Reflections on First Semester
I chose Stern partly for the obvious reasons. It is a top MBA program that is well-respected and has a robust alumni base in my industry of focus. More, my wife and I relished the opportunity to move to New York and have a new adventure after calling Boston home for 8 years. However, it was the people I met during my interview on campus that really sold me on attending Stern. I vividly remember walking into KMC through the Bobst entrance and being warmly greeted by the security guard. After he let me in and wished me luck, I ran into multiple Sternies on my way to the admissions office all of whom went out of their way to welcome me to Stern, give me advice and wish me luck. From that moment, I knew Stern was the place for me.
Fast forward to August. I am fresh back from my honeymoon and ready to dive into LAUNCH. The days leading up to LAUNCH were filled with anticipation, excitement and nervousness. I was excited to begin my MBA journey and to meet my classmates, yet nervous about how I would get along with everyone and how I would fit in. About 10 minutes on campus, those nerves were replaced by a feeling of comfort and belonging. The feeling I had was the same as I experienced during the day of my interview.
After LAUNCH, first semester is a blur. Instead of days filled with team building events, workshops, and happy hours I now had class, recruiting events…and happy hours. Moreover, recruiting begins in earnest. Particularly for those of us recruiting in the fall, first semester is daunting. The best part about it is everyone is going through a similar experience and that shared…misery?….is something that helps further solidify relationships. Before I knew it, the first semester was over and it was onto winter break.
Returning to campus at the end of January (January and interview season can be a post all on its own) is a special experience. The feeling I had right before classes started was similar to the feeling I had at LAUNCH, except the nervousness was replaced with excitement. Seeing your friends after a month, hearing about their travels and interviews and time off over a beer (or two) is GREAT. Also, second semester is less structured than the first so I had the opportunity to craft my own schedule, get involved with different activities and meet more people than the fall.
Hopefully I have been able to convey that I have truly loved every moment of my Stern experience… even the recruiting and finals. The academic programs are top notch, the faculty and staff are the best around, and you cannot beat the location. However, it is the students that truly separate Stern from its peers. My initial intuition served me well, and if I had to make the decision all over again it is safe to say I would make the same one again.