Written by Davide Sonzogni, GWSB MBA graduate 2012.
It was almost 3 years ago when my dear friend Anna said: “You can do it, you should do it, and you will do it!”
In fact, before submitting my MBA application I was not sure if going back to school in my late thirties was a good idea. I was not sure if it was worth the time and the financial efforts required to study at grad school and work at the same time.
Well, I did it!
It is like yesterday when I decided to start the application process and I can’t believe that three weeks ago I attended the “monumental” GW Commencement on the National Mall.
I applied to GW because I liked the school’s atmosphere, and the excellent international department.
I also think that there is something really transcendent that linked GW and me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not superstitious, but there is an amazing series of coincidences that I would like to share with you.
April 30 is my birthday, George Washington took office on April 30, I received the admission letter on April 30 – because I mentioned those two facts during my interview -, I have completed my last paper on April 30 (submitted on May 2, though), and I faced the Washington Monument during Commencement while past years students faced the Capitol.
I chose the Accelerated program because it fit perfectly with my needs: a cohort format for one and half years with classes on Saturdays and one weekday evening followed by one and half semesters of electives, real world group projects, and professional students as classmates were the magic formula.
Although it was hard to keep up with the fast pace and I had to give up most of my social life, I found the learning experience energizing and motivating.
I tried to take advantage of every opportunity to grow: group projects, presentations, simulations, and even a short term study abroad trip in China.
The entrepreneurship class was one of my favorites because the professor stimulated our creativity and questioned many of our assumptions. It was a wakeup call and a source of inspiration. The international management and the international business strategy classes gave me a broad view of the evolving global situation. The excellent public policy course professor opened my eyes on many areas that I didn’t know about. The Global Corporate Responsibility class gave me the tools to view opportunities for balancing profit and sustainability. Finally, the icing on the cake was the negotiation class which was worth every penny of tuition because the professor was engaging, and the syllabus was the perfect mix of theory, group and individual experiences, and class activities.
Two years went fast and it is unreal! I have so much free time and, instead of wasting it as I did sometime in the past, now I feel so motivated to fill it with meaningful things. The words of our Commencement speaker, Brian Williams: “please take us somewhere. Please keep us moving. Push us, lift us up. Make us better”, that closed a humorous and inspirational speech, opened a new chapter of my life. It’s time to do something and to make a difference.