Thursday, August 24, 2017

FTMBA Orientation: Week 2

If you haven’t read last week’s blog post by Zack, I highly recommend it. This post is a recap of the second (final) week of MBA Orientation.

Cosentino runs a pretty intense day-long case workshop
Over the summer, our cohort was advised to read the book Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation by Marc Cosentino, CEO of To kick off week two of orientation, Cosentino joined us and introduced the class to case interviews and different strategies used to frame and solve business problems. He provided strategies unique to the following types of cases: Profit and Loss, Entering a New Market, Pricing Strategies, and Growth and Increasing Sales. At the end of the day, we all paired up and tested our skills. Case interviewing is more art than science – the majority of the class agreed that we need to set up teams to continue to practice together throughout the year [Editor’s note: Particularly for those pursuing consulting roles, Cosentino himself recommends practicing at least 30 live cases before entering an actual case interview scenario].

Tuesday was a nice break in the week. The graduate assistants in the class had TA/GA orientation at the Center for Teaching and Learning and we had our first opportunity for professional photographs for our student directory. Everyone had time to settle into our new lives in Athens and get their outfits ready for the “Atlanta day” on Wednesday.

Alumni panelists share a little inside baseball
Wednesday morning, we all arrived at Correll Hall extremely early for transportation to the Terry Executive Education Center in Buckhead (Terry’s Atlanta campus). The bus ride was rainy and we got bogged in morning traffic, but it was a good opportunity for building relationships and a decent recap of the Bachelorette finale. When we made it to Buckhead, we spent the morning with panels of recruiters and recent alumni who shared their experiences and valuable information on the MBA recruiting process. I felt fortunate to hear first-hand accounts so early in my MBA journey and we heard from representatives from the following Atlanta companies: Coca-Cola, Delta, Fiserv, The Home Depot, AT&T, and Duff & Phelps.

We spent Thursday in a Math Bootcamp with Dr. Ryan Fox. Dr. Fox came from Belmont University in Nashville and kept us entertained the whole day. He did a good job refreshing us on math skills that the majority of us hadn’t used in years. The highlight of the day was learning about his experience winning Jeopardy!, and the entire Georgia MBA Class of 2019 is now prepared to skillfully wager in Final Jeopardy should any of us happen to make an appearance on the show.

The week concluded with an introduction to more university-wide resources, a panel with the first-year MBA core professors, and an afternoon Excel Bootcamp with a recent alumnus. It was very helpful to have Sheila Devaney from University Libraries come introduce the library’s vast resources available to MBA students to help us prep for interviews and for academic research.

Since the majority of the class has been out of school a few years, the honor code discussion with Phillip Griffeth, Director of Student Academic Honesty, was a good reminder. The class met our professors in the morning panel and got a glimpse of what MBA life is going to be like. To conclude orientation, Blake Edwards (Georgia MBA ’17), who currently works at Fiserv, presented some tips and tricks about using Excel as efficiently and effectively as possible. He went through the Breaking into Wall Street curriculum and gave some tips of his own. As a recent alumnus in our shoes just two years prior, Blake was very approachable and the class gained some final advice before beginning the program.

Our students' first trip to the Terry Atlanta campus
Overall, the two-week orientation was very helpful and the entire MBA Admissions team, the Career Management Center, and Terry faculty did a wonderful job presenting, bringing in guest lecturers, and organizing the entire week to get us ready for the program. I think I can speak for the class when I say we feel more than prepared for classes and we look forward to the two years ahead.

By Emily Valz, Georgia MBA Candidate Class of 2019

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