My MBA-SBP Experience: COVID-19 Edition

by Josh Jan

With all the uncertainties that 2020 has brought, applying for Duquesne’s MBA-SBP program has not been one of them. Amidst of a global pandemic, Duquesne University has done a fantastic job of allowing student life to proceed with safe and protective measures. With the effort from students to the decision makers, Duquesne University has been an enjoyable experience thus far. Going into the MBA-SBP program, I was nervous and terrified of how classes would go. Going into the MBA-SBP program amidst a pandemic, I had low expectations of building relationships within the cohort. A lot of weight has been taken off my shoulders since. Classes are running smoothly, and the members of the cohort are now my close friends.

Being in this MBA-SBP program, I have learned and understood a lot about myself. Graduate programs have high expectations, and you really need to push for that extra step to succeed. I had doubts about my capabilities to handle the expectations from a graduate level, but I even surprised myself. Since orientation, and especially the beginning of the summer semester, my weekends have not been the same. The spare time the weekends usually gave me is now spent doing homework, studying, or research for our consulting projects. But this is exactly what I signed up for and I have been loving every second of it. I have never worked this hard; I give myself a pat on the back every day.

Throughout the program, even being remote, I have met some amazing people. From classmates to professors, everyone is wonderful and does anything to help each other out. I had my doubts going into it, but now I can call the lovely people in this cohort, my friends. Even with the pandemic, I feel as if we have grown close to each other. After all, we are all in this together, with the same schedule, classes, and assignments. Everyone is kind enough to offer their help with anything we need, whether that be on certain assignments or outside of class. My car battery died during fall semester, and one of my cohort friends came to jump start it. This is the type of bond this cohort has been able to establish. Being remote can be tough, but to see everyone either on zoom or in-person, it puts a smile on my face every day.

I took a six-month break in between undergrad at The University of Kentucky and Duquesne University. Although I had not experienced much outside of being a student, the transition from undergraduate to graduate is instrumental. The expectations are high, the workload and readings increase, and the experience of it all is unparalleled. For the first time, I actually enjoy being a student. The material the MBA covers in sustainability has put a whole new perspective on life. It is such an important topic that is tucked under the rug, and to bring it forward as the focus of this program has been very eye-opening.

I thank my fellow cohort members, professors, and Duquesne University for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime. I have learned so much already and built strong relationships that I will hold forever. I am excited to see what will come next.