Top five lessons learned in Goizueta’s WEMBA program

It’s been exactly one week since we finished our last final, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’d be lying if I said the adjustment back to school wasn’t challenging. However, it’s been incredible. With one term in the books, here are my five lessons learned:

  1. Read ahead of time: One of the main things that worked for me, particularly with our corporate finance class, was reading before class. In most cases, this would be part of our preparation for class, but in this class it wasn’t required. I tried reading after and then reading before class and I just felt that reading the book helped me understand some of the concepts better than showing up to class “empty-handed.” I know some people read after class, so I guess, it’s a matter of preference for each, but I know what I need to be better prepared going into term two.
  2. Make sure to plan your time, especially when it gets busy: I started planning my readings, assignments and class discussions in the first few months, but when it got busy, and arguably when it mattered the most, I stopped. Needless to say I didn’t stick to my schedule which made No. 1 harder to do and caused unnecessary stress.
  3. Start working on things early: My team will probably know this best about me, but I cannot stress the importance of starting assignments earlier rather than later. It sounds like a cliché, but think about it, five to six minds working on one assignment together but independently, what do you think will happen when you put it back together? It’s going to take time, and much more than you think. If you give yourself more time, you can always give it back, but if you wait it will just add unnecessary stress.
  4. Don’t take it personal and keep at it: If your professors or classmates disagree with you, don’t take it personal. Through this process I’ve had to develop a thicker skin and be ok with people disagreeing with me. Professors will disagree with you and perhaps even think you’re wrong, but don’t be afraid to speak up again! You can’t always be right (well maybe you can) so don’t stress it.
  5. Be social even when you think you don’t “have time”: Don’t get so caught up in studying that you miss the camaraderie. We all want to do well, but unless it’s the night before finals or an assignment, spending that extra hour bonding with your team/cohort is so much more fun and rewarding. Trust me, after some classes, you’re going to need it.

Starting to see a trend? Remove as much stress! I know it will get harder, so the more you can do to minimize it, the better. As I finish my first term blogging for Goizueta Business School, I’d like to thank my classmates who encouraged and inspired me to continue writing. It’s their support that has made this gig so rewarding. Cheers to you WEMBA 2020, one down, four to go!

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Barbara Klein Gooding

Barbara Klein Gooding is a branch and premier bank strategist at SunTrust Bank focused on strategic development and implementation of consumer banking strategies. Previously, Barbara worked as a consultant for Deloitte and helped open a new controller office in Mexico City. In addition, Barbara has a strong project management background implementing large scale technology and regulatory changes. Barbara has a finance degree from Georgia State University. Outside of work, Barbara spends her time with her friends and family testing recipes in the kitchen.

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