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To the Class of 2024

By Briana Powell

October 27, 2022

photo of legs of two students walking through fallen yellow leaves

Congratulations on making it through the first half of your first semester! That is truly a win to celebrate. The MBA program is designed to push you past your comfort zone, challenge how you think and view problems, and most importantly, force you to grow in ways you weren’t expecting. My advice: embrace it! This program will not only help you build your business acumen, but it will teach you how to deal with hard stuff. You will gain resiliency, confidence in your skills and abilities, and a larger network of people walking alongside you and helping you succeed.

portrait of Briana Powell
Briana Powell

If you remember nothing else, remember this: You were chosen to be here and UW’s confidence in you to do great things is not misplaced, so don’t doubt yourself. Two years may sound like a long time, but it will fly by. While your primary goal or focus may be on academics, I implore you to not make it your only focus. Take time to build relationships not only with your class but with the class before and after you. Make connections, go to T.A.P.S. and find those people you can lean on when you feel you’ve reached your limit. Find a healthy balance between time spent working and/or studying and time spent resting.

Perfection is not the goal. It’s ok to make mistakes; learn from them. You will have assignments at which you will excel and some at which you may fail. Accept failure as a First Attempt In Learning (F.A.I.L.). Here, it’s not so much about the grades as it is about your learning, and you get out of it what you put in. Finally, know your “why.” Why are you here? Why now? No one can tell your story better than you can. Own it and don’t be afraid to give yourself credit for the incredible things you’ve done or are doing.

You’ve got this and you CAN do hard things. Just take it one day at a time with grace and patience.


Briana Powell

MBA, Class of 2023