Booth is a strange thing. It’s a place for humble (though intense) overachievers, with busy academic and social lives, divided opinions, weird art everywhere; and we all too often have very little time and money to experience it. And no matter how hard you try to brave through this myriad of unfathomed possibilities (nor how hard you try to learn new fancy words, #gointernationals), the feeling is unsettling: it won’t be enough.
Have you ever asked an MBA alumni about their time in business school? They all say the same thing. Best 2 years of my life. I wish I had done more. And as graduation quickly approaches, my very honest confession is that I wish I had done more too. So here are my thoughts for rising second years.
1. You will learn more from the people you hang out with than from slides. Ask personal questions, ask uncomfortable questions, be daring (especially as an international, you can get away with A LOT). Try to host more often. Join more groups. Being part of AudioBooth was the most fun thing I’ve done. And being part of NVC, the most rewarding. Join First Day, Booth Insights, Booth Stories. And in case you didn’t notice yet: TNDCs are much more than shots and missing jackets – but only if you want to.
2. The money thing will be okay. Look, I get the uncertainty. I’m not saying you should be irresponsible. I’m just saying you should be less anxious. We’ll have successful careers and these loans will vanish, but you only have 1 MBA break in your life. Make the most out of it. I’m also not saying you should buy a boat: one of the best classes I’ve taken at Booth proves with data and research that spending money on and with other people makes you happier. Buy experiences instead! Be your best today, learn a lot, experience a lot, and let your improved future self (and your Booth brand) take care of the rest.
3. School spirit brings people together. Perhaps my biggest regret was to not have joined more Booth sports events (I wish I was there for when we tackled some purple @sses on rugby!). Booth had a great year and we should be proud! It brings us together. As a performer in Battle of the Bands, seeing my friends supporting me in the audience more than compensated for the fact we didn’t win. These things strengthen the community we love to brag about – so keep participating! Support Booth. It’s fun, extremely important, and rewarding!
It’s time to go. I will face it as the new beginning that comes from some other beginning’s end. My pledge is to live by the 3 themes above and you can call me out if I don’t, even after graduation. Always feel free to reach out to any of us graduating Boothies in the future. We want you to, because deep inside we really don’t want to go. Meanwhile, keep making Booth awesome.
Rodolfo is in constant denial of his age, weight, and imminent graduation