Tea with the Dean

April 3, 2009

Coming from the comfortable anonymity offered by some thirty thousand students during my undergrad, I knew the tight community of SOM would present a radically different class bonding experience. And one of the most rewarding features of a small school is not only do you get to meet the dean personally, but the dean knows you. I say this in all seriousness, because Sharon Oster is renowned for her near perfect memory of names and faces, never lacking a lively personal story about any student, faculty member or alumni. April 1 marked the second opportunity since January to gather for an hour in the afternoon with Dean Oster and some 20 fellow students. The discussion was wide open and varied, with concerns ranging from the practical, to mundane, to the philosophical. One student questioned rumors relating to changes in admission criteria, which Sharon Oster humorously denied, recounting that in her experience, each second year SOM class feels the incoming class is no longer "SOM" enough. Another student brought a request to extend bar hours during Thursday happy hours. And on the philosophical side, there was talk about the ongoing debate on forming a code of ethics for the business profession. Chances to meet and talk candidly and casually in a forum such as this remind me of the great benefits of the SOM community. When homework, coursework and quests for the elusive internship become a demanding grind typical of any business school, there is little better remedy than the reminder of the commitment and support of faculty and fellow students.

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Leif Linden