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Advice I Should Have Heeded Before Starting Business School

I’ve been at orientation for a month now. Getting settled into a new city, meeting my peers and adjusting back into a school schedule makes for a fun but busy schedule. There are a few things on my page-long to-do list that I know I should have had checked off months ago. Whether the items are move-related or school-related, here are a few of the things I am sure someone recommended I do about a year ago, that I should not be dealing with now. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Update Computer

Sounds so simple, but I still need to do this. Take the time now to get your desktop files cleaned and in order. Figure out which email platform works best for you and get your inbox cleaned up. Find that calendar that best suits your needs and input any important date you can. Get a system in place that will make your B-school transition seamless.

Switch Your Bank

USBanks were all over Los Angeles. Now that I’ve moved to Chicago, not so much. I have spent hours going to the ATMs listed on their website, only to find I can’t deposit checks there or it is not the right bank. Switching shouldn’t be bad; it’s just another thing to get to. To avoid this, find out ahead of time what banks are near your school, new place or abundant in your new city and make sure you sign up.

Connect With More Incoming Students

This one is actually not on my to-do list, but more of an interesting insight I had during the past few weeks. While I have really enjoyed meeting all my new classmates, there is a special bond I feel with individuals that I met before coming to campus. Whether it be from Forté Forum, online chat rooms or information sessions at schools, keep the names and cards of your fellow applicants.

Write Down Goals

You are doing this a lot in your essays, interviews and conversations, I know. But how much of those responses are catered toward the AdCom or the specific school? Take a minute, just for yourself, and write down a few personal and professional goals for your time in grad school. Maybe on a note card or something else you can carry with you. During your busy first few months at school, this can help you prioritize activities, classes, clubs and other events vying for your time and attention.

Now get going. Actually, I’ll take my own advice and start checking these items off my list as well!

Tricia Felice, Forté Fellow
MBA Class of 2014, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

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