by Cole Phillips
Day Two—The start of our second day of orientation was a very relaxed and familiar feeling, as we worked through an Excel refresher with Dr. Matthew Drake. Dr. Drake helped us build two Excel models based on the examples he provided. I felt confident working through them, but I have also had a moderate amount of experience with the program. Hopefully, everyone in the program is up to speed with Excel, but if anyone does need any additional help I will be there for them.
After the morning Excel session, we had a quick break, then took a nice walk over to Gumberg Library for the next activity on the schedule. Donna Beck and Cathryn Miller gave us some helpful insight on how to access the library’s collection of databases. These will come in handy for research in the upcoming year of intense work. We were then briefed on the business school’s access to the Bloomberg portal by Ms. Milcarek and how to work the basic ins-and-outs, and what types of information will be most useful. However, with this investment software being located in the investment center of Rockwell Hall that is currently under construction, for the summer, we will have to access this tool elsewhere. Ms. Milcarek provided some local places for us to access the Bloomberg terminal, one being the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh.
After lunch, we met Dr. Aimee Kane who gave us a team building activity. The activity had us simulate that we were stranded in the desert and we would have to rank which items to take with us from 1-12, first by ourselves, then together as a group. The results would be compared to expert rankings to see if we ranked the items better individually or as a group. We learned about weak and strong group synergy. I thought this exercise was very fun, as I was a big fan of Survivorman and Bear Grylls as a child. I also learned a lot about the other members in my group and believe that we worked well as a team.
It was another great day that got me even more excited about the year ahead.
Next up, we were introduced to business consultant, Michael Haid, who provided us with our results for the assessments we took prior to orientation. The results gave us insight in different areas of our personalities, how people perceive us, and how well we influenced others. I believe these results will be crucial in understanding how we fit into our groups and how we can best leverage our strengths and weaknesses to result in the best possible work. Mr. Haid then walked us through a process to reveal the underlying reasons of an issue that we may see in ourselves. This can then be used to help remedy or amend that issue in the future. I enjoy the time we had with Mr. Haid, it is always very satisfying for me to self-reflect, but his guidance made it so much better.
After a quick debrief, another informative day of orientation ended. I’m sure everyone had a great day, but I really enjoyed this one because I felt my team click. We were able to shake off the jitters from day one and really start to feel comfortable around each other. The Excel session had us whispering at each other trying to help out if someone had any questions, while the “stranded in the desert” simulation had us work together on something fun and interesting. Finally, the personality assessments had us comparing answers with each other to see where each of us scored and how we can help each other grow. It was another great day that got me even more excited about the year ahead.