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September 15, 2008

"And that was when I ruled the world"

I am now officially a graduate of MIT Sloan.   But it doesn't mean that the hanging out with Sloanies has ended!  It's been a great summer and the last few months have also shown me that the Sloan bond lasts well beyond the walls of E51 and E52.  I have been between coasts between the Bay Area and Boston and have been lucky enough to find Sloanies at every corner. 
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After traveling to Southeast Asia as part of my post-graduation plans, I made it back to the States.  I tried to meet up with some Sloanies over in Hong Kong and Thailand, but my timing was off by just a few days.  Turns out many of us chose SE Asia as a way to unwind and celebrate graduation.

I spent sometime wandering around Boston and one night when we went out in the South End to the Beehive, we just happened to run into two of our other friends!  It's really great when you just happen to run into your fellow Sloanies!

I even happened to be at BHP when the new Class of 2010 Sloanies were hanging out for the first time and it was really neat to see such fresh faces who were so excited to start.  They asked a lot of questions and I was more than happy to talk, but I said, "No matter what I say, you won't believe me anyway, so go and have a ton of fun and meet a lot of people!"

And out in the Bay Area, there is a great group of Sloanies as well.  One night, as we were sitting together, someone said, "Sometimes I forget I'm in San Francisco" and the response was, "Well, you mean because it's all the same people?"  It was neat to see that you can take the Sloanie out of Boston, but you can't take the Sloanie out of...wait, it's some phrase like that.
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This past weekend we had two events where it looked like Sloan Central - both birthday celebrations.  We're all over the place - in SF and down in the Valley!

While many of us reminisce back to the good ol' days of being back in school, we are trying as best we can to carry on the Sloan spirit wherever we are!

June 13, 2008

"Open up my eager eyes..."

So it's been way too long since I posted but I thought it was only fitting that I post now.

Let's see, in a nutshell what has happened...

AFRICA
For Spring Break I took a trip for about 16 days to South Africa with, of course, a bunch of Sloanies, SOs, and frieImg_2610 nds.  We hit up Pretoria, a safari near and in Kruger National Park (we saw the Big 5!!), and a nice leisurely stay in Cape Town.  It was a great experience for all of us and for me, it was my first time on the African continent. Got to try many new things - way more new foods on my list than I would have thought...

Some great times throughout.  Some highlights - seeing a leopard, carrying it's "dinner" in its mouth as it crossed in front of us and bounded up into the nearby tree, watching the sunset from the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, and so many more.

SPRING GALA
It was the same thing as last year, but it was still an amazing time.  We had great weather again, except that it was freezing cold, but that's the unpredictable weather for you.  The Rosecliff Mansion was beautiful as ever. Seeing your classmates all dressed up in Newport is a grand time.  Seeing your classmates all dressed up after the Gala in the hotel bar is just classic...

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On the last day of school, the SAB puts together a great show that incorporates many humorous skits, videos and other shorts as a nice way to wrap up the year.  I even took a stab at trying to be funny by taking a role in the Celebrity Jeopardy.  It was an interesting night for many reasons but while the Rolling Sloans (our very own rock band that was AWESOME!) played a cover of Green Day, it really hit me that this was it.  This was the last day of school.  Two years had flown by and I was standing there with my friends and it would never be the same again.  It was a weird emotional time, given all the chaos that was also going on at the same time.

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Ah, the British Virgin Islands - now this may be one of the highlights of my time here at MIT Sloan.  I'm sure I should say it's the classroom experience or the problem sets, but if I said that, no one would believe me.  To clarify, BVI is just something students do - it is not some official trip, but just something students have put together before graduation to hang out. BVI was such a great time because it really was a time to hang out with everyone for one last time.  We had very little to worry about, beautiful weather, and for me, being one with the ocean somehow is just really peaceful.  There were 17 boats in our flotilla and we went around the Caribbean enjoying scuba, snorkeling, the beach, fishing, lying in the sun, sailing, and a whole lot more of relaxing as well.

Classes were done, finals were over.  BVI was pretty much the only thing between us and graduation - and well, since you can't rush graduation, we might as well enjoy our time in the Caribbean and make some great memories with our friends!

GRADUATION

And then it finally all wrapped up at graduation.  It was a much more exciting day than I had imagined.  After all the hoopla leading up to graduation (from Spring Break to Graduation is like a conveyor belt that you just try to stay on - from social events, to logistical events, to family stuff to everything else!) I originally felt like, "phew, finally." But then the morning of graduation, I showed up and saw everyone in cape and gown and the excitement hit - it was really our last time to be together and this was our moment - we made it!!!  Img_5284 We did it, and this was our day to commemorate it and it was a great day.  Even though it was a little rainy, we had a lot of fun - Sloanies know how to make a formal ceremony a little more "interesting."

And so it is.  It's the second week of June and as much as everything has changed, a lot has stayed the same.  I spent tonight with a bunch of other Sloanies out at Kings watching Game 4 of the NBA Finals.  We reminisce as if our time at Sloan was so long ago, even though it was only mere weeks. 

As I've been sorting my pictures out, I'm tempted to make a scrapbook of my time here.  Looking at these pictures has shown me that sometimes it felt like time moved so slowly but yet in the end, it really does fly by!

March 06, 2008

"Everything's gonna be alright"

So it's been way too long since I wrote last...so much has gone on but I'll try to keep it brief!  And like Alicia sings...everything's gonna be alright!

Brasil - GLab (Belo Horizonte, BRASIL)

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As part of our GLab class (Global Entrepreneurship Lab), my team spent a month in Belo Horizonte, Brasil. Belo is a small city (~3million, yeah, "small city" is relative to San Paolo that has 11million + people!)

Dwane, Kaushal, Adit and I worked with a small digital content distribution startup in Brasil.  Our company had about 20 people and the average age of the employees was younger than us! Not only did we learn a lot about working with a startup in Brasil, but we learned about the culture, history, and everyday life in Belo.  We worked 5 days a week, basically as consultants, working to solve three main questions to help our company.  We focused on identify different strategies of growth our company should take, along the lines of geographical expansion, pricing strategies and organizational growth. We started working on this project during the first semester and this January internship was an extension of that work.  But rather than working over the phone with our company, we got to be part of the company for a month!  Not only that, but we also got to stay in an apartment, so our team bonded over food, beer, music, and nutella!

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During our off time, our company showed us such great hospitality and showed us a lot of neat sites and took us to fun activities.  We traveled to a large waterfall a few hours away, and even trekked across the top of the waterfall! We tried our hand at dancing Samba, tried all of the food and drinks,  as well as trying to learn the language!  We ate so many good foods and I haven't been able to find it here. 

We were able to even take a weekend trip to Florianopolis (which is a city in a southern state of Santa Catarina) which has beautiful beaches!  We even got to meet our company's angel investor and have a real home cooked Brasilian meal! In addition, we got to meet up with another MIT Sloan GLab team while in Floripa!  There were so many MIT Sloan teams in Brasil that it was fun to be able to meet up with our friends in different cities!

 Post-GLab Travel (Rio de Janeiro, BRASIL)

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After our project ended, we traveled to Rio to check out the sites and took part in the Carnaval activities.  Since there were so many other MIT Sloan teams in Brasil, it was great to join up with many of our friends down in Rio.  We had over 10 of us sitting together in the Sambodromo for the massive Carnaval parade! In addition to seeing the beaches, we visited many sites and even ran into other Sloanies along the way.  They say that Brasil is big, but we managed to randomly run into a few Sloanies at different parts of Rio!  All in all, it was a great time and it didn't hurt that we spent our January term in the Southern Hemisphere in 85 degree weather!

 

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Where next?: South Africa!

 

Now that H1 (the first half of this semester) is almost over, I'm getting ready to head off to South Africa for a 15 day vacation that includes a safari!  There's a group of Sloanies who just decided we wanted to take a vacation to South Africa, and we put a trip together.  Even though it's not an official school-sponsored trip, we know that we'll carry the Sloanie spirit overseas anyway!

Next time I post, I should have some fun pictures from the safari!

December 19, 2007

"Two more years and you'll be done with school"

Now I don't normally wear Plain White T's, but for this post's sake, perhaps I should sport one...

I know I sound like a broken record when I say that time really flies when you’re having fun, but I can’t believe that it is December already and I just completed my third semester here at MIT Sloan! Lots has happened since I last stopped by here so let me share some of the highlights, and also preview what’s coming up!

Hail to Fenway!

Moving to Boston allowed me to be closer to the Red Sox (and yes, I was a Sox fan before I moved here!) and I took full advantage of it in October and sang Sweet Caroline alongside thousands of other fans during the World Series. Dec_fenway_stitch2 I took a break at the end of SIP week to watch as the Red Sox Beat the Colorado Rockies in game 2! Living in

Boston has been a really great experience – from the restaurants, sports, historic sites, and activities – it’s a great, electrifying city!

Dressing up for the Fall Ball

Some of the most fun events have been when we all dress up and get together for a nice evening of fun with our friends. In November, the SAB (Sloan Activities Board) organized the Fall Ball at the Park

Plaza hotel and it was a magnificent event.Dec_mimi_kevin_jared_traci_stefan_2   The ballroom was excuisite, the food was delicious, and it’s always fun to see your classmates dress up.   It’s a nice change from the normal jeans, t-shirt, and backpack outfit that we normally wear! It was an evening of food, dancing, and lots of fun!

End of semester “Jack-isms”

For the class I was taking, Conversations with Jack Welch, we had an end of semester gathering with Jack and Suzy Welch, as well as Jack’s long-time assistant Roseanne. During the class, we discussed and heard stories about many of Jack’s management skills that he wrote about in Winning and also had a chance to ask him many of our own questions. The end of semester celebration was a great way to cap off a semester full of “Jack-isms” and learn even more about how to succeed in management and beyond.Img_0019

What’s ahead?

As part of the G-Lab class (Global Entrepreneurship Lab) I am traveling with my team to Brazil to work with an entrepreneur. This class gives us a unique opportunity to travel to a developing country, work with an entrepreneur and learn what it is really like to work in another country and also allows us to escape to warm weather during January! While we’re down in Brazil, we’re planning on meeting up with some other Sloanies during the month, as well as at the end, where we will cap off our trip by experiencing Carnaval in Brazil! I’m sure I will have many pictures to share from my travels in January! Until then, I am on my way home to Hawaii to be with my family for the holidays. I can’t believe these two years are almost over, but I’m glad I can share some if it with you! Happy holidays and see you in 2008!

Reflections on: MIT Sloan Student Senate

I have shared a lot stories from my time here at MIT Sloan, but I thought I’d also share one aspect of my experiences that has made up a big part of my life here..  As part of the Executive Officer team of the Student Senate, I’ve had great opportunities to work two great friends and other amazing Senators, work closely with the administration, develop better presentation and public speaking skills, as well as make an impact on the community.

I would have never thought I would be in the position I am in, but one thing I truly believe is that my time at MIT Sloan is a time to step outside of my comfort zone and to take risks.  It’s a very safe environment that promotes trying new things and learning. There are so many ways to get involved, and this was one way that I chose to not only make a difference on the school, but also to develop new skills. 

I used to be terrified of speaking in front of hundreds of people, but now am able to be comfortable and confident in front of a crowd.  In fact, just this month, I was running late from the Brazilian consulate and arrived at the Town Hall meeting that I was in charge of (the three executive officers run a month meeting of the MBA community) just ten minutes before it was to start.  I knew it wasn’t an optimal situation, but with the help of Dwane and Jeremy (the other two executive officers) I calmly went through the agenda, and confidently kicked off the meeting promptly on time!Dec_senate_officers_0708_morgan_gil

MIT Sloan is such a great place to get involved and try new things – it may not always be comfortable but by stepping outside of my comfort zone, I have some new found skills, friends, and experiences that I will never forget!

October 12, 2007

Welcome to the Sloan Parade

The last time I looked, it was August - sunny skies, leisurely summer walks, and warm afternoon sunshine.  All of a sudden, I realized it was chilly outside and that meant summer was over and I found myself in the midst of fall!  So what in the world did I do between summer and fall?! And no, there were no phantoms or marching bands involved...

MIT Sloan: 0-60mph

School started up in normal fashion: going from a standstill to a sprint faster than it takes Curt Schilling to throw a fastball over home plate. The first few weeks were characterized by so many conversations that started off with, "So how was your summer?!"  As repetitive as it got sometimes, it was always fun to catch up with friends who I hadn't seen in months. That conversation then changed to, "What classes are you taking?"

Once outside of the first semester Core, we have so much flexibility in what we can take that I took some time to "shop" around classes.  I sat in on many more first classes than I ended up taking, but it allowed me to see what kinds of topics and classes were out there. This flexibility has been really beneficial in helping me expand the types of classes I take. The amount of choice has allowed me to really try new things. I've been able to take classes from global development to business law to social entrepreneurship!

In addition to classes starting back up, clubs and other extracurricular activities also started up!  One of my biggest commitments is as one of the executive officers of the MIT Sloan Student Senate.  If you asked me before I entered MIT Sloan if I'd be involved the Senate, I'd have said, no way.  But as it turns out, this is really the time to take risks and explore new opportunities, and I did just that with the Senate.  As the student association here at school, we represent the student voice to faculty and administration as well as drive towards meaningful change for the school. Even though it's time-consuming, it's been a very rewarding experience because of the people I get to work with, the new skills I learn, as well as the change that we make on the school!

Social events
Of course, all work and no play makes for a boring time, and one of the more recent events was the SWIM (Sloan Women in Management) 80's prom themed C-Function.  Will_and_ellen Just as I talked about in an earlier post how C-Functions were one of the most memorable parts of school, this one was no exception!  And in addition, how could I resist a C-Function with an 80's them?!  It was just a great time to hang out with my friends, meet some new first years, watch a stunning 80's "fashion show" and rock out to 80's music! As you can see, we had some fun times dressing the part of the 80's.

C-Functions really help to add in a sense of fun every Thursday.  Even if you think you're going to stay in to do work, there's a great reason to take a break! I can't wait until the next C-Function; it'd be even better if I could wear my blue hair to another one!

What's Next?
Of course it's impossible to answer that question.  As an MBA student here at MIT Sloan, you never know what's next.  Things move so quickly here that all you know is that whatever is next, will be pretty amazing.

Until then, carry on, carry on. 

August 27, 2007

Wake me up when September comes...

Well, September is almost here and that means school is just around the corner!  And in fact orientation just started today!  I can't believe how fast this summer has gone.  So before I write a little about the awesome ATLANTIC Cohort of the Class of 09 that I met today, let me close the loop on my summer experience here in Boston...

The last bit of the summer

I just finished my 10 week internship at Bain last Friday.  I was lucky that I got to see two different cases over the course of the summer.  The first was a health care case that we identified performance improvement opportunities and the second case was about a consumer products company looking for a new growth strategy.  Two totally different industries and two totally different problems to solve!

Over the course of the summer, we also went to the Cape, whitewater rafting in Maine, and traveled to Mt. Snow in Vermont.  So, it was an eventful summer both in and out of the office!  I could go on about my summer but I'll keep it short by saying that I learned a lot, had a lot of fun and met a lot of really cool people.  An amazing place to work and a great fit for Sloanies, in my opinion!

The beginning of a new era
Today was day 1 of orientation for the Class of 2009! Some members of the Class of 2008 serve as Pilots for the incoming class and as Pilots, we help to run orientation, answer questions, serve as a mentor to a core team and just be there to help the new class learn the ropes.  It was so great to see all the new energy today!

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It was great to see not only the new faces, but also the returning 08s!  A lot of my friends have been in other states and countries, so we spent a lot of time catching up this morning too!  As much as I'm not ready to sit in a classroom again, it was great to see everyone.

It was also great to reflect back to my own orientation a year ago and see just how far I have grown. It's neat to also see some of the great friendships and memories that I have made!  It really is amazing to see how quickly the past year has gone, and I'm sure this year will go just as fast.  You can bet I will try to hold on to this year and make the most of it!

Hold on to your hats and stay tuned to see what excitement September brings!August_core_team_2

July 18, 2007

"Life is good" moments

I can't believe it's already July! My internship is about halfway over; time really flies when you're having fun! Bain's summer program has been great! There are some really awesome people, interesting work, and most importantly it's been tons of fun! Just last week we met up with the summer associates from the N.Y. office and went white water rafting in the Penobscot River up in Maine. Both the river and the weather cooperated to give us a great backdrop for our trip. We definitely had many “life is good” moments, my favorite being jumping out of the raft to float down the river and enjoy the view and refreshing river. We're going to Mt. Snow, Vt. for our annual Boston office summer meeting next week and I'm really looking forward to that trip as well!

July_sloanies

This is my first summer in Boston and that means I had my very first Fourth of July celebration on the Charles River! After spending a few years in D.C., it's tough for me to compare the two shows, but I can say that the Boston show was quite awesome. A bunch of Sloanies got together and we had a great view of the show and the Boston skyline from the sixteenth floor.

Being in Boston for the summer has also been great for exploring new places and really enjoying the city. During the school year I spent a lot of time in our beloved E51 building, so it's been refreshing to spend mornings and evenings walking through the Boston Public Gardens and Commons, as well as finding new restaurants and bars. I met up with one of my fellow Sloanies last week and we explored the North End for good Italian food and of course, a cannoli for dessert!

Only a month and a half until school starts again ... let's see how much else I can do before then!

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June 25, 2007

The day after my last final I took off. Over the the last five weeks I've spent a total of five nights in my own apartment! I had some great trips (Venice was my favorite city along the way) but I'm a little relieved to be able to spend some time back here in Boston.

I started my summer internship at Bain last week and it's been great so far. We spent most of last week in training, and just started work on our cases this week. There are four Sloanies in the Boston office and it's nice to be around both the Sloanies and new people from other schools. At one point during training I realized, “Wow, this is just like an extended version of business school.” And then I was thankful that I not only stayed awake in my Strategy class, but that I remembered what I learned. Turns out, it comes in handy!

Since most Sloanies are traveling all over the world and the number of Sloan activities at MIT this summer are pretty slim (although we have an unofficial outing to the Beacon Hill Pub (BHP) this week), I thought I'd write a little about our favorite Thursday evening activities: C-Functions!

As I was going through my pictures, I realized the C-Functions really help to make MIT Sloan unique. Let me start by saying, before I got to MIT Sloan, I had no idea what these “C-Functions” were ...

Brasil C-Function

C-Functions are school-sponsored events on Thursday evenings that help to educate and unify the MIT Sloan community. Just to name a few (there were many!), we had the first C-Function of the year with alumni on the Sloan Plaza to welcome the students, an off campus event at Felt, and many cultural C-Functions, like the South Asian (yummy Indian food), Brazil (great food and music), SWIM (Sloan Women in Management), Korean, and Japanese C-Functions. The trend is that I remember the good food the most, but there is so much more to them. You'll just have to see for yourself!

               

May 21, 2007

I am officially done with my first year here at MIT Sloan! It's great to be done, and in the next 24 hours I leave for some whirlwind travel before starting my internship: Hawaii, DC, Princeton, and Italy. Someone told me you get the “travel bug” when you're at business school, and apparently it's true.

Before I leave, I thought I would share some of my top four MIT Sloan moments:

4. Finishing my last exam. I had only one final this semester but it still felt so rewarding to hand in the exam and know that I survived my first year here. There have been ups and downs, but the sun is shining and I'm looking forward to next year.

3. Spring Gala. It was a destination weekend in Newport, R.I., where Sloanies took over the town! We got to go on a cliff walk, a few of us went sailing on an America's Cup boat, and then finished off the night with a wonderful evening of dinner and dancing at the Rosecliff Mansion. It was great to see everyone dressed up and enjoying themselves.

2. Atlantic Ocean Auction. The charity auction that we held for our ocean in the fall was a great way to raise money, hang out with oceanmates in a social setting, see how creative our classmates were, and see just how much people were willing to pay for certain “interesting” items.

1. Korea Trip. I was lucky enough to travel to Korea with a group of 35 Sloanies as part of a spring class trip. During the semester, we studied in the classroom and then during Spring Break we all traveled to Korea to visit companies and learn firsthand about the sights and culture of Korea, day and night. ... We shared so many great moments; traveling together with your classmates is such a great experience!

Korea trip

There were many more great moments this year and I look forward to many more. The next time I write, I should be back in Boston, and just beginning my summer internship at Bain. Until then ... Aloha!