Thursday, June 11, 2015

To the Class of 2017: Enjoy Your Journey

By Nate Buyon, MBA'16

I’ve never liked biking in the rain, but especially never liked waking up at 5 a.m. 

Early mornings and soggy jerseys were common during my cycling career, but I accepted it as it made me stronger, tougher and faster. These were the attributes I needed in order to achieve my goal of ascending to the highest level of the sport. To be fair, the days weren’t all gray; there were sunny days, too. In fact, most days were sunny, but of course I most vividly remember the tough ones. And that is probably because my perception of those more difficult rides correlates directly to my success.

Looking back, perhaps I should have enjoyed those sunny days more.

When I came to business school, I believed that my only objective was to get a job. As I have often found out in school, I was wrong. My objectives are to make lifelong friends, develop industry connections, get an outstanding education, make an impact, AND get a job.

I have often heard my 2016 classmates saying that they thought they would have more free time after locking down an internship. I thought this, too, but failed to comprehend the time commitments associated with working on GLOBASE, participating in the MBAA, involvement with several clubs and attending events every single week. The burden of being a future business leader is that sleep becomes a luxury of sorts.

After we bid adieu to the class of 2015 and now span across the globe for our internships, I am reminiscent about the past 10 months. I have stumbled a lot here at Kelley and, at times, fallen flat on my face. There have been interviews in which I should have just excused myself after the first five minutes, presentations in which I literally forget how to speak, and classes in which I was so lost, I didn’t even know what chapter we were on. 

At the same time, there have been amazing moments as well. I developed strong relationships with my core team members, made it to both first semester case comp finals, spent New Year’s in Colombia with three of my classmates, and got the internship I wanted.

This combination of these successes and failures has gotten me to where I am today. However, if I had allowed myself to enjoy the happy moments more, I would still be where I am today. I should have simply enjoyed the spicy and amazing Indian dinner with my teammates rather than incessantly worrying about all the deliverables I had to do the following week. Or instead of rushing to do as many practice case interviews as possible, I should have focused on doing one interview really well and getting to know my interview partner as more than just a peer resource.

My advice to the class of 2017 is to enjoy your moments, for better or worse. When you are stuck on a quant problem and have just stared at your computer screen for an hour straight (well, besides checking Facebook seven times), just take a break. When you present in front of class and catch yourself rambling on for four minutes and have no idea what you said, just laugh it off. Enjoy the time you have with your classmates and the Kelley community because it will fly by

Challenge yourself to really get to know classmates who are completely different from you. Take a class at the SRSC, go see a performance at the Jacobs School of Music, or just sit in the school greenhouse and breathe. Celebrate your successes, learn from your mistakes, plan and prepare for the future, but live your lives in the moment.    

Welcome Class of 2017. I look forward to sharing the journey with you.