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Tag Archives: business school
On [a rainy] Easter Sunday, it is particularly relevant to write a few thoughts about the past few years of my life here in Nashville. Today is about meaning and significance. It begs remembrance, reverence, and purpose. I feel that I must call myself to account for my time in this city; and as it has revolved much around business school, I will try to especially hone in on that context.
The title of this writing is borrowed from the reverend John Piper, who wrote a book by the same name that was given to me by my church community upon graduating from high school near Charleston, South Carolina. I had absolutely no idea nor conviction as to why I should have read it at the time, because I was 18 and ruled the world. But its message was as relevant then as it is today, will be tomorrow, and I suspect in the last minutes of my life. It’s also a great title because I figure that 97% of anyone glancing at this only wanting the twitter version, or executive summary, can already walk away with it.
6:30 – 7:00 am: Wake up – I have an 8am class on Monday/Wednesday (for Tuesday/Thursday, I have class at 9:40am, so I usually wake up at 8am). During the winter, it is very hard, mainly because I spend long night hours studying, and the cold doesn’t help me get up! I try to schedule my classes starting at 9:40, but sometimes you have to take what fits in your schedule.
7:30 am: By this time, I am leaving for Owen. As I don’t have a car, I ride my bicycle or motorcycle, or walk to school. Whenever it is raining or really cold, I tried to get a ride with some of my friends who live in the same building as I do.
7:45 – 8:00 am: Today I had an interview for my summer internship at 8am. So, I got in school earlier to make sure I had everything ready. Even though is quite a stressful situation, the CMC (Career Management Center) staff and resources are incredible helpful in developing self-confidence and emotional intelligence to deal with those situations.
On the first day of my Vanderbilt Law class – Establishment and Management of Non-profit Organizations – I walked out of Owen and headed next door to the Law School. I’d been in the Law school before – Owen will schedule events in the larger lecture halls on occasion, and the Law library is perfect when I’m looking for absolute silence – but it still felt unfamiliar, and wandering around looking for the room gave me a sense of being a new student again, despite this being the spring of my first full year. I walked in, and quickly noticed a difference: the room was 60% female – business schools are, of course, predominantly male – and students were busily typing on their laptops prior to the beginning of class. I found an inconspicuous spot in the back and sat down.
My name is Klemens Anderl. I am Austrian and currently in the second year of my master program at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. I had the pleasure to come to Owen Graduate School of Management in the fall semester of 2012. Here, I will give you insights on what I experienced, how I learned to adjust to the Tennessean lifestyle and most importantly, how I fell in love with it.
Students from all over the world come to Nashville for an exchange semester at the various different schools of the Vanderbilt University. As honoring and exciting as this may be it still requires students to leave their homes, friends, and family for a while. Luckily, the various institutions at the university and especially at Owen help the exchange students deal with these sometimes demanding changes.
During my undergraduate program I spent another semester abroad (namely in St. Petersburg, Russia). Therefore I knew before coming to Owen what would make life easier in the first couple of weeks. Students have to deal with issues like accommodation (was fairly easy here in Nashville but more on that later). Also, grade translations or other paperwork like health care details may turn into bureaucratic nightmares that last for weeks. Not so at Owen! One of the best things about Owen is its intentional smallness. The school emphasizes that it cares about each and every individual and by keeping the number of students fairly small this promise can actually be kept.
At the beginning of my exchange, I did not know how the classes in general worked. I came from a different teaching method (case method) and at the start of the Mod 1 I felt a little bit confused. Later I learned that every class provides a syllabus which mentions the activities, topics and due dates for class. Also, I did not know clearly how to use Blackboard (the online portal for classes), so I needed to ask for help. One international student (from India) was really polite and helped me with that issue.
In general, the first two weeks I felt disconnected and had a lot of doubts. The problem that I faced in the 1st Module was that my friends (the other international exchange students) were taking different classes than me and I felt like a “kiddo in his first day of elementary classes”. After that stage, I learned the way of studying at Owen, the teaching method of the different Professors, the behavior of domestic and international students, etc., and I started to feel more comfortable. In my personal view, the Assistance Director’s guidance was really helpful for me. She was always available for us and always really really polite. Once she helped me with a non-academic topic, so I really appreciated it.