The first temperature dip in September elicits visions of football, autumn harvest meals and multi-colored leaves. Fall marks the spring of the new school year. We reap the harvest of our summer experiences as we begin afresh the process of creating an intellectual, spiritual and social network. As we savor the balmy days of Indian summer with their bright light and long, ominous shadows, we prepare to move indoors to pursue the quieter intellectual activities of a Midwestern winter. New spiral notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils have been replaced by tablet computers and smart phones, but, nonetheless, diligent students arm themselves for intellectual challenges that lay waiting on the pages of detailed syllabi.
Thursday evening, August 25, the Graduate School of Business hosted an Orientation for our 233 new incoming graduate business students. Embarking on a complicated endeavor like attaining a graduate degree involves facing — and embracing — challenges in the areas theoretical and critical thinking. But orientation to a new school and a new routine also elicits complex emotional responses — excitement coupled with anxiety. The task for our staff is to anticipate and explain questions that will cause negative emotions and reaffirm and encourage the aspects that result in positive feelings. To that end, our evening together included speakers from the Career Management Center and the Bursar’s Office coupled with representatives of our student clubs presenting extracurricular options. In addition, Professor Bobbie Thomas coached our new students with a Communication Skills Workshop, which will give them confidence in presentations and daily interactions.
We welcome our new and returning students to the Loyola experience and the transformative process of Jesuit business education. Most importantly, students need not face these challenges alone. Our students arrive well-prepared and motivated, but, in addition, our community remains vital and supportive. Happy New School Year, Everyone!