To successfully become a fully functioning member of the CICS community you must assimilate to the unique culture that is created among your peers, professors, and other vital CICS resources. This is a quick guide to the most important factors to consider during your adjustment period!
Social Learning in CICS
As a newbie, make sure that you include yourself in as many social learning events as you are able to! Put yourself out there and contribute to conversations in and out of the classroom. There will be many opportunities where you will be able to go out with your new CICS peers. Go out! These colleagues will become some of your closest friends and resources when the going gets tough throughout the program.
There are many events that the program puts on. These include the annual wine dinner, golf outing, and various opportunities to interact with past CICS alumni. Even if you have never held a golf club, go to the event. Here’s a little secret… It’s not actually about the golf. It’s about interacting with your peers, understanding the basics of networking, and the experience overall.
The Dress Code
Sadly, jeans and a t-shirt won’t cut it for this program. As a CICS graduate student you are expected to have on professional attire when in the classroom and Center. This doesn’t mean that you are required to wear a suit every day, but some people do. At the very least, business casual clothing is required. Eventually you will be in professional clothing for the majority of the week. Wearing casual clothing will ultimately become a weird experience for you. By month three you’ll find yourself grocery shopping in a suit and life will really seem strange.
At some point you will feel incredibly overwhelmed in this program. The amount of assignments that you are expected to complete will seem like a steep mountain. Take a deep breath and take it one day, and one assignment at a time. By the end of the week the steep mountain will transition to a hill, and then to level ground. Get a study buddy to suffer through content with. This makes learning the content a lot more fun and a great way to bounce ideas off one another. Lastly, remember that you and your peers are in this together. Help one another, study together, and work as a team to complete objectives.
– Kasia Majkowski