As you may have read, we just put the wraps on another quarter at Fisher. Personally, I find it very hard to believe that I only have one more quarter left before graduation. The cliche is true: time flies when you're having fun.
Another thing that boggles the mind is how the second year of the program can feel busier than the first year. I assure you, whatever program you choose, you will find that you learn a *ridiculous* amount of information during your first year. Experiencing the nuances of the program the first time around prepares you for your second year... now YOU have to step up and plan activities and events for classmates. Mind you: It's harder than it looks.
What's really hard is to not take things personally. After spending weeks of time, a good deal of money, and much effort planning and preparing the event, the big day comes and many people who signed up to come don't show up. Or they're late. Or worse... they leave early. Worse still... they help themselves to free food and proceed to open their laptops and do other work during your speaker's presentation. It's enough to make your blood boil. We learn not to take it personally (yet make mental notes of the offenders).
Integrity is important. Don't be "that guy". Do what you say you'll do... and learn to say no. Show up on time. If you come for the free food, at least pay attention and participate. Little things make up your character. Your character is your destiny.
Sometimes it takes a good amount of effort to create something inspiring. Other times inspiration just seems to find you in the everyday. That's one of the things I love most about Fisher. We are a small community and it is easy to find inspiration - you just have to look up from time to time to see it.
It's been a long while since my last post. I'll do my best to give you a quick glimpse of winter quarter.
The Fisher Graduate Women in Business were the first student group summit of the 2011-2012 school year. It was a fantastic event thanks in great part to our outstanding speakers. Inspiration was easy to come by when listening to: Dr. Sharon Alvarez, Liz Lessner, Christina Getachew, Melinda Swan, and Nancy Jane Smith. You can read a bit more about it in Sarah Chait's post in February.
Later in February, I got to see how the other half lives by visiting Silicon Valley with the Fisher Entrepreneurship Association (FEA). A group of us were able to visit with several venture capital companies (Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers; 5am Ventures; Lightspeed Venture Partners; Labrador Venture Partners), a legal firm that supports many entrepreneurial ventures (Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rossati), an incubator (Plug and Play Technology Center), as well as a startup (Push Pins) that was co-founded by an OSU alum. The event capping off the second day was an entrepreneur panel discussion. As you may have guessed, we had a most wonderful host - also a proud OSU alumnus! I loved the trip and was completely inspired by the energy, passion, and the overall vibe within the cities of Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, and San Francisco. You can like FEA on Facebook to see more pictures from the trip and learn more about the student organization.
"Yes, and" seems to be a common and recurring theme all quarter. Opportunity knocks when you say yes. "Yes and" is the key phrase used in any improvisational comedy/theater and to conduct a positive and productive brainstorming session. "Yes but" shuts others down. "Yes and" will get them to open up. We discussed the team at IDEO in a Developing High Performance Teams class session. Here's another article by the NYTimes on the same topic.
Last but not least, we recently held our Association of Marketing Professionals annual summit event "Future CAMP". I had a big dose of inspiration the entire week... which also happened to be the final week of classes in the quarter. Our speakers were again, AMAZING. I'm so inspired by one that I think it will lead to a separate blog post. It was a great day of programming. Although I am slightly biased, I can produce evidence to support my opinion. One of our speakers, Danny Brown, wrote a quick recap in his blog. Needless to say, it was a great day.
Finals are through, grades are posted, and my roommate and I are heading south to spend a few days in New Orleans. I'll be sure to blog again as inspiration strikes. Until then, think about what inspires you. And for those of you considering b-school, seek to be inspired! Before you know it, you'll be three months away from graduation too.