Whitman Voices

Introduction

Experience Isn’t Everything

Experience Isn’t Everything

Most people love being the youngest in a group. Even being the youngest child has the benefit of getting away with anything. I, however, was very nervous coming to Whitman knowing I would be the youngest in my class. This anxiety that I faced all summer could have been avoided if I had known where I would be now. Before we get to that point, though, we should look at how a twenty-year-old managed to enroll in an MBA program.

I am one of those unlucky people with a late birthday in November, which always irritated me, even when I was younger. Going into graduate school, I knew I would have that working against me if I didn’t want to be the youngest in the group. However, the biggest factor that allowed me to come to Whitman at 20 years old was the fact that I completed my Bachelor’s in Marketing from SUNY Oswego in three years. When I knew for fact that I could graduate within three years, I started researching many different schools. Attending Syracuse University has always been a dream of mine, and I couldn’t say no once I go accepted. That’s where it all began!

Right at orientation when we were all talking and getting to know one another, I knew that I was the youngest, and it looked like I was the one with the least amount of experience too. I have to admit, it was intimidating to share my history coming from what seemed like a little state school with no full-time experience, to a place where people have 5+ years of real-world work experience and are Fullbright Scholars. I kept thinking to myself that I was going to very clearly be the weakest link in the group. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Moving past orientation into the classroom setting, the topics we were learning were things that I had previous knowledge about, and I could actually contribute to classroom discussion. Especially in my marketing class, I felt as if I had great stories and experiences that enhanced the discussion. It was during one class that I thought to myself, “Wow, you really excel here.” I worked hard in every subject, but nothing was out of my reach. At the end of our first “semester,” I finished with two A’s, an A-, and a B, which is nothing to laugh at as my momma would say!

Even making friends seemed to be easy. Although we all come from such different backgrounds in terms of ethnicity, culture, and, especially for me, age, we continue to all get along. We have gone to multiple dinners to celebrate birthdays, played so many card games I can’t keep count and laughed harder than we ever have. Even to this day I feel as if my age does not hold me back. I mean, it does help that I am finally 21, but even prior to that, I was still able to be social and experience great things.

Bottom line, coming to Whitman to pursue my MBA seemed like it would conquer me academically and socially, but I can say with full confidence that I am conquering it. I like to think I’m even making the program a little better day by day in the same way that the program is helping me grow too. The only thing I wish I could change would be to tell my scared summer-self that everything would turn out this way; I could have gained a few more hours of sleep!

Alexis Drickel
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