I wish I would have known that the Wisconsin MBA program was so fast paced from day one of orientation. Before you start the program this August, I recommend the following: relax and prepare prior to the first days of school.
Like most top MBA programs, the Wisconsin School of Business' program is intense. It goes from zero to one hundred from day one of orientation through to Thanksgiving break.
You will be busy most of the time whether studying, preparing for interviews, or networking. If possible, take some vacation time from work before starting school. Taking a break to relax before the program starts will allow you the adequate rest to get you through the workload. During your break, you may also consider exploring the area around your new Madison apartment. Locate the nearest grocery store, closest fitness facility, and, if you're like me, the route to Grainger Hall with the best coffee shops.
Additionally, take time to prepare for the first days of orientation. Read the posted syllabi ahead of time and put important dates on your planner. If posted on the syllabus, order your books before orientation starts so that you get them on time. I also recommend that you read ahead for the Leading and Working in Teams course, which starts during orientation. Preparing will allow you to fully participate in all networking events without stressing about going back to your apartment and finishing up the homework.
These recommendations may seem quite obvious; however, for some of you, it's been a while since you last attended school and you may overlook these steps. Further, the recommendations are not meant to worry you, but rather to ease your transition from work back to school. The activities during orientation are very practical, help your interviewing skills, and assist to increase your network. See you next semester!