Note to Future Self: BaseCamp

Dear Future Self,

You applied to an MBA program, got into your first choice school, but before actually going and starting classes it all seemed surreal.  August 22nd came around, and BAM, it hit you; you’re now balancing all of your former responsibilities plus an intensive, remote, and collaborative graduate MBA degree.

Now a bit more than halfway through the first “mini,” I wanted to reflect back on the experience that was BaseCamp since that was my primary introduction to the program.

Wow, at least for me, my life changed at the start of our first collaborative meeting – BaseCamp + Access Weekend 1.  Immediately I was surrounded by other highly successful, driven, and motivated academic peers that are also balancing school with the continued progression of their own careers.  That first introduction on day-one of the program can seem daunting – going around the room to give a 1 minute impromptu introduction speech.  I realized the breadth and diversity of talent in that classroom and the likely possibility that someone in this group of classmates will go on to do something great.  I also realized that in addition to the hard skills – engineering, finance, accounting – my peers also possess serious unspoken soft skills – leadership, team building and commitment, social intelligence.

The bonding that happens during that first Access Weekend at BaseCamp is similarly intense.  Trying to learn everyone’s names only serves to remind me that I’m not actually that great at remembering names.  I ultimately made friends (or tons of friends) bonding over coffee, free snacks, beautiful new-car-smell building, and ultimate realization that you *already* have homework.

While we’re on the subject of the beautiful new Tepper Quad, can we take a moment to explore some areas, take in the views, and not think about homework for a moment?


Okay, back to work.  Even on the first days of this access weekend, you realize this program is going to be intense.  Class collaboration teams have been assigned, homework is due, and you can’t *just* absorb, but also need to think proactively to solve problems, subjects you may be totally unfamiliar with, even on that first weekend.  Luckily with your teams, you are likely to find the right people, right skills, and good collaboration.


This is an ongoing series to remind my future self of the foundational and formational experiences of working full-time and attending an intense, collaborative, Part-Time Online Hybrid MBA program at Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business.  Photos courtesy of the Pixel.
Matt Moschel | MBA 2021
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