Q1 is a wrap! On behalf of the Office of Student Life (Alex, Eric, Kristen, Larry, Maryellen, Rolanda, and our newest team member – Meghan Gatti!), congratulations to the Class of 2019 for completing the first leg of your Wharton journey!
What a quarter this has been. The Class of 2018 hit the ground running this September shifting from summer internships back to the classroom and recruiting. From the first day of Pre-Term, seemingly ages ago, the Class of 2019 has taken campus by storm – organizing events, joining clubs, attending dinners, singing, dancing, the list goes on. The Student Life Team has been there cheering you on along the way. We are continually impressed by your spirit, energy, and motivation.
For a lot of students, First Years especially with recruiting kicking off, Q2 is where the rubber hits the road. We are in the groove now, hitting our stride. We’d like to offer some advice on how to maximize your experience and make the most of the next weeks and months:
Stay true to your goals
Whether it’s your first, third, or fifth semester (for you HKSers), remember what your goals were before you got here. Through your final months at Wharton, you will have many opportunities to lead an initiative, travel the world, learn a new skill and so much more. Make sure to prioritize your initial goals, so that you can realize the full value of your MBA experience. Keep former mentors and family members updated on your progress. Those who know you the best can provide important perspective.
Put yourself out there (you’ll be glad you did)
The Wharton community is one of the most engaged, interested, friendly and supportive groups that we’ve ever been a part of. Second-year, Abdul-Hakeem Buhari (Buhari, for short) experienced this first hand. During Pre-Term, Buhari was nervous about networking because his religion doesn’t permit shaking hands with members of the opposite sex. What to do? Well, this is Wharton. The Cluster 1 SLFs encouraged him to share his story by way of a 60-second lecture. Not only did he find acceptance among his Pride, he also taught them the Atama clap, which became one of the C1’s cheers last year.
So, take a little time to try something new or strike up a conversation with a classmate who you may have merely exchanged pleasantries with in the past. You will form friendships as you travel, dance, work on boards together and more, but it doesn’t hurt to be proactive too. Join clubs, make a new walking buddy, and create small dinner parties at your place. You never know what you will learn from your classmates or about yourself in the process.
Be there for each other
As Maryellen has said, some of your greatest teachers and mentors are the people sitting next to you in class every day or in front of you in line at Pret. If you have a question, need a networking contact, a study partner, a restaurant recommendation – whatever! – ask each other. And in return, be there for each other when someone is in need – from a little favor to a shoulder to cry on. The strength of the Wharton community lies in the sum of all these moments of reciprocity. Share your experiences and knowledge, be open to being someone’s mentor, guru or coach.
Take care of yourself
This may seem trivial, but Flu season is right around the corner and exam stress, lack of sleep, coffee runs, and a steady diet of appetizers and pizza does nothing for the immune system. Be sure to take advantage of the free flu shots offered by Student Health Services. Also, be mindful not only of your physical health, but your general well-being. It is common this time of year for students to feel some level of uncertainty or unease – from classes, recruiting, or even the weather. In these situations, remember you are not alone. Make time to take a break and do something that you find relaxing and restorative. If you ever need someone to talk to you’ll always find your Student Life ADs, armed with free granola bars and an ever sympathetic ear, down in 2401.
Embrace all of the Penn resources available to you
Did you know that Penn Rec has a massage therapy service? As part of a very large MBA student body, it’s easy to forget about resources available to you as a graduate student of the University. Whether it’s grabbing free coffee from the Graduate Student Center, getting funding for your next startup or staying safe by signing up for a Penn Guardian account, there are many surprising benefits to take advantage of.
Congratulations on a great first quarter and we wish all the best for what is sure to be an equally amazing Q2!