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Two Beginnings and an Ending

I’m excited to move back to Brooklyn, really. I am glad to return to the same city as my boyfriend, and look forward to starting my new career at BCG. Before I start, BCG is giving me time to travel (to East Africa, including a visit to a classmate and his family in Kenya), and they’re funding me to do a social impact fellowship with Sanctuary for Families. So I am eager to move forward to new adventures and challenges. As I look forward to life as an SOM alumna, it has been a treasure to witness my brother’s excitement at joining the SOM Class of 2012. I wonder how his experience will mirror and differ from my own. He’s as unlikely a business school candidate as I was: he studied civil engineering and film, and has worked mostly in documentary television; I studied government and French and taught in New York City public schools. Yet we were both drawn to SOM for the chance to have a greater impact, and for the friendly atmosphere that has supported me as I’ve developed here, and I’m sure will sustain my brother too. I didn’t try to convince him to come here, but meeting my friends here and witnessing my growth planted the seed for him to apply. It’s a testament to SOM, I think. So I look forward with optimism, but I must admit, as I started driving my U-Haul down Mansfield Street, away from roommates waving from the porch, I felt a deep pang of sadness. It’s hard to imagine that we won’t all be in a five-block radius anymore. This summer, Randi moves to Los Angeles, Cara to Houston, KC to DC, and Chris to Boston. Grace will return to South Africa, Jeff may end up in Uganda, and Stella has already invited me to her home in Brazil… The past two years were only minimally about the new skills I learned and new career options opened. I’ve made dear friends here, and will miss tripping over them in the Hall of Mirrors, sharing a toast every Thursday at happy hour, and following their Facebook status updates that tracked their progress on final papers, even as I wrote my own. I’ll miss shouting from my Mansfield porch to John and Claire’s porch across the street. I’ll miss a community where Catherine, in the first weeks of school when I was frustrated with accounting homework, before she really knew me, offered me a hug to help me get through the day. I’ll miss a community supportive enough that Jessamine said was grateful she chose to have her first child here—yes, during business school. And I’ll miss a community where the dean knows me well enough to pause as she handed me my diploma to tell me, “Go do a good job consulting, but we want you back in non-profits soon.” To those of you starting at SOM with my brother, good luck! I hope you will build the kind of cherished community I have enjoyed. To the class of 2010, and the professors who helped us to graduation, I’ll miss y’all. Keep in touch!