I anticipated there would be several changes as I made the transition from a Krannert undergraduate student to a Krannert Master’s student. I knew that the program would be split up into modules instead of semesters. Courses would move at a much faster and more intense pace. Preparing ourselves for successful careers would be just as important as our grades and classwork.
However, there was one aspect of the program that I did not anticipate – how close-knit everybody is to one another compared to my undergraduate experience. Everyone takes a genuine interest in each other’s professional, personal, and academic lives.
Academically, everyone is quick to lend a helping hand to someone struggling with an assignment. One of the great things about our program is how diversified our backgrounds are – chances are, there’s an expert in an area you’re struggling with. Being able to lean on your peers is a major benefit when dealing with the challenging Krannert courses. The program doesn’t give off a competitive vibe whatsoever. We are like a team and want to see each other succeed.
The collaboration stretches outside the classroom as well, with students always doing something fun on the weekend such as tailgates before home football games or a visit to a local corn maze around Halloween. Clubs, student organizations, cultural events, and intramural sports provide other ways for the class to stay linked together, too.
Even when I’m not at Rawls Hall or with my classmates, my phone will frequently light up with text messages from the Krannert GroupMe. Whether it be birthday greetings, social plans for the weekend, or questions about courses, our class seems to always be staying in touch 24 hours a day.
A good example of the togetherness exhibited in class occurred this week. The wife of a student in the program gave birth to a baby girl on Sunday. The entire class gave him a round of applause when he entered the classroom Monday afternoon and peppered him with questions about the wife and baby. He pulled out pictures of her for everyone to gush over before class could start.
When I entered the program, I thought my classmates would work mostly in isolation – after all, the age gap in the program is wide, people come from various science, engineering, and business backgrounds and several students have spouses and children back home. However, I learned that my assumptions could not be further from the truth. Krannert’s family atmosphere has been a pleasant surprise for me and one of the many reasons why the Master’s program is truly a unique experience.