More Insights From Orientation: Day Two

— Gage Giunta

After shaking off the inevitable nerves of Day one, it was pleasant to start Day two, with a back-to-school vibe and an overview of Microsoft Excel with Dr. Drake. While the program and its functions were still fresh in my mind from just graduating less than a month prior, it was nice to have the ability to help out my colleagues who were struggling to follow along with the overwhelming and quick directions. The entire session was an excellent segway into the upcoming course with a slight understanding of what to expect from our professors.

Jennifer Milcarek and Christie Kliewer did a superb job of introducing the cohort to Bloomberg, an investment strategy software that is housed in the Investment Center. While the program is quite complicated and confusing at first, they walked us through the basic functions that will help us with our research, regardless of the project. With so much to learn and a window of opportunity of summer free-time, I plan on becoming Bloomberg Certified as quickly as possible, so I can master my ability to gather useful industry research.

When our management professor, Dr. Kane, explained the “stranded in the desert” scenario and related activity, I was confident I knew what to do. After completing similar exercises, I felt I had a leg-up on the other teams; well I was wrong. The results were quite shocking, but the activity proved some of the teamwork oriented lessons we had learned the day before. During our collaborative ranking session, we discovered that the originator-conserver contrast was definitely evident by our strategies in staying put versus seeking help. This session was extremely helpful to understand our group dynamic and how we can leverage it to our advantage.

“Watch out, this guy here is very influential.”

After taking the different assessments prior to orientation, I was impatient to get my results. Michael Haid explained what these results meant in a larger context. I was mostly unsurprised by my scores, until it came to the influential section. I was so amazed by what I found, that I had to clarify with Mr. Haid that what I was reading was true. While my colleagues typically had one aspect of influence highlighted compared to the rest, every single one of my influential tactics had scores above 90. “Watch out, this guy here is very influential.” When we mapped out a process to change one of our unfavorable behaviors, it became rather therapeutic to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves about something we don’t necessarily like about ourselves. I’m grateful to have become consciously aware of how drastically I would like to make this behavioral change. This assessment and activity will be practical and convenient as I use these newly found strengths to improve upon my weaknesses.

The networking happy hour at Bigelow Grille was a fantastic way to end the second day of orientation. After discovering my newfound love for brussel sprouts, I had the chance to get to know my cohort on a more personal level that wasn’t as easily accessible during class orientation. Meeting some members of the cohort from the most recent graduating class of MBA-SBP was an awesome opportunity to have a better understanding of what to expect from the student perspective. I certainly hope that we will have more events like this one.