Together At Last: The Class of 2015 Summer Bloggers
Today was a big day. It was the first day on campus for incoming students and the day the Class of 2015 was officially welcomed into the Anderson family. As faculty enthusiastically introduced the program and second-year students started to show us the ropes, all of us who are new to campus got to meet our classmates face-to-face and experience first-hand all of the excitement of the Anderson MBA.
For the next two weeks, your favorite Summer Bloggers will be here to share their unique experiences at Orientation and their first impressions as the newest additions to the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Summer Bloggers, how would you describe your first day at Anderson?
Alena Kostenkova: Today was very exciting for me! Until the Dean’s inspirational speech about the school, I don't think I fully realized the importance of the decision I made several months ago. Today I have met all of my wonderful classmates in person and I became the proud member of Section C. Now I know what the strange (from the first sight) word “diversity” means in terms of people’s backgrounds, experiences and interests.
During section time we had the very exciting experience of introducing ourselves to our section by making 1-minute presentations. It was the culmination of today’s experience for me as I enjoyed learning more about the people around me. It was very interesting to learn about my classmates’ backgrounds, hobbies, interests, passions and career aspirations. We will proceed with presentations tomorrow and I am really looking forward to learning more about my “sectionmates."
When I was introducing myself, I was very nervous. My heart was beating very fast because, as you know, the first impression is the most important. But then I heard the applause and later several of my classmates came up to me to ask more specific questions about my previous job in Russia and soon I understood that all the worries were in vain. I have become a part of a very collaborative community. All these people had been carefully selected to compose our class and they are the best! I believe that coming to Anderson was the best decision ever!
A handshake is a "gripping and shaking of right hands by two individuals, as to symbolize greeting, congratulation, agreement, or farewell." In fact, the history of the handshake goes back to ancient Greece and there are evidences of such exchanges as far back as 4th and 5th century B.C. It is thought that the handshake originated as a gesture of peace between warriors to demonstrate that the hand holds no weapon.
Today as I shook what seemed like countless hands from an amazingly kind and diverse group of talented classmates, I pondered on the symbolism of the handshake. What I felt through the handshakes with my classmates was an elated feeling of camaraderie, a sentiment of teamwork, and an abiding sense of collaboration. All feelings of apprehensiveness for the coming quarter vanished as I came to understand that indeed I have joined a family that wants nothing but success to come my way. I too, wish nothing but the best for my classmates and I cannot overstate how impressed I am after day 1 of UCLA Anderson orientation. A voice keeps repeating in my head saying, "You made the right choice!"
Daniel Genter: My first day at Anderson was inspiring. And I mean that in the most genuine sense of the word. From the Breakfast Social that kicked off the day and gave me a chance to chat with my new classmates, to the energy and passion with which the Anderson Deans introduced the school, each interaction confirmed that I was taking part in something truly special. To a person, each of my Class of 2015 classmates were accomplished, well-spoken and genuine. The same can be said for the Anderson faculty, who spoke frankly about the high expectations they have for our class and the commitment they have to all of our successes.
On my way to campus this morning, I was filled with the typical nervous excitement of a first day of school. As the day continued, the nervousness subsided but the excitement didn’t go away. The students and faculty around me had me energized in a way that assured me I belong and inspired me to bring my best to the table. I get the feeling this energy isn't anything out of the norm -- it's just another day at UCLA Anderson.
So proud to be a Bruin!
Daniel Genter, MBA '15 - Follow UCLA Anderson on Twitter.