Laissez les bons temps roulez

December 21, 2007

I am feeling groovy.

It shouldn't be a surprise. We finished our last exam yesterday and today I find myself in my adopted hometown of New Orleans. Tonight, I will be celebrating the holiday season with old college buddies.

After a good sleep-in, I spent the afternoon hanging out with friends and reflecting on my time at SOM so far. It's still hard for me to believe that a fourth of our time at business school has already come and gone. To be sure, it has been an eye-opening, humbling, fast-paced and stimulating experience for me. From the butterflies of orientation to the introspection of our value-based leadership exercises to the tyranny of ‘the boycott’ homework, I have loved it all. I continue to find myself smiling at the fact that I am at Yale – growing daily, interacting with fascinating people and slowly transforming myself into a better leader.

I chose to spend two years of my life at SOM because it offered a great mix for me - a great business school where I could also grow on the international and environmental fronts. I also knew that the new curriculum buzz was going to attract a group of classmates that love operating on the leading edge and thrive on ambiguity. I am so glad that I am here.

My first interaction with classmates consisted of chatting over email with Adrian Garcia (the other Costa Rican in our class) that was also on a round-the-world trip during the early part of the year. I then met up with Amy Pan, Sucheng Chang and Robert Liu in Beijing over the summer. These early experiences opened up my eyes to the global nature of our class.

Once in New Haven, I was surprised to hear about the rich international backgrounds of many in our class. It's people like Jahnabi Nandy and Mike Shay. All I had to do is ask them, "Where are you from?" After a pause, they would respond, "Well, originally I am from X, but I grew up in Y. In my last job, I lived in Z. " I love knowing that I am surrounded by classmates with diverse global outlooks... and we haven't even gone on our international trips yet!

On the environmental/sustainability front: I am confident that no other MBA program can offer the opportunities that Yale does in the space of renewable energy, CSR and carbon finance. It’s about our tight-knit community of classmates that are dreaming big… and that will move the current thinking in this space. It’s about our enviable alumni network – Yalies who are leading renewable energy upstarts, as well as supermajor energy companies. It’s about the opportunities I have had over the past few months to share ideas and passions with CEOs of renewable companies, high-flying venture capitalists, and leading political figures that are impacting our world today. The opportunities on this front are truly boundless.

On December 27th, I am off to Austria to bring in the new year in Vienna. Then, it's off to Romania and Russia on our international experience. The trip is focused on energy and environment. We are meeting with government ministers, officials at energy companies and non-profits. Plus, we'll be meeting up with business school students in Bucharest and Moscow. It's going to be grand.

I'm signing off now. I am going for a nice run on leafy St. Charles Avenue. Ahhhhhh, time to decompress some more. Let the good times roll.

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Roberto Jimenez