Whooops….I meant to stay a bit more on top of the blog. Somehow classes haven’t even started and I’m already too busy. Today will be pretty short and then I’ll do a bit more over the weekend when I have some more time.
So, jumping back in time about three weeks, at the end of August I headed down to Colombia (the country; the school is spelled with a “u”) with 250 future classmates and SOs. The breakdown was about 40 SOs and 210 MBA1s. More than half of the class.
The trip was both absurd and amazing. The general plan every day was wakeup, rush to breakfast right before it closed, hang out with a random group of half a dozen people (either walking around a city, hanging out on a beach, or making our way through buses/airports depending on the day), head to a big dinner with the whole group, and then clubbing/dancing for the better part of the night. I met about 50 people a day (and promptly forgot everything about half of them, and at least the names of another dozen). But by the end of the week it seemed like I had known some of my classmates for years instead of just days.
I know that was the worst description of an event ever written. I’m definitely not doing the trip justice (especially my new classmates who organized the entire thing so that 250 people from all over the globe managed to traipse around Colombia for a week with no major hiccups). Let me put it this way: it was completely worth it. I got to know a couple dozen classmates very well, and a couple dozen more sort-of-well. Now that I’m on campus I realize just how nice it is to already know some people and not be the new person in every single situation. It’s a huge head start on the social side of business school (which is especially valuable since b-school is about the network as much as it is about the academics).
At the end of the week in Colombia, I headed off on another trip. This was one of the smaller and much more official Pre-Mix trips organized by the school. For me, it was much better than the Colombia trip. The small group allowed me to get to know everyone pretty well and it meant that I kept talking to the same people, instead of having one conversation and then not seeing that person for the rest of the trip. The daily activities were a bit silly and it was really the hangout time at meals and at night that I enjoyed the most.
Okay, clearly the creative juices are not flowing today. Let me just sum up by saying that I am incredibly glad that I did the trips. If I could do it again I probably would try to substitute something else for the Colombia trip. I loved the experience, but I have learned that I prefer a less club/alcohol-based trip with fewer people. Since it’s too late for that, all I can say at this point is “work hard, play hard.”