Fuqua Section 5 - Teams 1 & 2

Fuqua Section 5 – Teams 1 & 2

If you would have told me three weeks ago that I would go up a rock climbing wall in the woods, I probably would have told you “Nah”. But, during a team building session at the Triangle Training Center in Pittsboro, NC, that’s exactly what happened. Detroit was not exactly known for its rock climbing facilities, and to be honest, I can only think of one time I climbed over a fence, and that fence was at most four feet tall. I remember pressing my way just to do that. Yet, here I was, with three of my teammates that I met less than 2 weeks prior ,climbing forty feet in the air standing on top of the ledge, drenched in sweat, but it was more like drenched in glory.

Fuqua has really urged me to do two things: 1) Get out of my comfort zone 2) Trust your squad. I think I had gotten accustomed to living a pretty comfortable lifestyle pre MBA, working from 9 to 6 Monday – Friday at Southwest, traveling on the weekends, and doing it all over again the following week. So far, the MBA experience has pretty much destroyed any sort of rhythm, with there being a mix of social gatherings, team building, outdoor activities, classes, and group meetings. This has forced me into getting out of a routine and trusting in the Fuqua family. I have realized that I will not be the expert at a lot of things, and that’s okay, but there is someone in the network that knows what’s going. My C-Lead teammate Mike guided me the entire way up the climbing wall, because I had no idea of what I was doing. Who knew you were supposed to climb up a wall with your toes pointing outward? (I know, such a rookie mistake). But I made it to the top, and repelled down, such a fun time.

The Wall

The Wall

Unbeknownst to me, I would be scaling yet another wall with my entire section. #TeamFuqua managed to throw me, and the rest of our section over the wall above (in just over 12 minutes!). This time, there were no grips, or things to stand on, except the Fuqua family. How fresh is that! This is definitely one of the coolest traditions ever. After climbing two walls, I’m looking forward to climbing over a few more with my classmates over the next two years.

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So first things first, I’m going to Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Yay! You’re probably wondering what happened with Chicago Booth. Well, they hit me with a waitlist 4x, and eventually said nah. 😦  Shade.  But it was all good. I’ve had this love affair Chicago FOREVER, but I guess now wasn’t the time, but that may be fixed very soon. I’ll get to that later. Duke has been good so far. Classes have already started. It’s basically the Michigan of the South, in terms of vibe, and I feel right at home. #TeamFuqua is real. I love the sense of community here, and the alumni definitely hold you down. I’m sure other schools do the same, but the Dukies are on another level.

In other exciting news, I got my first internship offer! And I haven’t started school. Luckily, A.T. Kearney consulting had a Diversity Bootcamp (Yes, an advantage to being Black for once) this summer, where prospective consultants / Future B School students, had the chance to get to know the firm and get some exposure to cases. Then I was selected to come back to the Chicago office to interview for a summer internship for 2016, after my performance during the weekend (woop!) Now, these final rounds of interviews were a beast. There were 4 behavioral interviews that included a case in each one. Then, since I was applying to be in their Procurement Analytics and Sourcing practice (me focusing on Analytics) I had to take an analytical assessment. I had to dust off those excel and access skills. Finally there was a presentation and case. They called me yesterday and extended me an offer to work in their Chicago office next summer! Yes, finally made it to Chicago.

One thing I can say about AT Kearney, is that they appear to genuinely care about diversity, which is the primary reason why am I pumped about this opportunity. Before my interview, they paired me with 2 buddies, one from analytics, and one (well 1.5ish)from GALA, their LGBT affinity group. Most of my other peers had black or latino buddies, but you know, the analytics field isn’t exactly flourishing with under represented minorities lol. That being said, I did have multiple people from the African American Network, even Directors and Managers that probably didn’t have time  to chat with me for real, that reached out to help me through the interview process. I really felt that people cared about, and were invested in my success there, and I am not even an employee yet. That really went far with me, and left a great impression. 🙂 Coming from a company that really didn’t have as clear of a diversity strategy, I’m really thinking AT Kearney is the best place ever. I’ll still be flying for free next summer, just with a guaranteed seat…and not by choice lol.

And Boom, there you have it. Job offer on deck. Now I just need to pass these classes and keep pressing my way. Now what am I supposed to do during recruiting season when everybody is grinding? I guess I’ll hit the gym, and catch up on the hills, or maybe I’ll hang out and watch some company presentations just for kicks, stress free. Ahh.

There is so much going on this week. It’s all good stuff though. Let’s start from the top.

Chicago Booth Interview! 

The hashtag should make more sense now lol. I’m finally starting to see the results of my constant pressing. I started the journey to get my MBA about a year and a half ago when I took the GMAT. I turned in what I thought were 3 solid applications to Booth, Wharton and Stanford in late September of this year. And I got my first interview invite last Tuesday for the University of Chicago Booth School Of Business #didThat  haha.  I was turnt for about a day, then I crashed back to earth because I realized I did not have a suit for this interview. SWA is really chill on the dress code (it’s cool to wear shorts to work), so there really aren’t any reasons for me to get cute here. And I haven’t worn a suit to church since…ummm… yea.  I copped me a charcoal and a navy suit from K&G to get me through these upcoming interviewS. I’m gonna go ahead and speak those other invites into existence. Also, don’t come for me shopping at K&G lol.

The actual interview is on this Saturday, November 1st at a coffee shop, with a Booth alum. I opted for the alum option for 2 main reasons. First, I’ve already visited the campus this summer, so no real need to see it again until I’m in there forreal forreal. Second, I’m not really trying to play the standby flight game with an interview this serious. Booth did have this Super Saturday event, where a lot of interviewees can interview with a second year on campus and get a tour. Seemed like a cool way to see your future new classmates. Hopefully, I’ll just meet them at Admit weekend.

SWA Halloween

Somehow, I ended up participating in the Network Planning Halloween performance at Headquarters. And, it’s really involved, like really involved. We have special effects, explosions, choreography, the whole nine. I would really rather be brushing up on the things that matter #Interview, but it’s a fun distraction, and it’s allowing me to work with folks in our department that I don’t really see too often. Should be fun.

Wharton Invites

UPenn is sending out their business school invites on Friday. The good thing about Wharton is that everyone will know where they stand on Friday, whereas with Booth’s invites, they were rolling. Thankfully I had gotten my invite on the third day of invites being sent out, so I wasn’t too pressed as some of the others who had to wait 3 more days after I found out. Ultimately that’s in God’s hands, so I am not going to worry about what’s going on with Wharton until the Halloween performance is over. (Okay, I’m a little anxious)

More Jesus

With all this going on, I decided to up my fasting and prayer game up. Just as a way for me to keep a lot of the craziness out, and have Him in more. Ultimately His will has to be done, and I’m okay with that. Now for this interview prep.

About a week and a half ago, I went on my first REAL vacation to Miami. There was no real agenda for the trip, just wanted to hang out with my best friend, turn up when necessary, and turn down when I felt like it. Trying to be grown. Here are some of my favorite things about Miami:

The Beach

Nothing says Miami like the beach. Every day I was in Miami, the weather was consistently at a high of around 88ish, with humidity of course, and a low of 78. Having grown up in Detroit, and currently living in landlocked Dallas, I rarely go to a real beach because I’m usually traveling to a city when I go anywhere. I definitely have a greater appreciation for the ocean, sand and all that now. Oh, also, the people watching on the beach is fantastic. Tourists are from all over the world, so, seeing some of the swimsuits these guys and girls were wearing was quite the experience. Clearly, I need to get me some Euro booty shorts to wear on the beach, I’ll know next time.

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The Food

I don’t usually associate Miami with being in the south but, the southern comfort food that I had was the bomb. I definitely suggest you check out Tongue and Cheek and Yard Bird for brunch (Yard Bird had these BOMB chicken biscuits, and this drink called a Toast for Mama that was delicious)

From Tongue and Cheek: Chicken and Waffles, and some donuts with a side of chocolate dipping sauce

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From Yard Bird: A Toast for Mama and those bomb chicken biscuits

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As an aside, traveling with only one other person is the best. The wait times at some of the restaurants would have been outrageous, but because our party was so small, we could generally find a seat at the bar. Speaking of sitting at the bar, have you ever been asked if you’re about to wrap up your meal by a complete stranger? So this guy, really asked us when we were gonna leave because he and his girl needed a seat. My first thought was “#whiteprivilege”. He was so bold with it. Here’s that guy below (and Phil). I was trying to stunt like I was taking a pic of Phil, but I was really trying to get homeboy in the back. Anyways.

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Also, the Cuban food I had at Havana 1957 was the bomb. They had the best roasted chicken ever, stunt on Boston Market. Also, they had this pop called “Iron Beer” that was like a hybrid of Faygo Rock and Rye and Tahitian Treat.

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And here’s what y’all can keep in Miami

Wet Willie’s – So I had the infamous “call a cab” from wet willie’s, and it was not good. I’m not sure why folks really gas that up so much. There may have been cough syrup in there. It just wasn’t for me.

Hotel Ratings – Luckily I had a friend from work that encouraged me to not stay at a hotel that was below a 4*, and that 4* is definitely as low as anybody should go (if they have the coins). Anything lower would have been a PRESS. I think our hotel was decent, in a pretty good location in South Beach, but, rating it a 4* was a slight reach. Or maybe I’m being bourgeoisie ,cheap, or both. It was a nice hotel though, the shower just needed a little CLR. Okay, maybe the hotel was straight.

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Overall, it was great trip. I will definitely try and go again next year…but it will be more of a turn up next time! And now, back to the grind.

 

OK, maybe I am haha. So, if you didn’t know I have been weighing my options regarding the next steps I want to take in my career. And I’m pretty sure that the next step is going to involve going back to school and getting that MBA. Why do I think it’s the right time? Well, long story short, though I think my current employer has a fabulous brand, this place is a lot of sauce, some good sauce, and, some…uh…interesting sauce. I will probably have a post on that in the future to give you the inside scoop.

But anywho, speaking of brands, I realized today, while I was on the phone with an admissions consultant, that I really do not like talking about myself. Speaking of my accomplishments is so awkward and uncomfortable to me. I’m not saying that I’m not impressed with myself or meeting my own expectations, but, I just have never been the one to really want the attention on me, be it positive or negative. Honestly, I would much rather celebrate you and your accomplishments, which, is an admirable quality right? But it does absolutely nothing for me in the MBA application process. All the people reading my applications really want to know how sweet I am, and I really need to get better at sharing my success stories. Like, you could ask me today how I performed on the GMAT, and I would probably say something like “I mean, I did alright” when in real life, I hit that magical “80-80” split that everybody is trying to get. You could ask me what I do at work, and I’d probably just tell you have a boring nerd job at a desk in HDQ for the airline. I just feel like I’d be bragging if I really told you what I did. And I really can’t stand people who brag, yes that includes the humble braggers that thank God at the beginning and end of a status update. But for the purposes of the application, I think if I really get in depth and really share how sweet I really am, everybody should want me up in their classrooms. So for the next few months until my apps are doneski, I’m gonna work on bragging on myself. Boom.

Random sidebar, but somewhat related, you know what else I realized while thinking about this today? I realized that I really don’t like when people that I meet are impressed by me. More specifically, when it comes to dating. I really need you to think that we’re peers and not that I’m this BEAST, which I guess I am. (You know, maybe this speaks to the quality of folks I’m dating… I’ll just read myself on that one, ha!) I mean, yes, I guess I do work somewhere dope, and do some cool things, but I mean, it’s really not all that (okay maybe it is) but still. Insert scripture about being equally yoked here.

 

I’ve considered blogging since I first moved to Dallas. I thought it would be a fun way to keep me busy since I was living solo in a new city where I didn’t know anyone for real. However, I then came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t blog because, let’s let the facts be the facts, I knew good and well that I wasn’t about to be blogging regularly. And also, I kind of thought my life was boring. But you know what, my life is actually interesting, and it’s gotten even more interesting now that I’ve settled in, began finding my way, and started working in the airline industry (LUV those free flights!). So now, I’m going to GENUINELY give blogging a shot for a few reasons, mainly:
• I need to get in the habit of writing because I’m really trying to press my way out of working this 9 to 5 just to stay alive, this 9 to 5 just to stay alive, this 9 to 5 just to stay alive how come? (Beyonce- Ghost reference if you didn’t catch it)
• I really try to travel at least once a month, and it would be great to put some of these memories in a centralized place for me to go back down memory lane instead of having to stroll through facebook, Instagram, twitter etc.
• I’m really hoping that I am able to stumble across the intersection of my three circles in the hedgehog concept, and really discover what I’m passionate about. for more info on the Hedgehog http://www.success.com/article/jim-collins-hedgehog-concept ( I was so over reading this book during my first job’s Emerging Leaders Program, but you know what, it’s really applicable at this point in my career.)
So boom, this is me in a nutshell.