What a whirlwind of a first term that was! I can’t believe it has been over 10 weeks since I packed up the U-Haul and drove from Boston to Durham. Any doubts that I had about leaving the workforce for two years to become a student again went out the window within days of being on campus. I’ve gotten involved with so many academic and extracurricular opportunities that would never have been open to me had I not decided to come back to school. Fall Term 2 just started, but let’s take a look back at what’s happened so far.

With my C-Lead team, working on a Habitat project.

Here are some of my highlights:

My C-Lead (Consequential Leadership) Team: The first term is heavy on team-based projects, mainly driven by the Leadership, Ethics and Organizations class, which is complemented by C-LEAD (learn more). I’ve spent anywhere from 5 to 15 hours per week with the 5 other people in my group. I really lucked out and ended up with a great team of smart, driven, and fun people. Early on, we were required to draft a team charter to lay out roles and expectations for the year. We decided to assign a “project leader” for each individual case, and rotate responsibilities frequently. We’ve also made it a priority to spend time together outside of school. We did this so that we could interact with each other in lower stress situations and really get to know one another. It’s working great so far, and we are looking forward to working together again in Fall Term 2.

Getting Back Into Running: As a former competitive distance runner, the past year has been tough on me as I was sidelined with a foot injury. When I moved to Durham, I took the opportunity to meet with a great foot doctor at the Duke Medical Center. He diagnosed my issue and got me in for surgery the week before school started. I am now back in action (despite a large scar), and have been running on the picturesque, 3-mile-long Washington Duke trail for the past two weeks. Now I can finally enjoy the outdoors down here!

Industry Symposiums: Fuqua student-run organizations such as the Finance Club, Consulting Club, General Management Club, and Media Entertainment & Sports Club, put on symposiums with guest speakers during the first term. The highlight for me was a panel discussion during the Media, Entertainment and Sports Symposium that included Rory Verrett, VP of Talent Management at the NFL. I left Rory’s panel thinking that these are the types of experiences that validate my decision to come back to school. These events are great for people who are not 100% sure what career path they are embarking on. I highly recommend attending.

I’m looking forward to what this next term will bring. As the year continues, I am excited to be getting involved in: