You’ve got 10 months to explore a new city, maybe even a new country, a new school, meet 100s of new people, and learn everything you can in 15 different classes. Ready. Set. Go.

Another year of MMS has begun. As the Class of 2014 starts the MMS journey, it’s hard to believe that just a year ago I was in their shoes. Looking back, there’s one big thing I would recommend: Get involved in what you’re passionate about.

In hindsight, the 10 months do fly by, but while you’re trying to keep track of case studies, team meetings, exams, etc., sometimes it all feels like a complicated balancing act that is nevvvvver going to end.

Getting involved in something besides school work will not only help to keep you happy, but will also help you to develop new skills and gain new perspectives in a different and unique way.

Interested in marketing? Join the Marketing Club. Love taking pictures? Help out with the yearbook or work on capturing your memories on instagram to share with your classmates … and THE WORLD! Want hands-on experience in consulting? Participate in some case competitions, or even contact a local non-profit to see if they need any help with any upcoming projects. Want to explore Durham’s foodie culture? Help to plan trips for the Connoisseurs Club.

Whatever you’re interested in, you can do it and balance it with MMS! For example, some of my classmates followed their passions and created a MMS Net Impact Club, while others successfully participated in a national marketing case competition, or sharpened their cooking skills during Fuqua’s Iron Chef event. There are also opportunities to get involved with the wider Fuqua and Duke communities through the MBA Games or by starting a new tradition, like Kourtney Kellin did – she organized Duke’s first Dance Marathon. I enjoy taking photos, so one of my projects was to create an MMS presence on instagram.

At the same time, getting involved doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment (I know, time is difficult to come by in business school), but the point is to make the experience your own and get all you can out of it. Anyone can go to class. Anyone can show up to team meetings. There will be 100+ other people doing that. But how will you set yourself apart? What will give your business school experience meaning?

While this will be the fifth graduating class, the MMS program is still growing and improving every year. Because MMS is still relatively new, there is plenty of room to make the program what you want. GET INVOLVED. If you see a need for something or are interested in developing something for future classes, do it!