Team Night Mongoose Strike Force Team

November 16, 2011

This is what a night mongoose looks like:

This is also a night mongoose:

When you put enough of these together (i.e., 4), you get TEAM NIGHT MONGOOSE STRIKE FORCE TEAM (double team for emphasis). You might ask, what is Team Night Mongoose Strike Force Team, other than awesome? Answer: a group of hand-picked Yale MBA students (someone sent out an email) rigorously trained to deliver precise solutions to case competition problems. I am part of this elite group. But this post is not really about Team Night Mongoose Strike Force Team - it is more a blow by blow of the crazy end of my last week. If you are a prospective student, I hope it can help you get a sense for how life as a Yale MBA can be. (It was a particularly busy couple of days but not atypical - such bursts of activity occur every few days). I suggest reading my friend Dor's post about his week too. If you are a current student, there is nothing more for you here. So... Thursday, 0800 - I drop my wife off at the train station and race back to campus. Thursday, 0830 - Made it to my Sourcing and Managing Funds class but didn't have enough time to get coffee. Not good. Thursday, 1000 - Coffee. Better. Thursday, 1030 - Professor Mohan's undergraduate class on the Indian Economy for which I am a Teaching Fellow. Interesting lecture on surprising trends in population growth (the pace of urbanization has been slower than expected). Thursday, 1200 - I read the case for my afternoon class (Customer) while having lunch. I think it was from one of the Thai food carts. Thursday, 1300 - Customer Thursday, 1430 - Correspondence: follow up emails to people I met at Google presentations and coffee chats earlier in the week; introduction and meeting request to my alumni mentor Thursday, 1545 - Meeting with professor Mohan to figure out a plan to write the final exam - I'm doublebooked and have to skip the Consulting Club meeting that has Mars and Co consultants conducting a live case. Thursday, 1730 - Closing Bell (weekly SOM happy hour) - I catch up with friends from different cohorts Thursday, 1845 - Put on my tie, put away my book bag and head to the McKinsey presentation and networking event. Thursday, 1940 - McKinsey seems pretty intense. Thursday, 2100 - McKinsey is done - I race home to change Thursday, 2130 - Here is where Team Night Mongoose Strike Force Team comes in. We are participating in a J&J pharmaceutical case competition due the next morning. We've individually read the materials researched the topics but our schedules have not allowed us to meet yet. We have to come up with a strategy and put together a deck in one night. I head back to SOM and we start brainstorming. Thursday, 2300 - Pizza. Friday, 0030 - We've come up with a strategy that we all like. It isn't safe. In fact, it is downright mad. But we wanted to go with an innovative solution. It is a bit of gamesmanship. With the time we have, we know we won't be able to compete on depth of research; we figure it is worth taking a risk. Friday 0100 - We start putting together our deck and creating graphics to explain and support our argument Friday 0400 - The deck is mostly complete. We start going over the problem statement and plugging holes Friday 0515 - Done! Friday 0530 - I get home. I have to wake up at 7am to go to NY so I set 4 alarms Friday 0745 - Get to the train station. I bump into Chris and Adalina. They look interesting (Chris is participating in the pharma case competition too and probably also pulled an all-nighter). Kind of like this:

Recreation of actual events   Friday 1030 - Train gets to NY a little late - we get in a cab to go to Bloomberg (where we have training) Friday 1130 - Bloomberg's building is amazing. Friday 1230 - Bloomberg training is done. I start walking to an informational interview with CRA at 2pm Friday 1400 - The guy I'm meeting is really nice. We get a cup of coffee. Friday 1500 - Done with the meeting - I get a call from my Strike Force friends - the presentation went well. I head to the train station to get back to New Haven in time for the awards ceremony for the case competition. Friday 1800 - The case competition happy hour is pretty cool. A lot of teams were from the public health school or from the biotech PhD program so we mingle with other Yale grad students. Friday 1845 - We didn't win. I am not surprised. We thoroughly enjoyed the case though. Our team name was the toast of the town and that is great. Friday 2000 - Home!

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About the author

Danish Shafi

Post-MBA Position: McKinsey & Company