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The Georgia Tech Scheller College campus at the start and end of the Fall 2020 semester.
The Georgia Tech Scheller College campus at the start and end of the Fall 2020 semester.

Takeaways From the First Semester of My MBA During Covid-19: Reflections From Luis Trejo

The first semester of my MBA at Georgia Tech Scheller is over! As I have discussed with some of my classmates, it felt like a 10-month semester, making now an important time to rest, reflect, and prepare for next year. Here are my main takeaways from the semester. 

Managing My Time

Although this year has required more from us, one of the main lessons for me was to find a new balance. With classes, internship searches, meetings, and social plans, there are many activities to juggle on a daily basis. Specifically, I found it useful to add everything into my agenda, even the few social interactions on weekends.

I also discovered that planning my calendar two to three weeks in advance dramatically reduced my stress. It allowed me to build my schedule of meetings and calls and decide what I should be doing each day of the week. Although I had been doing this before, now, it has never been so necessary. For example, during team meetings, especially at the beginning of the semester, my peers and I would spend 10 to 15 minutes talking about upcoming deadlines.

During the holiday break, I plan on carefully planning study sessions and schedule time with classmates for case prep study sessions.

Taking Advantage of Career Services

In the case of an MBA, everything should support the goal of landing a job. That is at the core of the whole process.

One of the resources I have come to cherish here at Scheller is having weekly check-ins with my career advisor, Dave Deiters. Double-checking company job posts and info sessions or just chatting with someone to gain a second perspective on what is happening at school and in the world proved to be not only useful, but enjoyable. I think Scheller offers a strong advantage in this aspect of the job/internship search, and it was reassuring to know there is always someone closely following up on my progress.

The Importance of Connection

The other (probably equally) important thing that helped many of us get through the semester was just checking on people to see how they were doing. It was always a pleasant surprise to receive a message from someone asking how everything was going. In many cases, I messaged with people that I saw in-person no more than five times during the whole semester. This should remind us that the need to connect is something powerful that shapes our lives, and the pandemic has not diminished that one bit.

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