The 2nd Year Experience
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The 2nd Year Experience

It’s great to be back in the friendly, sunny hallways of Gallagher Hall. Not too sunny: the window glazes and shading structures keep direct sunlight to a minimum.

It’s important to minimize excess heat through the windows on these 99-degree days to reduce the load on the cooling system. At the same time, windows and skylights are integrated such that artificial light can be kept to a minimum during the daytime. I may or may not be noticing new things after my summer internship at the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, it’s hard to say.

What’s easy to say is that my second-year classmates in the daytime MBA program have a new edge to them. Everyone seems happy to be back, but right from the start it’s clear that year two of a two-year program is serious business. Internship experience is looming large in everyone’s mind. Those of us who came to business school to change careers now have a clear idea of where we are headed. Core classes are behind us; everything we study from here on out is a class that we have chosen with purpose. June 2012 seems like it’s just around the corner.

This is not to say that we’ve lost sight of how much fun this all is. The GSM is a comfortable, supportive place where we are free to explore ideas and make mistakes. This year, club activities, IM sports, group projects, and even going to the bar for a drink are things that we get to do with friends – not just people who enrolled in the same MBA program. The new class of first-years, too, will soon be friends. And based on the trajectory of our school, I can only assume that they will prove to be a little bit smarter and a little bit more interesting than we are.

As busy and daunting as the start of this new school year is, I am trying to enjoy this final foray into academia. Business school has me certain what it is I want to do in my career and I can’t wait to dive back in and see how much more prepared I will be after year two. After that, though, I’m done with school for good – I’ve got business to attend to.