In Memory of Jessica Caroe:
This week the Fuqua community lost one of our own. Class of 2013 Daytime MBA student, Jessica Caroe, was tragically lost this week in a motorcycle accident. While I personally only met Jessica a few times throughout this last year, I am saddened by the loss of a member of our deeply connected community. The Fuqua community prides itself on the Team Fuqua perspective, and to lose one of our own is like losing a member of our extended family. My thoughts are with Jessica’s family as they deal with this terrible loss, and I can only hope that Jessica is now in a place of peace.
As news of Jessica’s loss still sinks in, it has provided me with a moment of reflection and perspective. With grand career and life goals, I entered the MBA program with a long-term plan. I wanted to maximize my two years at Fuqua, take a break from work, get an awesome job, and ride off into the sunset. However, is that really it? Is that really my plan? Professor Joe Leboeuf, leader of the COLE Leadership Fellows program, always brings up the idea of the DASH. I will be in school from 2011-2013 on paper, but it is really that “-“ (DASH) that will define and frame my time at Fuqua.
Do I really want these two years to be just a transactional opportunity to get that job, or do I want these two years to be a transformational journey that will define my life? Jessica’s loss only amplifies the idea that tomorrow is uncertain, and each moment builds our own individual DASH. In reviewing the last year, I made incredible strides in terms of the goals I outlined for myself. I bonded with classmates and made incredible friendships, I traveled and explored parts of the world I had never seen, and I landed an awesome internship in a new field. On paper that all sounds great, but is it really enough to justify my DASH?
These two years I have been given at Fuqua are a gift, and Jessica’s sudden passing reminds me that it is a gift that cannot be taken lightly. While the strides I made this past year were great, I am not sure they were enough. As I take this summer to reflect and recharge, I plan on coming back to Fuqua in August with a renewed sense of how and what I can do to build my DASH such that it lives up to a level that I can be proud of several years from now.
For those of you considering business school, I encourage you to think about these two years as an opportunity to try and fail a thousand different things, take classes you know you suck at, and make friendships you wouldn’t typically have. For those of you on the fence about business school, please know that it is an incredible opportunity to take an intentional journey of self-development. It’s up to each of us to make the most of that journey, and build a DASH we can be proud of.