There is a lot going on during this term! I’ll highlight 4 events below, but trust that there have been a slew of activities that have each been equally exciting. From interesting classes, to hash runs, Blue Cup, MBA Games, dinner parties, ladies golf tournaments, house parties (themed and not) etc. – it’s actually overwhelming. It’s like there’s a final rush to fit everything in before the end of the year. Which makes me think – could it really be that a year from now, I’ll be closing out my B-school experience? Yikes … But, until then, here’s what’s been happening lately:
Association of Women in Business (AWIB) Conference
As a cabinet member of AWIB, I spent a good chunk of time over the past few months working on the annual AWIB conference. This year we focused on a theme that I think is essential in all diversity efforts – partnership! Our conference was titled The Numbers Game: Personal Strategies for Collective Success and from keynote speakers to panel discussions, topics centered on what women and men can do as business leaders to effect real change in the workplace and the larger society.
I gained a lot through the opportunity to work with our keynote speaker Don Browne. Don has an incredible career in the media industry and has served as a mentor to many amazing women (Ann Curry, Katie Couric, and Soledad O’Brien to name a few!).
In B-school lingo we talk a lot about “Team Fuqua,” and I definitely felt it through the level of teamwork required to pull off such a large scale conference. We had a great team. Equally important, students and alumni showed up to learn and support the event. And finally, a huge shout out to the men who took the time to take this topic and discussions seriously enough to participate in the event!
The Adrian Allen Easter Carnival
Each year BLMBAO (the Black and Latino MBA Organization) partners with Fuqua staff member Tony Jenkins who works in the Building Management Office, to put on an Easter Carnival for families in the Durham community. The carnival honors Tony’s late son who was fatally shot in 1994 and the event seeks to provide some Easter fun and friendship for the community. This year’s event took place on April 7 and featured a yummy lunch, inflatable bounce houses (can any kid, or possibly adult, say no to these colorful things?), face painting, and free T-shirts.
The best part for me however, was the Easter egg hunt that took place on the Fuqua lawn. We showered the lawn with plastic eggs filled with candy and then separated the bigger children (ages 7+) from little ones (ages 7 and below). It was amazing to see all those little kids running like crazy to find and secure their eggs. MBA students have nothing on a child’s quest for candy!
Leadership & Business Conferences
Perhaps even better than putting on a conference is just attending them. During the past two weekends I sat in on the BLMBAO Leadership Conference: “Leveraging: Activating Our Collective Assets to Effect Change.” I really enjoyed the keynote speaker, Christina Norman, and in particular took away this lesson: “You will make mistakes, be open to learning from them, own the narrative of your failure.” Heading into internship season and full-time job seeking, its good to know that failure has its place.
Similarly, the Asia Business Conference: Innovation and the Future of Asia was a great event. In total overbooked fashion, I ran from the Easter Carnival straight into the conference. Listening to their first keynote, Carl Stern (Vice Chairman of Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs) was especially interesting to me since Goldman Sachs is my former employer. My worlds definitely collided in that moment. I also heard from Renee Hartmann, a Fuqua grad and entrepreneur who is focused on the growth of the luxury market in China. Just listening to the growth story of Asia and its continued expansion is remarkable and has me very pumped for the China GATE (Global Academic Travel Experience) that’s in a few weeks!