Thursday, April 29, 2010

Inside the MBA: perspectives from an NYU Stern MBA2 - vol. el fin

I've thought for awhile about what my final (business school blog) words would be. And now that the time is here to put thought to paper, I have a small confession to make - I'm drawing a blank. Well, not quite...I do have these five words stuck in my head: "What goes around, comes around..." And over the last two years, I certainly feel like I've made it all the way around!

In particular, I've really come full-circle with Forte Foundation and my business school experience. The Forte Forum was the first event I ever attended as a prospective student. The Forte Forum is when I first was able to envision myself as an MBA and particularly, when I could see myself as part of the Stern community. It was at this event that I first met one of the Admissions Directors from NYU Stern, who is now my manager since I am a Graduate Ambassador for Stern! It's largely because of this Admissions Director I met that I knew I wanted to actively share my positive Stern experience with prospective students, particularly with women. When I started at Stern, I was designated a Forte Fellow, which was a great honor to receive. Through my involvement with Stern Women In Business over the past two years, I've worked with Forte Foundation on several initiatives, most recently in developing the Career Lab at NYU. Even after graduation, I will be closely tied with Forte as I will be attending the Forte MBA Women's Conference in Chicago in June (hope to see many of you there!).

My experience with Forte and at Stern has taught me that the most meaningful relationships you can build are those where it's truly symbiotic. Or, to put it in business school terms, truly collaborative. One of my primary goals when I started at Stern was to build a strong network. Over the past two years, I have gotten to know a former CIA agent, a soon-to-be best-selling author, and just today, I found out one of my classmates was (intentionally) the last foreigner to leave India during the India/Pakistan Kashmir conflict(!) Getting to know my fellow Sternies has left me amazed, impressed and often, simply laughing. Now that I'm on the cusp of my graduation, I am feeling lots of different things at the same time - anxiety about finishing my classes, relief at completing my MBA, sadness to be leaving my friends and, more than anything, a sense of anticipation and hope. Simply put, I can not wait to see the amazing things that my classmates will achieve over the next few years and how our community will develop and leave its impact in the business (and other) world(s).

Over the next two weeks, I'll be finishing two final exams, enjoying Post-Term activities (fittingly, Stern has a two-week pre-graduation celebration that bookends Pre-Term, our two-week orientation), hosting my family, saying goodbye to some of my friends, and adjusting back to what I have jokingly referred to as "civilian" life. For those of you about to embark on this amazing MBA experience, I wish you all the best no matter where you are or what you choose to study. Business school is both the most challenging and most rewarding experience I have ever had. Even though there were some days when I was overwhelmed, there were so many more when I couldn't believe how incredibly lucky I was to be surrounded by such amazing and interesting people. I have enjoyed every opportunity to speak with all of you, whether you were just starting to consider your MBA, were actively applying to business school, or trying to decide where you were going to build your network. Thank you for letting me share part of my MBA experience with you and many well wishes as you begin yours!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Rebekah,

    It's Jenny Huang, we had coffee on March 31st. Unfortunately I did not get into Stern. The day I received my ding email was one of the darkest days of my life. But all things happen for a reason. So on that note, I will be starting Marshall this Fall.

    I just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading your first year experience. It really provides a personal perspective of the emotional and social challenges women may face during their MBA journey. I can only hope my MBA experience can be as self developing and extraordinary as yours.

    Best of luck at Amex! Hope to see you around the Forte Forum!

    Jenny Huang