Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Six Years Ago - Did You Ever Think You Could Be So Much?

A day-in-the-life, huh? That's what you want? You want to know what it's like to spend an entire day in a top two-year MBA program? Brother/sister, we've only got one blog entry. So let me just give you the last two hours to highlight MBA student activities.

Two hours ago class ends. I stroll down to my personal mailbox, pull out a great flier, and then head outside into the hustle and bustle of the cool, fall afternoon to head to the library. I have about 100 pages of reading before I start classes tomorrow, so I need to get in the zone and focus (this blog counts as work getting done, by the way).

I stroll into the main study lounge in our beautiful, huge Herman B. Wells Library, an incredibly impressive building with endless resources. As I head towards my usual quiet corner, I notice three of my Korean classmates at a table in the middle of the room, with an open seat. I bow slightly, since they are older than me, and give a polite Korean hello, which sounds like "ah-naan-ah-say-OH." They greet me with surprise, and then we suddenly whisper like kids caught talking in the back of a class, as we remember we're in a library. I ask if I may join them, and they happily offer the open seat.

One of us is tirelessly pulling his hair out trying to crack the latest Microsoft Excel homework; one chuckles to himself as he gains new insight into his Accounting studies; one is already studying for his Microsoft Excel final; and I sit here learning about how talent-scouting agents played a role in the melt-down of Enron for my Strategic Management class. The three of them occasionally get excited and chatter amicably in Korean - and then notice me listening in engagement, and then translate what the issue was. I'm never left out - and it makes me feel like a colleague. Heesun, a Korean classmate who sits right in front of me in class, walks up to our table smiling as she shows off some Oreo-vanilla ice-cream she snuck into the library. We all "ooh" and "ahh" and she teasingly offers a taste, and then finds a corner in the room to study by herself.

On my LinkedIn profile, I daily post interesting vacation spots around the world, and I ask Daegon where he's vacationed in the Pacific. He gets very excited, and begins to whisper about his honeymoon, islands where other classmates hail from, and even brings up Google Earth to show me the places he's talking about. I post his recommendation of the Island of Jeju.

In between work, our table shares stories of our wives/girlfriends, politics, Halloween festivities we were at, and our opinions on our various classes. We ask academic questions of each other and help the best we can.

When I look at my life six years ago, I was a Sophomore in college and a theater major, having not even thought of business school, especially not one of the top masters in business administration programs in the country. I would have never been able to tell you that I would make it through MBA admission to the Kelley school of business, and have now been requested to analyze the failure of one of the country's largest companies from an HR perspective. What really amazes me is that I would have never been able to foresee myself working on my MBA management degree, sitting at a table with three gentlemen from the other side of the planet, collaborating on such incredible academics as advanced Excel analysis and inventory accounting.

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