September 4, 2012

MIT Sloan Orientation 2012

Victoria Gutierrez is a member of the class of 2014 for the MIT Sloan MBA program. Most recently, she was working for small companies in the food and beverage industry, including serving as Project Manager at Noise 13 Design and Associate Editor of Drink Me Magazine. Check back often to follow her experience and the experiences of her classmates.

Team Activities at the Warren Center

The Sloan orientation is a carefully crafted week chock-full of team building activities and thought-provoking panels. Through the four very long days, we’re all focused on one thing: establishing meaningful relationships with our ocean and our team of seven that will band together to survive Sloan’s infamous core.

As we made our way through orientation, we kept hearing over and over that these next two years will transform us and change the lens through which we see the world. I fully believe this. But what impressed me most about orientation was that I saw a huge shift in behaviors and attitudes, just in the span from Monday’s breakfast through to Thursday’s Beer Game reception.

On Monday morning, everyone was on their best behavior. We dressed professionally, we sat up straight, we talked about our biggest achievements in our work life, and we projected our alpha-selves to everyone we met. Something curious happened, though, as we made our way through the week. We stretched our preconceived notions of Walmart, and explored multiple facets of the role of corporations in society and in government. We donned climbing harnesses, built rafts, and went swimming. We took on the roles of distributors, wholesalers, brewers, and retailers in the Beer Game.

Through all of this, we unwittingly let our guards down. The Sloan Class of 2014 today is markedly different from the group of 413 individuals who gathered on campus this past Monday. We’re comfortable enough with our teams and oceans to step outside of our comfort zones. We’re ready to try new things. We are at ease (or, at least, more ease) with the idea thatwe’re in an environment where it’s not only okay to fail, but actually expected. If we don’t fail, we’re not making the most of our time at Sloan and in the larger MIT community.

Of course, failure is a funny way of looking at the process of earning an MBA. But it’s through failures that we’ll learn on the road to ultimately achieving some seriously great successes. I can’t wait to see what our class’ successes will be.