By Philip Delbridge, MBA ’09
With just days to graduation, I can now look back on what has been a challenging and rewarding MBA experience. It was just over two years ago I arrived in Tucson for the MBA preview weekend. I was impressed with the enthusiasm of the current MBA students, faculty and staff. The great experience at preview weekend made it an easy decision to join the Eller program.
A few short months later I was back in Tucson and ready to start my MBA. I was looking forward to starting school again after eight years in the banking industry. Too many years in the same job can make the mind go stale and the first semester curriculum was an excellent way to get the brain thinking again. The highlight of the first semester was BIQ and the business communication class. For me this course was one of the main attractions of the Eller program. So often professionals are caught up in number crunching and forget how to communicate effectively in different types of real world situations. My communications skills were pushed to the limit in the first semester. However, the hard worked paid off as our team, Goldman Sachs, made it to the final of the Intel Case Competition.
The second semester presented new challenges including a field project, an internship search, and unique GTA work with the finance department. During the second semester I was given the opportunity to compile sections of a new leveraged finance book with Professor Maxwell. This was a timely opportunity given the state of the financial markets and the problems financial leveraged created for the U.S. economy. This work also led me to a summer internship with investment bank BNP Paribas in New York City.
Just two days after the end of my summer internship, it was back to school. But this time I continued heading east to Europe and a semester abroad in Denmark. This was probably the personal highlight of my MBA experience. Not only did I get the opportunity to study in Europe, I also had some great travel adventures and made lots of new friends along the way. If any MBA student is considering a semester abroad, I’d say do it. To be honest, where would you rather spend a weekend, 4th Avenue or Paris?
The final semester was much more laid back than the first three. A time to focus on electives, enjoy Tucson, and continue with that all important job search. The end of the fourth semester is also a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the last two years with your classmates.
So how would I sum up the Eller MBA program in just three words: “a great decision.”