I entered the three-day orientation on campus with a little trepidation. You could sense the nerves in the air, even through our masks, although we were familiar with the "new normal" by now. It was the anticipation of a life-changing journey that set this moment apart. The faculty and staff made us instantly at ease, as we had been in touch frequently already and were comfortable with them by the first day. The entire process was extremely organized and special, down to every detail. The EMBA team excelled at communicating the necessary information, and they navigated the new rules with such grace that we barely noticed things may have been different pre-pandemic. And let's not forget one of the best parts of the experience: RIT EMBA swag galore!
Before the experience began, I remember hearing how common it was to develop an instant bond with your cohort and team, but I was skeptical this could happen in three days. By the end, I was proven wrong. Given how rigorous and packed our schedule was, I was especially surprised to realize I had personal conversations with almost each and everyone of my 18 peers. After one particular session, my team discovered how well our strengths and weaknesses paired up. Amidst much self-exploration, we all managed to develop an instant comfort with each other. My favorite picture is when half of us were outside with masks after winning a team building challenge. Someone joked about how we were still smiling underneath, and when the picture came out you can see we had started to laugh.
A fun dinner reception with our loved ones was the perfect way to wrap up three days of discussions, class material, personality assessments, fun activities, and courage gathering. This group of people made a choice to embark on this challenging adventure during uncertain times. That alone proves our resilience. In three days we made leaps and bounds of self-discovery and confidence. I can only imagine what is in store for us in the coming months.
I am most excited about the diversity of this cohort. I anticipate gaining valuable knowledge from the impressive mix of both students and faculty alike.
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