“I want you to get into your teams and explain to your teammates your biggest fear”. My first thoughts were, “Wait…isn’t this orientation? Shouldn’t we be receiving pertinent information about the start of the semester?”
In any event, I graciously waited for each of my teammates to share their biggest fear in hopes of running out of time for this exercise. We were given plenty of time to share our thoughts. So I hesitantly shared with the group my biggest fear.
After experiencing the judgment-free atmosphere and learning more about each of my teammates, I appreciated the exercise and others like it throughout the week of orientation. To learn my teammates’ backgrounds, strengths, and opportunities, and goals provided a beneficial understanding and appreciation as to why we all decided to commit to the MSIS program as well as, what we hope to gain from the program. Orientation also provided us an opportunity to get to know each other and the other students in the MSIS program. Reflecting back on this experience, I was glad we had that time to get to know one another.
On the first day of class, all teams were tasked with solving a business case, sponsored by one of the big four consulting firms. We researched and analyzed different technical solutions in order to recommend our strategy for how a bank can become more efficient. We had the opportunity to present our solution to a panel of judges consisting of professors and the sponsoring firm. The excitement was high. There was also prize money to be won which was of course incentivizing.
But more importantly, this was our first chance to demonstrate to the faculty and potential employers our skillset, reasoning, and expertise. Thankfully because of orientation, we knew each other’s’ backgrounds and strengths which provided a starting point for our research and analysis. For example, one of my teammates completed an undergraduate degree in finance and interned at a private equity firm. Naturally, that teammate was our resident financial expert.
So pooling together our research and knowledge while using our past experiences, my team and I was able to argue our case to the panel of judges. And although falling short of a win, this experience was far more valuable in providing us with insight into what each of us could contribute to the team as well as, areas we could help each other further develop in.
I credit orientation for being a gateway for us to know how to work well through our first business case and the experiences stemming from our first case instilled in us a winner’s mentality for each upcoming business case throughout the year.
Ivana Payne is an MSIS student at the Kelley School of Business. She also earned a BS in Business Economics and Technology Management at the Kelley School. Her internship experiences range from IT internal audit to IT advisory at JP Morgan Chase, PwC, and PNC Bank. Ivana has accepted a full-time position with JP Morgan Chase.