Saturday, November 10, 2007

Booze and Buddies: What B school is all about

There are stereotypes aplenty flying around regarding business school. All you do is drink… you’ll make the best friends of your life… finance is a killer.
I’m here to tell you they are all true.
Last weekend I attended the NAWMBA conference hosted by the University of Maryland. A friend and I decided to watch the entire competition (the Georgetown team presented last) and we were incredibly impressed by our polished women! After the competition we attended a delicious reception where I enjoyed a few glasses of wine with MBASalsera and many of the other Georgetown ladies. We then moved onto the dinner, where it turned out we weren’t just biased- Georgetown won 1st place: $5000.

In the academic arena, this week we studied segmentation in marketing. The case accompanying the lesson was written by a few Georgetown MBAs who now work at Miller. The case was on the challenges in the domestic beer industry, and the questions centered around examining shifts in demographics and tastes, identifying appropriate marketing responses to these changes and arguing for a strategy. The Georgetown grads came in to present, along with top brand managers. And of course, they brought the new product (their solution to the case questions) with them. That was how I came to be drinking Miller Chill at 9:30 am.

Back to buddies… I was studying in the fishbowl with a mostly empty table. This only lasted for about ten minutes when one of my cohortmates joined me and chatted a bit. Then a friend from a different cohort sat down. Cohortmate turned to friend: “Hi, I’ve seen you at a bunch of marketing events, right? Would you mind looking at my resume?” After ten minutes of review and chatting they both stop and extend hands saying, “oh right, my name’s…” Collaboration is the name of the game this mod because…

FINANCE IS KICKING MY BUTT. I know I am not alone in this feeling, but happily our class is really pulling together, truly collaborating within study teams, within cohorts, and frankly with whomever happens to be sitting nearest at the time. I'll conclude with some words of wisdom from Sandeep, my wise finance professor: "No one force feeds you broccoli and loans." Something to keep in mind folks. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drink a Miller Chill.

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