Whenever any holiday presented an excuse for my family to get together for a meal and festivities, it seemed like I was always on the outside looking in. I usually sat at the “kid’s table” with my twin brothers and younger cousins. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of fun to be had playing “Jinx” and preventing my younger brothers from speaking (or receiving a physical repercussion, usually a Charlie horse), but it just didn’t seem as fulfilling as what I heard in the other room where all of the adults ate. There was hearty laughter and a good view of whatever football game happened to be on T.V. Something was missing and I was determined to graduate to the adult table.
Just as I felt my holidays were lacking , I’ve realized my previous college experience felt lacking as well. During my undergrad, there were very few notable speakers or personal connections to be had from people who had accomplished great things in the business world. Although I will say I had different priorities in undergrad (as many do), I was still longing for that maturity and respect of the “adult table.” One of the reasons why I decided to come to Fisher was the amazing networking experiences and real-time interactions with senior level managers. Throughout our two week orientation, my class was exposed to two CEOs (Craig Morrison of Momentive and George Barrett of Cardinal Health). It was surreal to be speaking with people who have the responsibility of billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs under their guidance. And I was sitting a matter of feet away from these guys!
The third day classes started, I graduated to the “adult” table. I decided to sign up for a Cullman Executive Luncheon featuring Mac McCullough, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for U.S. Bancorp. It was a group of ten of us eating around a board table, not unlike a holiday meal at the exclusive adult table that had eluded me in the past. But this time, I was allowed to be active in the conversation. And it was great! Lectures and case studies are fantastic at Fisher, but nothing compares to the uninterrupted quality time that an executive gives you to simply pick his brain. For anyone who grew up at the kid’s table, longing to be with the grown-ups, Fisher is the place to finally take that step. And it doesn’t hurt that the lunch is free.