One semester down…

It is hard to believe that five months ago I packed up my car and spent 24 hours driving with my best friend down to New Orleans. Now, I can successfully say I have completed my first semester at Tulane, and I managed to survive. It has been a really enjoyable experience so far despite some trials and tribulations.

Let me begin with some memories from the first semester.  If we go all the way back to orientation, we spent one day at Bayou Zaire going through team bonding exercises. This may sound like a day of fun in the swamp and not in the classroom, but when it was nearly ninety degrees, humid, and mosquitos were everywhere attacking you, it was not very pleasurable. But, now we look back and laugh at us trying to balance on a block of wood without falling or having to cross a plank as a team. It really did bring us together and we certainly lost the idea of personal space.  It broke those awkward barriers you put up when you start somewhere new and feel uncomfortable at first.

Another great memory was the Halloween party. Refer to my first blog entry for a summary about that night. Some of the best nights in New Orleans are when a large group of us just go out to celebrate completing a project or exam. We will all meet up on Magazine Street or head down to the CBD. One night, we all went down to the business district and played trivia. It was fun, but we got pretty competitive. Academic knowledge is just as important as useless knowledge. You might win a beer koozie if you are lucky.

As a member of the Tulane Entrepreneur’s Association, I am matched up with a local business named NolaVie. On November 11th, we helped them throw a pop-up art show featuring a local designer, DJ and band. It was held at Studio 3, a Mardi Gras float warehouse. We helped organize and promote the event which was a big success. We got to meet a lot of fun people and see some of the best New Orlean’s has to offer.

More recently, my life has been lots of work and preparation for exams, but I can really say I am far more knowledgeable about business than when I started. This past session we took macroeconomics, financial management, marketing, and quantitative modeling.  I enjoyed macro because so much of it applies to current issues in our own economy and the world; however, I gained the most from financial management. The usefulness of this class exceeds almost any class I have ever taken and Professor Reese makes it easy to understand. Not to say that he won’t give you a tough final, but you really can walk away with a sense of accomplishment and useful skills. Our marketing professor, Yiorgos Bakamitsos will also be our professor when we do our European Union class and go to Greece. The fun part about his class was watching some amazing commercials. Quantitative modeling is an extension of our statistics class and we learned how to combine concepts from our classes into data tables and shortest path scenarios. In summation, I enjoyed this session a lot.

My favorite aspect of Tulane has been the incredible support system it provides. When we struggle, we work as a team. For tough exams, we study together and we try and teach each other. We do our best to work off of each other’s strengths and to hold someone up when they are falling behind. Many schools get cutthroat and competitive, but at the end of the day, we are all here to learn and become more skilled so that when we leave, we really are able to handle the challenges we are presented with. The best way we can do this is to learn from everything and everyone around us.

Happy holidays everyone! See you in 2012!

Amy Garrick