In their quest for transparency, prospective MBAs often ask me both what I most appreciate and what I find most challenging about business school. While my previous blogs have made clear the many aspects I appreciate, I’ve yet to share one of the dimensions I find most challenging: the pressure to be all-around awesome.
The chance of precipitation was 100 percent. Wind speeds started at 13 miles per hour and reached up to 22 miles per hour. By 9:05 p.m., the temperature had already hit a low of 37 degrees.
Mother nature, however, could not deter the students of SOM from braving the elements to celebrate our 2013 winter formal, “Winter Lights,” on Friday night. By taxi, by car and even by foot, we descended upon the New Haven Lawn Club, where, per the invitation, “formal attire (was) preferred” and “dancing (was) required.”
They were bold. They were bright. They were bodacious.
Bedecked in the likes of Hammer pants and gold berets, they took the stage by storm. The eminent and purposeful Yale SOM had never seen anything like it. Cheers erupted, whistles rang out—and hearts probably melted.
I came to Yale SOM in part because old shoes drive me crazy.
Before you dismiss me as the crazy shoe lady, perhaps I should clarify a bit. As someone who once took a 67 percent pay cut to serve the urban poor, I’ve spent much of my life thinking about ways to maximize social impact. In addition to joining Peter Singer’s campaign to give to the bottom billion, I pretty much donated everything I could get my hands on as a child, to my mother’s chagrin: jewelry, jackets, shoes, clothes, toiletries, books, CDs, canned goods, toy, etc. You name it, I probably tried to donate it at one point or another—though I tried most vigorously if the item happened to be, say, my piano workbook.
In observance of the inauguration of Yale President Peter Salovey, Yale University threw open its doors this weekend with special events and festivities for university affiliates as well as the greater public. While most of the second-year MBAs were out of town for fall break, my Monday flight meant that I could join my friend from the School of Public Health in exploring the campus Open House today.
This is not to say, of course, that I regret coming to business school—I don’t at all. Both professionally and personally, I’ve grown and learned so much here, and my previous posts attest to my love for this school. Rather, in some ways, this high-intensity, perpetually stimulating pace of life makes for a welcome crucible that is forcing me to learn how to prioritize those things that matter to me most.
Today marks two months since I left New Haven for what my friend jokingly refers to as “the best coast,” and I have to admit that I’ve never felt more at home than I have here. Only eight weeks in, I have already developed a host of routines and traditions: my favorite running trail in Golden Gate Park, a new spiritual home and my go-to spot for a celebratory, end-of-week Friday night dinner, where you will always find me at 7 o’clock picking up soya tofu and udon noodles for takeout...
So… I have a confession to make. Ever since I was 11, I’ve dreamt about living in California. Even though there is something special about the Midwest that will always feel like home, since childhood I have gravitated toward the Golden State’s sunshine, grand vistas and progressive, sometimes irreverent spirit...
Upon completing our first MBA year this past Monday, celebrations were certainly in order. After we submitted our Innovator final at 7:30 p.m., we all proceeded to eat, drink and make merry….
OK OK, you got me. The more accurate version of the story—at least, in my case—is that I ate, drank (mango lassi, that is) and… merrily made my way to the long neglected friend that is my bed.
Though “land of contrasts” is a common description of both Africa as a continent and South Africa in particular, in retrospect, I don’t think it is possible to fully grasp the full import of that statement until you experience it yourself. At least, during the remainder of my International Experience there, the nonchalant juxtaposition of contrasts in natural beauty, modernity and quality of life—among other areas—provoked a sort of psychological whiplash on a daily basis.