I’m glad I completed the accounting pre-work before August 26th, because Professor Hertenstein wasn’t kidding when she said we wouldn’t have time to work on it during orientation. Orientation week was certainly a whirlwind, and it left me with a lot of information to process, a lot to look forward to, and a lot of new friends.
I walked into the lobby of Dodge Hall feeling a bit nervous and apprehensive, but I also knew that I was in the same boat as everyone else in the class of 2015. To help us get to know each other better, Professor Glick led a series of icebreakers during which we broke up into different teams of eight. The activities ranged from requiring us to chat about basic information such as where we’re from, where we’ve worked, and what we’ve studied, to out-of-the-box questions such as who can crack an egg with one hand and who has seen a kangaroo in real life. I learned so much about my new classmates in just these first few hours, and Professor Glick had us all laughing when he brought out a bowl of actual eggs to put some students’ talent claims to test.
He then divided us into our Learning Teams, which we learned are an integral part of the full-time MBA experience at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Each team then spent time getting to know each other on a more personal level by sharing past experiences, skills, and career aspirations. We ended the day with an infamous Boston Duck Tour, which was a nice way to unwind after a long day and have a bit of fun as well. I was born and raised in Massachusetts, and it always amazes me how many new facts I learn about my city every time I’ve gone on a tour.
The second day of orientation week was by far my favorite, and I think many other students would agree. The entire class traveled to NEU’s Warren Conference Center in Ashland, MA for a day of team building and development. We were split into our respective cohorts and engaged in some friendly section-to-section competition with problem solving, logic, and reasoning games that required us to understand the importance of communication, trust, and collaboration. The final exercise combined both sections and required us to use small pictures to put together a larger picture in the right sequence. The catch was that we couldn’t show our pictures to anyone but one partner, so we had to describe our pictures to each other and hope that 72 people could somehow use that information to place them in the right sequence without looking at them. I’ll admit, I had little faith that the class could accomplish this—there were so many of us, and there seemed to be so much confusion and chaos. I was in disbelief when we actually pulled it off with only a few minor mistakes!
The rest of orientation week consisted of various presentations by faculty on everything from academic integrity, to ethics and cultural awareness. I loved getting a first impression of the unique teaching styles of some of the professors that will teach us over the course of the next two years. We also got to put our teams to work for the first time by preparing for our case presentations on the final day. My team did great and earned a place of first runner-up for our section! It’s been just a couple weeks since orientation ended, and I already feel so comfortable working with them and getting to know them better.
Undoubtedly, the best part about orientation was meeting my diverse and talented new group of peers. Having attended Northeastern as an undergraduate, I’m used to being surrounded by people from different cultures and walks of life, but it still amazes me that I have the privilege of learning from students from all over the world. In this program, I’ve met students from China, Belgium, India, Italy, Brazil, Germany, Turkey, and Pakistan, just to name a few. I’ve found everyone to be so engaging, intelligent, and excited to be here, and it’s nice to see so many friendly new faces around campus. It’s not easy adjusting to a new schedule and workload, but it really helps to know that I’m surrounded by great people who are ready to tackle our MBAs together!