Looking back at the ending academic year, the Atkinson Graduate school here at Willamette certainly left the biggest mark for me. MBA was a perfect fit. Undergrad was amazing in teaching me how to think and helping me to grow up. Now, I feel I am gaining the “real” real-world knowledge necessary to succeed. I do not think I could do one without the other though and I think they complement each other perfectly.
Both the culture and the academics are quite different from the undergrad. The main difference is that you spend 25% of your study time in classroom, probably 65% outside of classroom working on super-abundant group projects and the remaining 10% working on your own. In addition you really get into managing your career – talking to people in your field of interest, informational interviews, resumes, cover letters, mock job interviews, company treks, panels with professionals, and all-throughout extensive networking.
Also. There is no school on Friday at Atkinson, which at first always generates “you lucky slacker” response. Little do the people who say that know that Friday was often the busiest day, meeting with other students to work on group projects often all day long.
On average, students are older at Atkinson. I think this contributes to the fact that everyone seems to be more conscious of the big money that is being spend every minute you are in school and tries to squeeze everything out of this huge learning opportunity. The professors, although helpful and friendly, hold nothing back and thrust you in the complexities and cruelty of the business world.
The first year was a blast and I am excited for the last one. This summer, I will be back in the Czech Republic, working as the Marketing Strategy intern for the newly opening biggest ski-resort in Czech. In September, I will return to continue being the veteran WWN contributor. Have a great summer everyone!