The Essential Oregon MBA Checklist

As 2015 brings about another New Year and a new term, I realize that I am already over one sixth of the way done with my MBA experience! Despite the fact that I am over 2,500 miles from home and miss my friends and family immensely, I can honestly say that after my first term at the Oregon MBA, I have absolutely no regrets about my decision to join this cohort and school in my pursuit of a post-graduate degree. The first term was certainly a challenge and presented me with many obstacles and new experiences, all of which will help prepare me for the world of business I hope to one day be a part of. As I reflect on my first term, I come to the realization that this MBA program is so unique in so many ways and these distinctive qualities have provided me with the perfect learning environment, both academically and personally. Because of this realization, I have come up with my “essential MBA checklist”. Although everyone looks for something different in an MBA program, I will outline my list in the hopes that there are others looking for similar characteristics in their pursuit of a Master’s degree.

  • Diversity: Living in North Carolina nearly my entire life, I was accustomed to a certain type of person, lifestyle, etc. My graduating class features students from multiple countries and all across the United States, which has opened my eyes to so many different cultures, viewpoints, and opinions. Although diversity was not something I initially based my decision on, I was extremely lucky to choose a program that focused on diversity because it will certainly make me better prepared for the workforce and life in general after graduation.
  • Teamwork: Upon initially hearing that for our first term we would be put into teams and would have to work with these teams in every class, I will admit I was extremely nervous and anxious. However, the constant emphasis on teamwork and combining skills with your classmates to produce the best output possible is something I cannot praise enough! I was fortunate enough to not only develop my personal teamwork skills, but also to learn to find the best qualities in my teammates and bring out these qualities in all projects. Although it was not always easy, this program’s emphasis on working together has been an invaluable lesson that will serve me equally as much as any educational knowledge throughout my two years.
The class of 2016 MBA's volunteering at Mount Pisgah.

The class of 2016 MBA’s volunteering at Mount Pisgah.

  • Cohorts: I have absolutely loved the four distinct cohorts in our program! Although I am a member of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center and am so excited to be starting my sports specific classes this term, I do not believe I would have gotten as much out of this program if we were not all mixed together with the Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Business, and Finance cohorts. Having distinct centers within the MBA program creates a small immediate family within a larger family and I believe this unique quality of the Oregon MBA is part of what makes it such a perfect fit for me. I have gotten to know and become friends with people that I most likely would never have interacted with or known I had anything in common with had it not been for the combining of centers for many of our first term classes.
The Warsaw Sports Marketing Center first and second years after a kickball tournament.

The Warsaw Sports Marketing Center first and second years after a kickball tournament.

  • Size: The intimacy of this program has really been perfect for me. I know all of my classmates by name. We frequently find internship postings or interesting articles and immediately know which classmate to send them to based on their interests. I can go into the Career Services or MBA office and feel like a person, not just a number. Being so far away from home, this emphasis on helping and caring about each individual student has made me feel comfortable and has instilled in me a caring attitude toward the MBA program that will carry on long after I have graduated.
  • Customizability: Lastly, this program provides me the perfect opportunity to study something I care about, while still getting a meaningful degree. I always said that I did not just want any MBA because I felt it would not be specific enough to help me achieve the highest level of success possible. Through the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, I am able to learn about sports and marketing while still gaining the specific business knowledge I need to succeed. Not only am I provided knowledge in the classroom, but I am also provided with trips, speakers, and networking opportunities that speak directly to my passions. I can tailor my coursework, internship experiences, and class projects to perfectly fit my individual goals. I will most likely have a different experience than many of my classmates based on our career goals and yet we are all given the tools to succeed if we choose to be proactive and use them!

Ultimately, I have learned that getting an MBA is so much more than just a degree. Upon arriving at school, I was only expecting to get a great education; however, after one term here I have realized that the Oregon MBA is about so much more than classrooms and studies. It is about learning from every experience, speaker, and visit. It is about using your classmates to help you grow and to help them grow as well. It is absolutely what you make it and if you choose to make it great, Oregon will provide you will all the resources possible to make your dreams a reality.

Written by Christine Lutz

Christine was born and raised in North Carolina and is a current second year MBA Student in the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.