We are one week into Mini 2 and I wanted to offer some insights into what to expect this mini as a 1st year. We like to tell everyone that Mini 2 is the craziest mini yet because on campus recruiting (OCR) begins and it’s a whole different adjustment after surviving Mini 1. Personally, Mini 2 was one of my favorite minis. Based on experience, it is tied for first with last mini but if I factored in grades, then Mini 2 last year was my favorite by far!
Mini 2 is probably the most important mini when it comes to your MBA education at Tepper because the concepts and topics covered are literally the foundation for any electives you choose to take later on. But the way Tepper organizes it is pretty neat and what makes the mini so unique. Before Mini 2 starts, Professor Willem-Jan Van Hoeve, who teaches Optimization, uses a model he created that takes into consideration everyone’s backgrounds to optimize and split the entire class into diverse teams.
If you ask me, Van Hoeve’s model was spot on. While my team’s ethnic background was not very diverse, everything else about us was pretty diverse. We differed in where we came from, our career backgrounds as well as interests/focus. We all had different strengths and weaknesses and my team was perfectly optimized. We spent ALL our time together. In fact, we spent pretty much every Friday in Mellonhead working on our homework as a team. Everyone around us looked at like we were crazy because we were always together even when we didn’t need to be. If we weren’t working together on campus, then we were at Bakery Living to the point where it became my second home and I ended up moving there for my 2nd year (That’s a story for another blog post)!
You’ll hear different stories from every second year about our Mini 2 experiences. For those who were recruiting (i.e consulting & finance) it was brutal but for those not (i.e, tech and startups) it depended on their team. I was one of those recruiting for startups so for me Mini 2 was awesome and I loved my teammates which made the experience all the better.
Professionally, I have been fortunate enough to work on great teams and I was very lucky to get such an awesome team for Mini 2. You don’t always gets a team where everyone gets along with each other and works very well together. But our team had a motto and I think it helped us push through a lot of the work. It’s something that everyone should think about as they work on teams in Mini 2 and going forward in their career – Team Work Makes the Dream Work.