MBA Journal: Nearing the Finish Line

In the middle of my final quarter, business school has kept its promise to provide me with knowledge, new skills, and an incredible network. As a result, Kellogg (Kellogg Full-Time MBA Profile) has meant a lot to me. These final weeks are like enjoying your favorite dessert; I'm making my best effort to savor every bite of cake that I can. Days are getting much shorter; sleeping is at a minimum. I'm back in the thick of the 'fear of missing out' stage that I experienced two years ago. When school started in the fall of 2009, I used to think about how I had two years to lead, listen to speakers, take on challenges, and build new friendships. Now I have only a few weeks.

This feeling started kicking in as I read the Facebook feed from a college friend, noting that he had been accepted into Kellogg's Class of 2013. I immediately reached out to congratulate him on the achievement and let him know that I was here. As I was talking to him, I realized how much I have learned in my two years. During "Day at Kellogg" our admit weekend, I took him to class and to a local restaurant. I not only felt nostalgic and went through my own DAK pictures, but also grasped that the end of my experience was quickly approaching. When I think of my time at Kellogg, I think of dancing at the Bollywood Bash, doing make-up for Special K (the school's musical comedy), and attending Battle of the Bands. I think of the arrival of Luciana, the baby girl of one of my Kellogg classmates.

Along with meeting great people, Kellogg has offered me experiences to further develop my leadership skills. The Luxury Goods + Retail Club recently co-sponsored a charity fashion show called "Dress your Best" to collect used business attire for donation to a nonprofit that helps people get jobs. I participated as a model and helped select the outfits. Everything turned out great, thanks to the generosity of students, faculty, and staff from Kellogg's full-time, part-time, and executive MBA programs. We collected 683 articles of clothing, which supported Volunteers of America-Illinois, Dress for Success, and the Salvation Army. Also, the club elected its new leaders. The winning slate is composed of three of my committee members and three classmates from my interview preparation group. I am proud of them and I am certain they will take the club to the next level.

A Stellar Interfaith Event

In Catholics @ Kellogg, we've also had a lot going on, including a rebranding initiative. We recently launched our new logo and participated in the Kellogg Lipdub, a video with background music, multiple participants, and our C@K banner. Also, we have organized intimate lunches with professors and students in an effort to foster dialogue about topics of importance. We co-sponsored an Easter brunch in conjunction with the Kellogg Christian Fellowship and held a major interfaith event at which prominent members of the academic, private, and public sectors from different faiths spoke about the impact of their beliefs on their careers. This was one of the best events I have attended during my Kellogg experience. It was the result of cooperation among the Kellogg Christian Fellowship, the Jewish Business Assn., the Middle East Business Club, the Latter Day Saint Student Assn., and Catholics @ Kellogg—a great, collaborative effort by all.

On the academic front, I am currently taking four courses: Consumer Insights, International Finance, the New General Manager, and Wall Street, Private Equity, and Venture Capital. They have provided the opportunity to challenge myself. I will graduate with a finance degree, in addition to majors in marketing, management and organizations, and operations and design. I have come far in two years.

I have been exposed to many new concepts and lessons. For example, in Wall Street, Private Equity, and Venture Capital, thanks to Professor David Stowell, I have learned from impressive professionals such as Highbridge Capital's Doug Kass, Catherine Vaughn, and Chris Bieres, who have come in to share their insights.

It's also been a thrill to take Professor William White's class, the New General Manager. It's been one of my favorite courses, not only because I had read his book From Day One as I was starting my career at Cemex, but also because he is very knowledgeable and has forced us to reflect on what we have learned in every single course at Kellogg—from calculating breakeven points or rounds of financing to realizing what our leadership style is and what we want to achieve in the short and long term. I have found that this course is a great complement to Professor Harry Kraemer's class on Values-Based Leadership, with amazing speakers such as Jodi Glickman, author of Great on the Job.

It's been an exciting quarter from an academic, extracurricular, and social perspective and I am looking forward to savoring the weeks ahead. This is my last chance to further develop my leadership skills, listen to amazing speakers, study for midterms and finals, and have fun one last time with my peers.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.