Monday, April 19, 2004

The rest of Welcome Weekend rocked. It was energizing to be on campus. Everyone I met was so laid back and SMART. I was surprised by the number of people there that did not come from traditional MBA feeder industries. I only met a couple of investment bankers. Also, not everyone was pursuing an MBA to go into IB, consulting, or private equity - and that was refreshing. I didn't meet anyone who was overtly greedy or obnoxious.

On Saturday, I attended Wharton Live, which was a series of live performances mixed in with speeches from students, administration, and alumni. Two of the segments really made me think. The first was the Wharton Follies segment. Wharton Follies in a nutshell is a musical put on by students with special appearances from administration (and a surprise Apprentice-like segment from the Donald). When I was researching Wharton and first learned about the Follies, I thought it was like a talent show. And since I can sing (no really, I can) I thought, "hey it would be neat to get involved with Follies if I attend Wharton." And then I saw a clip of the performance, and realized some of the folks were probably former Broadway actors (Seriously. Rose, the director of admissions, is an opera singer). And I got cold feet and feared I was out of my league. When I saw the Follies segment at Wharton Live,I thought about how cool it would be to be involved with the production. But then the voice that tells you that you can't do something because you are cool, pretty, talented, smart enough to do something came on, and I started to make excuses why I couldn't get involved.

The next segment was a speech from a 2002 alum, who opened his speech with, "All I keep thinking as I watch that is, 'I should've done that. I should've done that.'" The alum's speech focused on how it's important to get involved. It's about choices - and realizing that half of the Wharton experience is outside of the classroom. His speech really hit home.

I realize that the next two years offer an opportunity to exist outside the comfort zone. Business school is one of the last times you can look at the categories and boxes you've put yourself in, and decide to totally ignore those boundaries. It's a time when you can ignore that voice that tells you that you can't do something. It's a time when you can try anything, you can be anyone. And so I've made a commitment to myself to ignore the voice. I will go out for Follies. I will learn how to salsa. I will ask that cute boy out on a date. I will crawl in the mud at Quantico - no wait. No way I'm doing that. I'm sorry but, even if I ignore the voice, that experience is still COMPLETELY unappealing to me.

I'm extremely excited to start school. I'm hoping the next three months fly by. I'm not stressed about the academic challenge. I have full confidence in my abilities. I feel optimistic about the next two years. It's gonna be pretty damn awesome.

I was going to post a detailed review of the goings on, but I defer to Hella's awesome series of posts. I will note that my Saturday started with the financial aid forum. Talking about financial aid at 9 AM on a Saturday is not a good thing. I was totally freaked out by that discussion. In fact I plan to call the financial aid office today to see if I can talk to someone about some of my concerns.

Oh and after a series of all-nighters, I got two fellowship applications in. We'll see what happens. I expect good things.

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