Global Institute, or GI as it is affectionately known among students, occurs in early August. It’s a 4-week block of coursework, teamwork, career, and leadership development that kicks off and helps you prepare for the MBA experience at Fuqua.
Some other MBA programs start later, and to be completely honest, while I was excited for the experience of meeting my classmates, I loathed the thought of compromising my ambitious summer plans. Now, having participated in this incredible GI experience, I couldn’t imagine the beginning of my MBA any other way.
1. A Preview of What Lies Ahead
One of the reasons that GI is such a powerful experience is the manner in which you are eased into the academic workload you will face later in Fall Term 1. No matter how many times your second-year peers tell you to “just wait for it” because “fall is way harder,” you will probably be like everyone else and shrug off this warning as nonsensical. The reality is that GI, when you are introduced to and immersed in the myriad of events, career training and academics, can seem itself overwhelming.
2. Forging Your Teams
The second benefit stems from the first, because while you are preparing yourself for the terms that lie ahead, you are also in the midst of preparing your team of peers. After all, the Fuqua experience centers on your Consequential Leadership teams. These C-Lead teams are the foundational element of the Team Fuqua culture, and are unlike any work or study team you’ve been a part of before. GI is the perfect time to get to know your team in preparation for the fall when these classmates will be critical to your success.
Now that I’ve ran the crucible of GI, I can tell you that the assignments are easy pitches to hit. By design, Global Institute is a great place to refine your team’s own processes for accomplishing assignments. Some of the best teams I know forged their best practices in the midst of GI; those that were less fortunate now find themselves in the throng of Fall Term 1 coursework scrambling to refine their processes in the face of mounting academic and professional pressures.
3. Learning from Diverse Peers
From my perspective, best part of GI is the chance to meet and learn from your peers. Fall Term 1 coursework centers on the quantitative skills you will need to succeed in both interviews that following spring, and also the internship that hopefully follows in the summer. They are, by that nature, not the best places to learn a great deal about your peers’ incredible cultural perspectives on global issues of note. However, prior to that in GI, you get that chance in spades.
You learn about global issues in and amongst the most brilliant minds of our generation, each hailing from a unique culture and background. You get to hear multiple sides of our generation’s greatest challenges. In GI, you get to experience exactly why I picked Fuqua: Diversity!
It’s All About Setting Students Up for Success
For those three reasons, I can say that my own MBA experience would be less worthwhile if I had merely been thrown in with my classmates in the midst of all that Fall Term I entails. GI gives individuals and teams the opportunity to truly grow into high-functioning units. It also gives classmates the chance to really learn about one another under the auspices of rigorous academic study. During GI you can forge friendships, explore the local area, volunteer to help a cause, develop your leadership skills, learn about new and exciting cultures, and figure out how you will manage the rigorous academic workload to come, both as individuals and as teams.
Sure, we sacrificed a bit of our summer and ended vacations earlier than other schools. But, in doing so we set ourselves up for success. We made friends and memories. We learned and laughed. In the end, everyone I know wouldn’t have had it any other way.