This post is courtesy of guest blogger Mark Marmolejo, a member of the Texas MBA class of 2014.
When the plane touched down in Minneapolis, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What I did know, however, was that I was very lucky and fortunate to be part of the newest class of The Consortium. As such, I was afforded the amazing opportunity to attend the 46th annual Orientation Program (OP), an event that brings together new Consortium students and alumni, representatives from member schools, and a number of corporate sponsors.
Arriving at the hotel where OP was to be held, the atmosphere was full of excitement. Students from top schools around the country congregated in the lobby eagerly shaking hands with one another, excited to meet other fellow Consortium members. After much anticipation, I met several of my future McComb’s classmates, and quickly began forming bonds and catching up as if we had already been longtime friends. Everyone I met was as excited as I was to be in attendance, however we all remained a bit uncertain as to what the coming days had in store. None of the students, including myself, could have predicted the profound impact that the next week would have on each of us.
On the first morning of OP, the event was kicked off with a welcome speech from The Consortium’s CEO, Peter Aranda. Mr. Aranda who spoke with eloquence and passion, expressed the values with which every Consortium student should conduct themselves, not only for the week, but going forward as future ambassadors of the program. “Be Proud! Be Gracious! Be Ready!” These words resonated with each student as Mr. Aranda’s booming voice carried throughout the auditorium as he articulated the importance of these principles.
The next several days flew by and were filled with a number of professional development seminars and industry workshops to help in preparation for the first year of business school. Students even had the opportunity to visit and tour the corporate headquarters of a couple of industry leading businesses in Minneapolis. We attended panels, information sessions, and met with representatives from some of the top companies in America.
Each day of OP began at approximately 7:00 am with the conclusion of formal activities ending around 11:00 pm or later. Social activities often continued on into the early morning, allowing for students to decompress after a hectic and exhausting day. As Mr. Aranda so rightfully stated, “you can sleep on the plane ride home.” He couldn’t be more right. Even with a lack of sleep, I woke up energized and excited to see what each day had in store.
Throughout OP I was fortunate enough to meet and network with many students from other top schools. In addition, OP offered access to several companies who were recruiting MBAs for summer internship programs, a priceless opportunity. At the conclusion of OP, I had a better idea of what it meant to be a member of The Consortium and the values associated with such an organization. As I prepare to embark on a new adventure in Austin this fall, I can clearly say that I am Proud! I am Gracious! And I am Ready!