With the uncertainty looming, nobody knew how orientation (or the entire program) would turn out while in a virtual format. It became clear that the Wisconsin School of Business was on top of it. Throughout the weeklong orientation, I met countless new faces, made awesome professional and personal connections, took the time to understand my strengths and weaknesses, and even spent time figuring out what it means to be truly present.
The first few days of orientation were full of new information. I was nervous that I would have to ask questions to be fully prepared for the start of the year, but the program directors and staff had answered every question I could think of before I had to ask it. We knew how the start of the year would look, and felt comfortable knowing there was always a back-up plan that would be communicated with us immediately. The second day of orientation we really stared to discuss how our strengths shined in our work and our interactions with people. We got the chance to meet our colleagues, while also diving deep into our own professional development. The school knew that we wouldn’t be able to do full days online, so they kept each day short and effective in the limited time we had. My favorite day was when we spent the entire morning figuring out how to give ourselves mental space, and to let ourselves be fully present without distractions. Although it may seem simple to clear your mind, it is an incredibly worthwhile process to let yourself take time away from the stresses of everyday life and school to really focus on yourself and your mind.
Joan and Linda provided an awesome last day experience as we finally started to focus more on the RMI specialization. Joan and Linda were incredibly excited to see us, and we spent the first hour of our time talking about one another and what our summers had been like. It was a pleasant change of pace from the previous days as we could just relax and start to connect with one another. Joan asked us to send her tidbits about ourselves that others did not yet know, and we had to guess who it was as we made it through some of the important details about the semester. After the session, I was incredibly excited about starting our classes as Joan and Linda provided an incredible amount of enthusiasm and excitement about all the awesome things we will be doing this semester.
After our logistical meeting, we got the opportunity to meet with some alumni from the program: Gwen Ezell, Nikhil Tungare, Vicki Villarreal, and Qian Xia. We spent this time asking questions about their experience in the program, and how they have transitioned to different roles after obtaining the MBA. These 2 hours were incredibly beneficial. We saw that the alumni were in vastly different roles, all impactful and fun. We ended the discussion by talking about one of my favorite things: companies are moving toward doing the right thing.
As we progress in the program, I can’t wait to see what companies do and how Risk and Insurance is changing the world as we know it.