I loved all of MBA Summer Camp 2010! Oops, I mean MBA Opening Residency 2010. But I still had fun.

During the application process for the MBA program, I failed to take into account my absence from the classroom. Somewhere flying over New Mexico the day before Opening Residency was to begin, I realized I didn’t understand much of the content written in our Markel case. It wasn’t my language.

I am a college coach by trade and my language is sport-specific. I work with 20 college-aged, highly motivated, talent-filled young women. I don’t operate with thoughts of regulations, ratios, markets, balance sheets, or entry strategy. My days are filled with finding a direct path towards individual personal growth and a team championship for the university – that is my language.

Walking into the ballroom at The Jefferson, I had the same butterflies I had the first day of every year of elementary school. You remember this…Will I have a nice teacher? Are any of my friends in my class?

Within eight hours of arriving at The Jefferson, I was sitting in a meeting room with my team discussing details of our case presentation. It took no time for us to shed our day one inhibitions and dive into the group project. Our personalities surfaced, and we exploded with ideas. J.T. Blau was the CEO; Ben Eubanks was the sage; Kyle Benusa was the intelligent energy; Charles Giles was the smooth questioner; Jon Watson was the quick analyzer. Our diverse backgrounds and diverse traits were swirling together amidst flip charts and binders, but we found fun (and nicknames: Socrates, Romeo, Smokey, Gator, and Casanova).

Our hours together moved into the Business School for a week of late-night Markel arguing. Finally, the presentation Sunday arrived. Markel was on the surface, but it was clear we learned more than just insurance. We were exposed to concepts, faculty, a live case, and a new community. During our communication session when we had to declare which animal best represents us, my group chose the camel.

Now, I can say that I value the community (camels, panthers, dolphins, and Mufasa), and I feel extremely lucky to be a camel enrolled in The Richmond MBA program.