MBA LIFE YEAR 1: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

Let me first start by saying how incredibly happy I am to be doing my MBA at Schulich. The people I have met here, who I have the privilege of calling friends, classmates, and professors are incredible. However, I am going to be brutally honest—the first year of the MBA program was one of the biggest challenges of my life, and at times, it bordered on being a slightly surreal state of hell. I should also say I am not a super chill person, intense is more appropriate; I am a bit of a control freak and everything felt completely out of my control. I had 2 weeks to pack up 13 years of my life in Vancouver and move cross country to Toronto and go back to school after not being a student for many (many) years. Leaving Vancouver, my friends, the mountains, the ocean was hard enough and I hadn't even started classes! And then the moment arrived—the first week of classes. I felt like I was in the spin cycle of a wash machine and the wash machine was broken and would never stop spinning. I was completely overwhelmed by the workload, intimidated by my financial accounting class, and was a deer in headlights in OMIS 5120 Quantitative Methods—I'm quoting my prof, he said I looked shell-shocked in every class. I totally was! OMG! My entire cohort knows I am mathematically challenged and that is not an understatement. Some people are afraid of heights, spiders, or snakes—my phobia is numbers, and if you start adding percentages, ratios, and terms like net present value to the equation then I start to hyperventilate. My background is Design and I avoided math my entire life until I wrote the GMAT. So if your background is not business and you're freaking out at the thought of reading a balance sheet, writing a financial report, or figuring out the probability if you'll be able go to sleep before 1 am on any given night (you won't by the way), don't worry! My motto is "If I can pass, then so can you". Seriously! You don't have to be the best, you just have to pass. There are a lot of things you have to let go of when entering the program and being the best and doing excellent all the time might have to be one of them—sometimes you just need to get 'er done and remind yourself that in year 2 you get to pick all of your courses—math is optional!




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© 2020 by Brooke Allen