Monday, August 29, 2005

The MBADiversity Symposium went really well. (Hats off to KD for doing such a phenomenal job organizing this, you rock.) It was weird though. I've done prospective students events before, but this was the first time when it was just me representing the school. I sat on a panel about admissions, and people asked some thoughtful questions. The weird part was after the panel. As people approached the booth, they seemed nervous. That was just weird to me. I'm a pretty friendly person and I usually put people at ease. But I guess they were nervous because I was wearing my admissions hat. They asked great questions - but at times it seemed like they were searching their brains to find the perfect question. You know the one that makes them seem smart, insightful, and thoughtful. They were trying to make a good impression. On ME. That's weirdly funny to me. I mean, it's just me. It was like a reverse Employer Info Session. It's SO strange to be on the other side of the recruiting relationship.

I flew down to Atlanta and back on the same day to avoid the whole luggage thing (While I'm walking, I'm walking with crutches still). I flew Delta. At first I was really annoyed with them because getting my seat moved to the bulkhead (a perk of the walking cast) required several calls. But on my ride back I noticed a couple of things that move them back to the good company column. In the boarding waiting area, there were screens that showed when the flight was departing, and notices about traveling with children, etc. The screens also had upgrade lists, which listed the people, in priority, on the Standby list as well as how many seats were open. The thing that interested me was the offer to upgrade to first class for $75. Now who doesn't love first class. And given the fact that I hadn't paid for my ticket, $75 didn't sound too much to pay to upgrade. So I did. I got a nice cushy seat and Delta got $75 more of consumer surplus, plus whatever revenue they captured from the standby passenger who eventually got my original seat. Seems like a great idea to me. The plane is going to fly from point A to point B. Why not find ways to get the customer to give you additional revenue? I started trying to come up with ways the airlines could sell additional services to get more $ out of people. Like, they could launch a subsidiary to sell (good) sandwiches before you board the plane. People seem more willing to pay someone else $10 for a Reuben than to pay the airlines $10 for a sandwich on the plane. I suspect it's because it feels like price gauging on the plane. But if a separately branded "partner" sold sandwiches right before you got on, maybe people would buy it. Just an idea.

Anyway, I promise to write about the internships soon. I'm starting my countdown until classes begin. I'm ready to get back into the swing of things.

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