The first year of business school is filled with ups and downs. Everyone starts out very happy, as they’re excited they got into school and look forward to meeting their new classmates and friends. But the last few weeks I’ve noticed a disparity in the way that different people are feeling. Some students feel like they’re on top of the world because they’ve done well in classes or they’ve recently landed the job of their dreams. But there is another group of students that hasn’t had quite the same luck. At least not yet.
To quantify some of those ups and downs I decided to sketch out a graph the reflect an approximation of the average level of “happiness”. I did that by listing a few of the noteworthy events from Kellogg on the X-axis, and rating each event from 1-10 based on what the average student might be feeling at that point and time.
The graph starts at CIM week (ie orientation week) where students are still happy they’ve gotten into school and were able to quit their jobs early to revel abroad for the past few weeks. They arrived in Evanston from all over the country ready not only to make lots of new friends but also ready to take over the world and become tycoons in their respective industries. But then things like midterms, finals, recruiting, and winter snowstorms hit and things got a lot tougher. Fortunately, things like Ski Trip, TG, and job offers (for some) mitigated some of those downs. The goal was to have the graph capture some of those changes.
But more important than the actual ratings, I think the graph highlights the trend of ups and downs that students tend to go through during the first year at business school. Not only will some students agree with the trends of the graph, but I suspect most will be able to relate pretty well with it. Hopefully most of my classmates and fellow MBAs are navigating the process and making their way back to the upper levels of the 10 point scale.
For the record, the graph is not meant be comprehensive. Likewise, it’s not meant to be a representation of my experience nor any of my specific classmates. Instead, it’s simply meant to highlight the trend of ups and downs, and reflect some of the sentiments of the average MBA student, not only at Kellogg but a majority of top business schools.
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