Saturday, September 11, 2010 Marketing Research Blog
Going Through the Motions by John Burton, MBA 2012

I attended my first University of Wisconsin football game today. The sea of red in the stadium was amazing, but I couldn’t help feeling like an actor in a big production while sitting in the student section. If you’ve never seen the UW student section in during a game, you would be amazed at the complexity and sheer quantity of memorized songs, cheers, and actions that take place over four quarters. Thankfully, a few undergrads sitting near us helped us first-timers get up to speed, so we wouldn’t look too out of place. I have a good feeling that I’ll be able to catch on by the end of the season.

My experience today is kind of a good metaphor for the first full week of classes. You may not know what you are doing when you arrive, but you had better learn quickly. Fortunately, there are a lot of people here to help.

This week, I was busy with class, MBA coffee sessions, meeting with my ICA project group, club meetings, international trip info sessions, Lunch-n-Learns, the Weikel Speaker Series, TAPS, tailgating, and of course the game (I intentionally left out non-school scheduled events to illustrate the large demand on your time that you really don’t think about before you get here). The Wisconsin School of Business is not idly sitting and waiting for new students to show up. Faculty and staff are always busy sustaining programs, helping with student career searches, doing research in their fields, recruiting the next class, building the curriculum, and supporting the alumni.

We, as first years, have the privilege of jumping right in at full speed. The core classes this first year will be tough. But I’ve really felt a lot of support from the professors, received advice from the 2nd years in our program, spent one-on-one time with our center leadership, and we even got gift bags from some of our alumni wishing us well in our first semester. What I love about this school is that everyone is sincerely interested in your success, and you can’t help but feel interested in helping others be successful too.

Anyway, along with feeling the support from others, I can tell from this first week that I will really need to improve my study habits and get an efficient time management system. There is just so much to do. I assume this will come in due time, but it’s hard not to feel behind even though we’ve just started. New appointments and meetings feel like they are popping up all the time, because I’m so focused on the core classes. There is a lot more to being an MBA student though.

On Wisconsin!

John Burton