Brandeis International Business School

Real talk at Orientation 2019

The International Business School’s newest students are introduced to campus, culture, academics — and what it takes to make it at Brandeis

Brandeis International Business School welcomed nearly 300 new students this week.
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Brandeis International Business School welcomed nearly 300 new students this week.

Amid the questions about social life, classes and where to eat in Waltham, Arafat Mondol, MSF ’19 turned serious when he was asked about internships and networking.

“Build relationships,” said Mondol, with 500 eyes fixed on him. “You can’t just go to the job fair, hand out your resume, smile and say your name. That’s just networking. Talk to them, follow them on LinkedIn, follow the company and learn about them. Build relationships.”

Brandeis International Business School’s newest students kicked off three days of orientation this week with a series of talks, lunches and welcomes designed to familiarize them with campus, help them navigate the Boston area, and most importantly, get them engaged with their new academic home.

Mondol started his second year at the International Business School wearing a bright blue shirt, identifying him as a Leadership Fellow. The fellows, a selective group chosen for their leadership skills, guide new students through their first year on campus as peer advisers and mentors.

A campus tour and Q&A session with the Leadership Fellows capped the first day on campus for an incoming class of nearly 300 students. The week’s orientation activities also included sessions on the Hassenfeld Fellow Overseas Immersion Program, academic success and integrity, and the school’s philosophy on global dexterity.

The sessions were designed to introduce students to all aspects of life at Brandeis — from the university’s global outlook to the world-class academics to the emphasis on social justice.

Dean Kathryn Graddy officially welcomed incoming students by encouraging them to continue following their interests, no matter where it takes them.

“They might not always lead you in a straight path,” said Graddy. “But the enjoyment and success that you will achieve in pursuing the subjects in which you have a true intrinsic interest will set you up for life. The journey will be worth it.”

Kate Goldfield, associate dean for academic affairs and student experience, inaugurated the new class by ringing a gong. It’s a tradition that started years ago when founding Dean Peter Petri received the instrument as a gift by a Thai delegation visiting the school. In the spring, the ringing of the gong also sends off the International Business School’s graduating class during commencement.

“Peter Petri’s vision for this school was about admitting exceptionally bright and motivated students from this country and all countries who want to contribute ideas and experiences that benefit a global and progressive community,” said Goldfield. “From the outset and through this day, the qualifications for admission here are high, with the expectation that you are responsible for partnering in your success.”

With his first year behind him, Mondol, a native of Kolkata, India, reflected on his time at Brandeis, which has been filled with fast growth and leadership opportunities.

“It can be really nerve-wracking for our first-year students,” he said. “So as a Leadership Fellow in my second year, I really enjoy that I can exercise empathy and understand what they’re going through and help them out however I can.”
Students enter one of the orientation sessions.

Students enter one of the orientation sessions.

Students got the feel for campus during orientation.

Students got the feel for campus during orientation.

Leadership Fellows direct first year students and answer questions.

Leadership Fellows direct first year students and answer questions.

Associate Dean Kate Goldfield struck the gong to ring in the new school year at orientation.

Associate Dean Kate Goldfield struck the gong to ring in the new school year at orientation.

Students walk across campus for orientation.

Students walk across campus for orientation.

Economics Prof. George Hall speaks to new students.

Economics Prof. George Hall speaks to new students.

Students attended sessions to answer questions and learn about life at Brandeis.

Students attended sessions to answer questions and learn about life at Brandeis.

Leadership Fellows answered first-year students' questions about classes and life on campus.

Leadership Fellows answered first-year students' questions about classes and life on campus.

Leadership Fellows wore bright blue shirts so first-year students with questions could find them easily.

Leadership Fellows wore bright blue shirts so first-year students with questions could find them easily.

Leadership Fellows answered questions and helped acclimate new students to campus.

Leadership Fellows answered questions and helped acclimate new students to campus.

Students lined up for a food-truck lunch during orientation.

Students lined up for a food-truck lunch during orientation.

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