A lot of people ask me an array of questions when they find out that not only am I going to Law School, but that I am also a student within the MBA Program here at Syracuse. For some reason, it truly baffles a great deal of people that I will have two graduate level degrees by the time I turn 26 years of age. With that being said, I wanted to take this opportunity to clear a few things up and talk to you about what it’s like to be getting two degrees, all at the same time!
A little background about me will be a good way for you (the reader) and me to begin our path to becoming best friends. I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas and dedicated my undergrad career at Oklahoma State University to the study of Hotel and Restaurant Administration with a minor in Accounting. Once I completed my time at OSU, I came straight to Syracuse University where I spent my first year taking classes at the College of Law. When I first started this journey, I had little intention to actually do a dual-degree program. My mother and I had discussed it a bit, but I was not sure whether or not it was something I wanted to pursue. After spending some time throughout this past Spring reflecting upon this potential academic experience and where I envisioned myself professionally, I decided it would be a unique opportunity that I could not pass-up.
So first I’d like to explain a bit about how the dual-degree actually works, because even I was somewhat confused about it for the longest time. Now this is a 4-year commitment, as opposed a 3-year degree from the College of Law or a 2-year program for the MBA at Whitman. The 1st-year, as I already alluded to, you take all law classes as a basic 1L would. A 1L means you are a 1st-year, 2L a 2nd-year, and so on at the College of Law. So one day I get to be a 4L! Once you have completed your Fall semester of being a 1L and receive your grades, you are then allowed to look into applying to the Whitman School. It’s nice because they already know your intellectual abilities with tackling a very demanding law program, so you essentially have to prove your quantitative abilities by taking the GMAT or GRE. If all of this happens and you are accepted, that is when the fun begins!
Your 2nd-year in school, first at the business school, you focus on the core-classes related to the MBA. You can take law classes if you want, but I decided not to go this route. With already establishing myself at the College of Law, I decided to utilize this year as a way to dive head-first into my studies at Whitman and begin forming lifelong friendships with my fellow classmates. What’s great about being in two programs is you start to have double the friends and continue to grow your network. This has also allowed me to have a good balance of seeing the same people almost every day during the week and then having your other group of friends on the weekends to hang out with. It makes for quite the diversity of friendships to be made.
Once you’ve completed this transition year into Whitman, you can then begin mixing classes up a bit. You still have to finish that pesky law degree after all! Though I have yet to make it to my 3rd-Year, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with some of the current students that are at this stage and they’ve shared that their ability to mix curriculums (choosing law classes first then continuing with the business core) has made life quiet interesting, but definitely enjoyable.
Overall, this has already been such a rewarding experience to be in this program so far. I have come to realize very quickly that my future looks even brighter now that I have the chance to be a member of both of this fine colleges here at Syracuse. Yes, an extra year sounds like a great deal in retrospect when you take into account all the years of academia that you have already completed, but most definitely worth it in the long run. You will come to see that what you have been able to accomplish, let alone learn in the process, will not only help you stand out amongst your fellow peers, but also make you incredibly marketable. Trust me when I say, this program is not only worth the extra year, but also it’s worth a partridge in a pear tree!