If you asked me to describe an Auburn MRED residency week using one word it would be “INTENSE.”
Personally, I like eight hours of good sleep per night. I work well if I get it. My wife will tell you that you do not want to be around me if I don’t. Because of this, I now know that I might want to stock up on sleep heading into residency week because I will be lucky if I get five hours per night while in Auburn.
The class schedule itself is pretty straightforward. Class starts at 8:00 am sharp. The instructors for the semester plan to use this week to lie out the framework for the semester ahead. Our days are filled with lectures, guest speakers, and future project discussion. They try to have us out of class by 5:00 but if certain professors are on a role they have no problem stretching it out for a while. I guess they know that we are all from out of town we have nowhere else to be!
The 36 (or so) hours spent in the classroom are only a part of the learning experience during this week. From the first day of our first residency the program has been built around teamwork. In real estate, you simply cannot do it alone. So why should this program be treated differently? Every morning we eat breakfast as a group at the hotel before class. We walk across campus to our classes as a group. Lunch is prepared for us on the 5th floor of the Lowder building that we will eat together as a group. After class we normally break into a few small groups simply because most restaurants in Auburn are not built to hold a group of 15-17.
It is during the out of class experiences that you can learn just as much as in the classroom. MRED 2013 is made up of 14 students. To say we are a diverse group would be an understatement. It is not uncommon to look around your table during dinner at a local dive just off Toomer’s Corner and see an commercial appraiser from Atlanta, a real estate broker of over 150 agents from Birmingham, an environmental consultant from Augusta GA, a developer from New Jersey, a timeshare marketer from Los Angeles, and an architect professor from Cambridge Massachusetts. Conversations can range from finance, to commercial office rental development, to how to keep dozens of middle age women agents from killing each other. These dinners, drinks, and discussions can easily go late into the night. However, most nights we try to remember that we have to do it all over again tomorrow.
Looking back, it takes five hours to drive from Jackson to Auburn. I thought this drive would become burdensome. However, I have grown to enjoy the time. The trip there allows me to prepare and look forward to the week ahead. The trip back lets me decompress from the past few days and start to appreciate the craziness of “residency week.”