Reflections on the First Term

I have been writing about all the fun I’m having in business school, but I want you to know that business school is also EXTREMELY busy. Between meeting new people, getting involved in clubs, networking with companies, and keeping up with schoolwork, you do not have a lot of free time. Fall Term I was, by far, the busiest 6 weeks in recent memory. My old accounting coworkers might not believe me, and think that I forgot what busy season is like, but I beg to differ.

Group of students
Section 3 toasting to the end of Fall Term I.

A Day in the Life of an MBA Student

Below is my schedule from one Monday. This day was busier than usual, but not an anomaly. If you do not already live by your Microsoft Outlook calendar, you will once you get to business school!

8 am: Arrive at Duke early to find parking, spend 2 hours catching up on email, homework, and my celebrity gossip websites.

10 am – 1 pm: ILE team meeting for accounting and stats cases.

1 – 1:30 pm: Lunch.

1:30 – 3:45 pm: Finance class.

4:00 – 6:15 pm: Stats class and quiz.

6:30 – 8:00 pm: Association of Women in Business event about Jenny Heflin’s research on women’s roles in MBA teams.

8:15 – 9:30 pm: PepsiCo corporate finance presentation.

9:30 – 11:30 pm: ILE team meeting to practice for our Management Communication presentation.

Why so Busy?

The Daytime MBA program follows a traditional program format, but unlike a lot of programs, the terms here are only 6 weeks long. This enables you to take more courses in a shorter amount of time, and gives you more coursework experience to tout when you are looking for an internship. There are no classes on Wednesdays, instead, the day is usually spent on school activities including club-sponsored conferences, speakers, team meetings, and career services events. It is often joked that Wednesday is the busiest day of the week!

Fall Term I was very quantitatively heavy – I took finance, accounting, statistics, and management communication. The assignments consisted mostly of problem sets, and my calculator became my best friend. The term flew by, at one blink it was time for midterms, the next it was time for finals. Scattered in between courses and team meetings were networking events, corporate presentations, and FUN (campout, white water rafting, dinners, the Kardashian wedding, socializing).

Intense Learning Experience

I spent the past week in New York City for the General Management Club’s Week-in-Cities trip. I had a lot of time to reflect on my first 3 months of business school. I learned an incredible amount of information in an extremely short amount of time. From Global Institute to Fall I, I learned all about pricing financial securities, interpreting regressions, applying accounting principles, communicating and presenting information more effectively, differences between company and organizational structures, and how certain countries have developed within a set period of time.

In addition, I met with many different company reps in various industries from across the country, and pictured myself as an intern at each one. While I was in New York City, I met up with some of my old KPMG friends and was telling them about my first 3 months at business school — it really hit me that I am living a completely different life than I used to. I have had so many incredible opportunities in such a short amount of time, and without going to business school at Duke, I would not have had any of these experiences.

diana headshot

Diana Yarmovich

Daytime MBA, Class of 2013

I received my bachelor’s degree in economics from Brandeis University and worked as a financial statement auditor at KPMG LLP in New York City before deciding to change careers and study business at Fuqua. I was a cabinet member in the Finance and General Management clubs and was a Career Fellow. I also pursued a concentration in financial analysis and management.

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