outside of the classroom. As a classmate told me, “I think one of the things I wish I would have known is how awesome the study abroad trips are. I didn’t take one until my last year and it was a really awesome experience and I wish I would have signed up for more of them earlier.”
Perhaps one piece of advice that sums up the FEMBA experience is as classmate Alex Valente simply puts it, “The more you put in, the more you get out... increasing marginal returns baby!”
-Renee Eng (FEMBA 2013)