Student Experience Time Capsule: Looking Back on the First Semester

Last fall, we introduced you to our blog time capsule capturing the thoughts of current Evening UST MBA students at the beginning of their first semester. They (anonymously) shared their excitement, fears, and expectations before they started class in two posts found here and here. Now that they have completed a few classes, we checked back to see how things have changed from their initial responses. From changing study habits to looking forward to classes, they shared an assortment of thoughts about their experience so far.

What was the biggest surprise during your first semester?

"To be honest, I was not all that surprised by anything.  The time that was needed to do well in class was aligned with what I thought it would be prior to beginning the program. It took a few weeks to get back into school mode and figure out the balance between school, work and life. But in the end, I adjusted fairly quickly. If I were to pinpoint a single "surprise", it would have been the vast difference between undergrad and the MBA program.  Though the MBA coursework is obviously not easier than undergrad, learning and engagement was easier because the work was applicable to what is experienced in the workforce.  I could draw many similarities between the challenges being faced at work and the material we were covering in class."

"I shouldn't have taken Statistics as my first course. I did not anticipate the time commitment and the drastic change I had to make in my schedule to do all the homework.  After the first two weeks of class, I had to rethink how I managed my time since doing homework the night before class was not working.  By the middle of the semester I was able to find a good balance between school, work and family."

"Getting into a rhythm was easier than I expected. I guess I have wanted to go back for a long time so I was mentally prepared for the sacrifices. My confidence at work and in my personal life started to increase after the first week."

"I think the biggest surprise was how often classes were on my mind.  I always felt like I could/should be doing an assignment or reading.  The work was consistent.  It took me a bit of time to get adjusted but once I did, the amount of work really energized me.  I feed off of being constantly busy like that. It was very refreshing to be running high speed at all times."

What was the best part of your first semester as a UST MBA student?

"I loved the passion both of my professors – Professor Abendroth for marketing and Professor Ressler for stats.  You could tell they loved what they did, which made learning and participation easier.  They made school fun, which is something I never thought I would say.  Ressler forced me to think differently and approach my methods of decision making in ways I had never done before. I also really enjoyed how both classes had so much real-world application."

"The best part of my first semester was all the new learnings and perspective I gain from the course.  I was able to practice some of the new teachings at my job."

"I really missed the feeling of accomplishment and reaching goals so I enjoyed that. I met some great people in our group projects and I’m really excited to start the next semester."

"I loved meeting all of the other students.  I've already made some great friends and connections through group projects, assignments, and studying together."