Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
It’s 2AM, and of course I can’t sleep, even though I’ve been deprived of it for several days now. I suppose what’s keeping me up is the past two years. The classes, the homework, the papers, the logs, the WOB torture, the presentations, the internships, the debates and spirited arguments, the fantasy football, the awesome professors, the infuriating professors, the Ragsdale residencies, the All My Friends concerts, the venture creations, the makeshift tech startups with classmates, the playing-hooky road trips to Marfa, the ridiculously HAM/YOLO weekends, the karaoke, the watching friends get banned from Kerbey Lane, the watching us all get kicked out of G&S Lounge, the SXSW shenanigans, the house parties that got a little crazy, the Guy On a Buffalo.
Most of the above has culminated into today, where I and three of my fellow cohorts this afternoon will give a Capstone presentation to a local online digital production company. We have utilized all of our skills and experience, everything we’ve learned from this program. We have had several meetings, made phone calls, sent emails, scheduled Google Calendar reminders , had lunch pow wows, printed at home because Kinko’s is too expensive, and drunk lots and lots and lots of coffee. It almost feels like I’m an adult. Almost.
And we’re going to nail it.
And then? We’re MBAs.
I have a tendency in moments like this to get sappy, but this is who I am, so deal. I consider this day to be an important one for me. The ceremony on Saturday doesn’t mean much to me, frankly, other than making it official with a cap and gown, and making Mom happy. After this presentation, where my team will prove we are who we say we are, after the employees have left and the reports have been passed out and the grades have been jotted down, I am a student no more. Finally.
Most people will ask, well, now what? I’m asking the same thing….another day. Today is not the day to ask that question. Today I am busting my ass until 5pm, and then I am celebrating. Then my family is coming into town to celebrate with me. One thing is for sure, 2013 is not over, the work is never done, and there’s still questions to be answered. This time around, though, I’m optimistic, more confident. But that is a thought for another day, a day that’s around the corner.
I am lucky to have been given this opportunity to pursue graduate work, to have a supportive family, to have understanding friends that I need to start hanging out with again, to have a life in my favorite city, to be able to study in such an innovative, amazing program that isn’t perfect, but I can’t say I haven’t learned anything. Quite the opposite. I have learned so much about my industry and others. I have learned a plethora of knowledge about the world of business. I have learned things about myself, my traits, my hobbies and habits, my ethics, my values, my esteem. I have learned all this from remarkable people. People who were hired to teach, and people who weren’t and have no idea they’ve taught me these things.
But most of all, I’m lucky to have been a part of the group that took the ride along with me. More than the schoolwork, the lifelong lessons, I have made friendships with remarkable people, friendships I hope and believe will last a lifetime. In terms of what would normally be classified as qualifiers for diversity, we didn’t really make the grade. But to say there wasn’t diversity in the Season 7 cohort is obtuse. The unique views and opinions, the insightful discussion, the jokes, the flat-out arguments were probably the most valuable experiences of this entire two-year daytime program, and I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything. I came to school everyday to learn about business, but it’s decisions like these that make you realize you are learning things all the time by everyone around you, that people are remarkable, and unique, and sometimes straight-up amazing. And that, through this program, I have made an unspoken bond with a group of people, some of whom I may never talk to again, some of whom I will talk to for years to come. But it’s a bond that will serve as a reminder through action and recommendation, through support and encouragement, a bond that reminds us: we all went through something pretty spectacular together.
And of course, from now until the end of time, there’s not a doubt in my mind:
We are The Best Cohort.™
Here’s to you guys.