Second Year Begins...

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

There comes a time in life when every girl becomes a woman, every boy becomes a man and every first-year becomes a second year. 

Though a natural progression, this transition can be confusing and unpredictable. Things start happening and new people start appearing out of nowhere and suddenly: YOU ARE A SECOND YEAR. 

And if you were anything like me, you were totally and utterly unprepared for this experience. 

As a first-year, you recognize that you are venturing into unknown territory. For most MBA students, you have been working for quite some time so even the idea of class and homework is a bit strange in concept. But as a second year, you expect to have it figured out. Sure you are on the precipice of some major life decisions.  But you are a veteran club leader, a test-cramming professional and paper-writing machine. 

In reality though, you still have a lot to learn. Second year is like discovering the man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz. Not only are you planning events, you are intimately running them. All those mysterious T.A.s who led review sessions and graded your exams? Yup—that’s your job now. Already have a job? Then you’re facilitating recruiting, hoping to best represent your school through a new crop of first-years.  And if your contract with your employer isn’t signed, or doesn’t exist, you are asking yourself a lot of big questions: Where do I want to work? Where do I want to live? Who am I?

It all sounds a bit terrifying. 

But let me assure you that while a bit frightening, it is also a phenomenal experience. You now have the foundations. You are able to extrapolate on the concepts you have learned during your first year to ask the big questions and understand the business world in a way you never have before. You have amazing educational experiences. You have more time to attend seminars, go to office hours and ask the big questions. 

Outside of the classroom you are able to make change. Did you hate the way an event was run? You can fix it. Want to start a business and ukulele club? That probably isn’t outside of the realm of possibility. And for the first time, you have first-years asking you to sit down for a coffee chat and you begin to understand the full implications of this “networking thing”.

Perhaps most importantly though, you realize that this is most likely it. You are a graduate student; you will be going out into the world and probably won’t be returning to school again. So you make time to ask questions, get answers, read things, and talk to people. And in the words of a favorite finance professor, “that is a beautiful thing”.