The ability to work hours at a time in business school can be very useful. Consultants have to do it, as they not only have to do their day to day work, but also travel around the United States to serve their clients. Investment bankers also do it, especially when it’s time to close a deal and the Managing Director needs you to finish the pitch book. And we all know that entrepreneurs have to do it, because their company livelihood depends on it. But what a lot of people don’t know is that MBA students also have to do it, as they not only have to do their school work, but also balance that with extracurricular activities, recruiting, and social activities that come along with business school.
For most people at Kellogg, business school is definitely a lot busier than they thought it would be, both academically and non academically. One example of that was last week where veryone here had a very busy week academically and socially. We had our final paper in our MORS 430 class that was due just days ago. Many of us also had a group Strategy Case for my MGMT 431, and two other problem sets due last week (and next week). In addition to that there were other activities taking place. For example, today, a pretty large number of students here are taking part in the IPO challenge (click here to see that Kellogg won in 2007), which is where students interested in finance are simulating the work necessary to complete an IPO. It’s a 24 hour project starting Saturday morning and ending 24 hours later.
And just last Saturday was another super Saturday at Kellogg. In the morning, about 200 students came out to take part in the annual Kellogg volunteer day, called Kellogg Cares. It was a way not only to meet up with 200 first and second year students in the morning but also to give back to the local community by spending the Saturday working on a project in Evanston. In my case, I went out to Haven Middle School to help with leading fun and educational sessions for sixth grade students. One of my good friends in the JD-MBA program was also there, and we worked together on some of the logistics of the event. I also helped with the Mad Science experiment session, because my KWEST Mystery group was helping to lead that session.
After a full day of volunteering, everyone headed back to Kellogg, and most of us attended the Kellogg Tailgate right outside of the Northwestern football game. Although a lot of us didn’t attend the game, it was still a fun experience, in part because the team here is doing pretty well but also because a lot of people came out to the event. A number of first and third the JD-MBAs from the law school (second year JD-MBAs are at Kellogg) came up for the tailgate too.
And after that, Kellogg performed its annual Special K performance, (two Mystery Trip leaders starred in the show), before heading out to Evanston for the night to celebrate.
Unfortunately, it’s almost always impossible to take part in everything that happens here on campus. After all, there are only 24 hours in the day. At the beginning of the quarter, many of us thought we could take part in everything, but as time goes by, everyone comes to realize that it’s not realistic, or even possible to do everything. And that’s especially true for those that want to put in more time academically.
But that’s also one of the most valuable insights that you learn in business school. That we all have to make important tradeoffs. Because activities are happening all day here at the school, but eventually have you to start choosing which are important to you, because there’s not enough time for everything. And over time, you realize that time becomes more and more valuable and you have to start being ruthless with how you use it, so you can make the most of your experience. Most people here forgo a little bit of sleep to do as much as they can but in the end, most people realize that we’re better off making smart strategic choices.
For me, I’m glad I went to Super Day at Kellogg last week. In my personal view, volunteering is important, and so is taking the time to see many of my classmates on Saturday afternoon, and support my Mystery Trip friends at Special K. But for now, back to the books.