My First Year… So Far!

Coming into the Whitman School as a first-year MBA student has been one of the most dynamic experiences of my life.

First of all, I cannot stress enough how welcome and special the admissions staff made me feel. Between my interview, campus visits, and other interactions with the faculty here, I knew that I was coming into a partnership that would be both comfortable and extremely rewarding. I decided to get my MBA at Whitman because I was looking to obtain a well-rounded business education at a prestigious institution with great resources and a family-like culture. That’s exactly what I got!

Individual onboarding assignments throughout the summer made me feel confident in myself, my choices, and my future. It was great to walk into orientation with career goals (mostly) formulated and an internship/career search plan (mostly) ready to be executed. I didn’t quite understand it yet, but the partnership between career services and myself was already beginning. I came to orientation ready to rock and roll. (What a difference from freshman year of undergrad!)

A few things I learned on my way to that point: First, is the best website ever invented for students who need to find an apartment. Next, I didn’t know how jealous I’d end up being of the students who live close enough to walk. Parking costs a pretty penny (but we’ll see who is jealous of whom once the snow starts to fall!). Lastly, I recommend taking a few hours the week before orientation starts to come to campus and walk around with a map. I did this, and it made my orientation week feel much smoother and far less stressful. I already knew how to get from my parking spot to the Whitman building, where to locate the career center, navigating my way to the Carrier Dome (very important!) and the general layout of the streets/neighborhoods surrounding campus.

On to orientation week… to sum it up, I learned a whole bunch of important and useful information in just a few short days. Whitman and the Career Center gave me every tool I needed to succeed from team building to Excel practice and essential networking tips. It was great to have the job/internship search tools demonstrated and I learned the faces of the people who would help me attain my dreams. Here are my words of advice for orientation week: wear comfortable (business casual) shoes, bring small snacks to keep you energized, and don’t be afraid to leap outside your comfort zone.

Now that I’ve finished a couple weeks of classes, I’m very excited to say that I’m still gaining new tidbits of information each day that are allowing me to become more business savvy. Not only that, I’ve also gathered the golden rules to Whitman classes, and there are four of them –

1) Dress classy.

2) Be on time.

3) Pay attention.

And last, but sure not least… 4) Whatever you put in, you’ll get out.

This all boils down to branding your own image, respecting the time and expertise of the human resources around you, and dedicating yourself to excellence. I hope my takeaways so far can provide a quick glimpse into this amazing journey that I have begun, and remember… Keep Calm & Go Orange!


Deedi Boland,

’16 MBA Candidate

Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University