Johnson Voices

Colleen Krieger

Colleen Krieger

Executive MBA Metro NY '18

Age: 29
Hometown: Cleveland, OH native in Washington, DC by way of NYC
Education: BS in communications, Cornell University ’08

Why I chose Johnson

The Cornell community makes the Johnson experience. I attended Cornell for undergrad, and the people I was able to learn alongside, and from, became one of the best parts of my college experience. It’s the same for Johnson. The program attracts the best of the best—people who not only excel in their careers, but who are also smart, genuine, and fun to be around. Because we’re immersed in the EMBA experience through weeks in Ithaca and weekends in the Palisades, we’re able to truly bond with our classmates, professors, and program staff.

Blog

November 21 2016

120 Days as an EMBA Student, 5 Lessons Learned

It’s hard for me to believe that I’m already 120 days—give or take—into my Cornell Executive MBA Metro NY experience. This time last year, I was attending the open house in the Palisades trying to decide if this was the right program for me and figuring out how my life would change. Three months later, I got the phone call that I was accepted, and five months after that I was stepping off the Cornell Campus-to-Campus bus in Ithaca ready to meet my classmates and embark on a new adventure. Now I’ve nearly finished my first term.

Many of you are probably weighing your options: Should you do an executive MBA? Which program is right for you? What will your day-to-day be like if you’re working and studying? Is it worth it?

I can’t answer the first two questions for you, but I can share some lessons from my first days as an EMBA student that may shed some light on the last two questions.

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

Ok, so this lesson probably isn’t a surprise, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is. The bottom line is that your time is limited and an EMBA is a commitment. If you’re going to make that investment, you want to make sure that you’re getting something out of it—and that means giving it the time it deserves. For me, happy hours after work were replaced with study sessions with friends. My limited free time is spent with my boyfriend, family, and friends who couldn’t be more supportive. I constantly carry textbooks and readings with me so I can use my commute and any unexpected down time to study. You’ll find that you actually have more time than you think, but you have to prioritize. I won’t steal his thunder, but Professor Juran has an analogy he shares in one of the first Statistics classes in Ithaca that captures this perfectly.

Life Doesn’t Stop—Don’t Try to Hit Pause

Acknowledging what I just said about prioritization, it’s also important to recognize that your life isn’t going to stop. You’re in this program for two years, and there’s no way to hit pause on everything around you. I may have taken this to an extreme because I’ve juggled finding and starting a new job, moving 300 miles to a new city, and my brother getting married during the start of my EMBA. But I’m not alone in this. My classmates have had their first kids, gotten married, and run marathons in New York and Chicago. You have to find balance, and…

Ask for Help!

You have an EMBA team for a reason. Hopefully, you also have very supportive and understanding families, friends, partners, colleagues, bosses, etc. around you. You cannot do this on your own. Like I said, life happens and sometimes you’re going to have busy weeks or months. You need an EMBA team that is going to step up to help if you’re going through a rough period at work or personally—and you need to be that person for your team, too. Asking for help can be uncomfortable, but it’s a lesson that Cornell tries to teach you early in the program. One of your first activities in Ithaca during the first residential session is a ropes course with Cornell Outdoor Education. Many of the challenges on the course require you to ask for help or else you can’t be successful. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it is a critical lesson that rings true every day.

Stay Open-Minded

I would imagine some of the reasons you’re thinking about getting an EMBA are to expand your network, learn from others, and fill in knowledge gaps. But you’ve also been working for a while, and you’ve probably fallen into the trap of consciously or unconsciously labelling yourself and others. Approach the EMBA experience with an open mind. You’re going to find that you’re better at some things (and worse at others!) than you expected. I’ve already found new skills and interests, as well as some career paths that clearly aren’t for me. Your classmates are going to have diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. Like any team or group, you’ll probably gravitate toward some people more than others. But Cornell does an amazing job of putting together a diverse class. Take advantage of that! Be curious, ask questions, and talk with different groups of people.

Remember Why You’re Doing This—and Have FUN!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have that Sunday morning when your friends are at brunch while you’re working through your umpteenth accounting FSET and you may wonder what you’re doing. Remember that you had a reason for pursuing an MBA and you have an incredible group of people around you who are striving for the same goal. Make time with them on Saturdays in the Palisades to have fun. Go out for dinner, catch a yoga class, grab a drink at the Blu Lounge.

Enjoy the experience because I can already tell you that yes, it’s worth it.

Follow me on Instagram (@cornellmba_cak) for more from my #CornellMBA.

Tweets
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Colleen Krieger @leeny519 8 Feb
Come join us this weekend! https://t.co/96j2Mhi6yI
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Colleen Krieger @leeny519 7 Feb
You know why I hate @verizonfios? letmecounttheways Can't get both Bravo & ESPN w/o paying $$$. Why is it an either/or gimmesportsandtrash
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Colleen Krieger @leeny519 3 Feb
It takes training and you should probably avoid operating heavy machinery notforeveryone ☕️ https://t.co/qaPQ8Jhh2J
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Colleen Krieger @leeny519 3 Feb
Love the Souvlaki House detail cornellemba https://t.co/DGpexUOe7I
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Colleen Krieger @leeny519 28 Jan
Exciting news for @CornellMBA @CornellEMBA! https://t.co/nmCvwiOdQl
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Colleen Krieger @leeny519 21 Jan
You know you're old and no longer in NYC when you've been in line to get your car inspected since 7:30am... https://t.co/GqeJVLQqg6
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Colleen Krieger @leeny519 13 Jan
Thank you @AmericanAir for customr service reps who are people. Most pleasant convos I've ever had w an airline even w weather/flight issues
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Colleen Krieger @leeny519 12 Jan
Or do what I did: buy a car ✔️ https://t.co/3QcUjF25Mk
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Colleen Krieger @leeny519 29 Nov
YES! Can't handle non stop spam invites in Chinese when my calendar is already bananas help https://t.co/FhTVMGeTl1
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Johnson at Cornell @CornellMBA 23 Nov
Learn more about @leeny519 and why she chose the Executive CornellMBA Metro NY program at https://t.co/WaegnWtWiRhttps://t.co/jsPMGJEnag
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cornellmba_cak on Instagram

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Class of 2018 pride #cornellmba #karaokebreak #residentialsession #ithaca

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Trivia night (nearly) masters #onetiebreakerfromawin #classof2018 #cornellmba #ithaca #twodaysleft

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Kicked off #EMBA residential week with a team dinner! #cornellmba #secondterm #team12 #allbundledup #ithaca

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Thanks @johnsoncornell for sharing my #WhyJohnson story! Curious what I've learned so far? Check out my first blog post (link in profile). ・・・ As a full-time Content Marketing Strategist at @capitalone, Colleen Krieger knew that getting her #MBA from the Cornell Executive MBA Metro NY program was right for her. She says the program gives students a chance to bond with each other, professors and staff because of the immersive experience. What makes your time at Johnson so incredible? Let us know in the comments or post using the hashtag #WhyJohnson.

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Our next set of textbooks is here! 📚#cantstopwontstop #cornellmba #secondtermherewecome

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Sad I missed yesterday's #Cornell v #Columbia tailgate but obsessed with this #mannequinchallenge video from @cornellmba_tc ✔️#gobigred #cornellmba #schoolspirit #classmates

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Sunday morning studying with #realgoodcoffee #cornellmba #washingtondc

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Microecon studying over brunch on a non-class weekend #cornellmba

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In honor of #nationalcoffeeday a #tbt to my favorite #Ithaca coffee and study spot #cornellmba

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Stats serenade courtesy of Juran #knowwhentoholdem #finalstatsclass #juranout #CornellMBA

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On the first day of fall a #tbt to #summer in #Ithaca

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Hard to believe it's already been 7 months since I found out I'd been accepted into the Cornell Executive MBA Metro NY program! Excited to share my #CornellMBA experience with you