- Hometown: San Francisco, CA
- Pre-MBA: Managing Director of The Go Game; Performance art
Post Graduation Goals:
To lead creative teams and design experiences that bring people together, combining my arts background with the management tools I’m learning.
Favorite GSB Memory So Far:
The GSB Show is a student-written comedy musical all about life at the GSB, attended by 1,200 people in the GSB community. It’s heartwarming to have this night together to laugh at our lives and appreciate how amazing it is to be here.
Just waking up. I slept in a bit because we had our first rehearsal for the GSB Show last night until midnight. Once I got home and wrapped up emails for the day, I got to sleep around 1:30am. My goal this quarter to is to sleep more (we’ll see how that goes!), so I tried to make up for the late night with a later alarm this morning.
Coffee and breakfast in the backyard while I squeeze in a couple of hours of reading for class. Today I have Operations and Leadership in the Entertainment Industry. (My morning class, Managing Social Networks in Organizations, is cancelled, which turns out to be essential since I need this reading time.) Much of my pre-GSB job involved improving the operations of a small business, so I am excited to dive into this course and get more formal training in how to think about operations.
Biking to campus. I actually really enjoy this ride – it takes 10 minutes down a gorgeous tree-lined boulevard. My husband and I opted to live off campus, and I generally enjoy the 10 minutes of fresh air that separates home from school.
Meeting with the GSB Show co-producers to distribute t-shirts in the MBA Lounge. Tickets go live on Thursday, so we are handing out 200 shirts to the cast, dancers and production team to wear around campus to promote the show. Danny and I decide to model the shirts just before a rush of people getting out of class mob the room.
Operations class. Today we are learning about the process flow for Scharffen Berger chocolate, so naturally the professor brought chocolate samples for us. Not a bad day in class!
Leadership in the Entertainment Industry class. This is an amazing crash-course in the business of entertainment across various genres. The class is 3 hours every Monday afternoon, and each week we have two guest speakers (producers, actors, directors, museum directors, etc.) who share their stories with us. Some speakers show clips of their work, and I often leave the class feeling inspired.
Tonight is a big night – I’m giving my TALK. TALK is a student-run tradition of MBAs sharing 30-minute personal life stories with our classmates. TALKs take many forms, but they generally focus on the experiences that have shaped us, the ways in which we are vulnerable, and the people and things that matter most to us. I run to DryBar in Stanford Shopping Center to get my hair done for the occasion.
Hanging out with some of my favorites in the MBA Lounge before TALK. To distract me from my nerves, we take a series of ridiculous and unattractive photos. This is the only one that got friend approval to post here.
It’s TALK time! This whole experience is a blur, but I do have a few special moments of looking out at the crowd and seeing them laugh with me or relate to some aspect of my story, and that is really cool. Two first-year MBAs give their TALKs each Monday, and I also loved hearing Apoorv’s TALK – people at the GSB have such unique backgrounds, and I’m always blown away when I hear their stories.
Post-TALK celebrations! We pop some champagne and hang out in the lounge with friends until midnight or so. I am so happy to have given a TALK…and so relieved that it is over! I’m feeling really grateful for my TALK coach, Sam, who helped me immensely in putting the TALK together. I’m feeling less grateful for my best friends, who gave me this “charming” card to mark the occasion.
My husband John and I head home. I’m energized from the night, so it is tough to get to sleep – luckily tomorrow starts at a reasonable hour.
Heading to the gym first thing this morning. On my way through Arbuckle afterwards, I run into my Squad-mate from first quarter, Jackie! (For the first quarter, we are divided into squads of 5-6 students in which we take our Leadership Labs course and compete in the Executive Challenge.) Running into Jackie puts a smile on my face and starts the day out right.
Corporate Finance class. James Van Horne, the guy who literally wrote the book on corporate finance, came out of retirement to teach this quarter, which is pretty cool. Today we’re looking at creating financial projections for a growing bakery.
Quick stop at the GSB Bowl to wrap up an assignment for Interpersonal Dynamics, aka Touchy-Feely, a signature GSB course in which we are taught to explore interpersonal learning and effective communication. I have to submit an assignment by 12:15pm and then run to a club leader lunch at Schwab, the first-year MBA residential center across the street.
Made it to the Club Leader Networking Lunch just in time for introductions. I sit with Claire, one of the perennially helpful people in the Student Life Office, and Natalise, a friend and phenomenal singer who is repping GSB Music. We learn a bit about whom we need to talk to to get things done as club leaders, and then run back for class.
Touchy-Feely time. Touchy-Feely uses a very experiential learning model – we spend most of the course in 12-person “T-groups” (plus two facilitators), which are used as laboratories to experiment with styles of communication that are new to us. After a short in-class exercise, we break into our T-groups for the first of two sessions.
Strategy Beyond Markets Class. This course focuses on non-market strategies in the developing world. Normally this is a case and lecture class, but today we have a speaker from Paga who shares his challenges and opportunities founding a company in Nigeria.
Meeting with GSB Show Producers to go over final logistics for ticket sales. The only problem is we don’t have enough electronic devices to conduct the meeting.
Super-fast catch-up with Katie and Emily in Katie’s Schwab room. Once we’ve gotten a selfie that we all like, it’s pretty much time to head back to Knight.
Back to T-group for the evening session. I realize I haven’t considered dinner, so I grab a Coupa Café salad on the way. I feel eager to see what will come up tonight – we’re still early in the quarter, so each session has a steep learning curve.
After T-group, a few of us head back to Schwab to hang out and decompress. Like fight-club, the first rule of T-group is that you never talk about T-group. But that’s cool with us – after a day of intense communication, we’re ready to move on to cracking jokes.
I head home, quickly check in with John who is heading to bed, and then spend about an hour doing email cleanup from the day. I’m relieved that tomorrow is Wednesday – we don’t have classes on Wednesdays, so whatever work is assigned can wait until tomorrow.
It’s Saturday! We are in the wine country with a group of eight GSB friends for the weekend, and we are SLEEPING IN. Life is good.
After breakfast, we head out for wine tasting. We take some elegant and well-composed photos in the vineyard. This is before we’ve had any wine.
To our delight, the winery is hosting a cheese-tasting event! We ask the team serving the cheese if we can pose with their cheese, and they kindly oblige.
We’re still hanging out by the cheese.
Two of the friends that we are here with, Lauren and Jeremy, got married at this winery over the summer, so we re-create their favorite wedding photos before we head out. This group actually happens to be all married couples – Jackie, Brittany, Lauren and I became fast friends this year, and happily for us our husbands (or “SOs” for Significant Others, as the GSB calls them) get along well too. Sometimes we even catch them hanging out without us!
We head to Campo Fina, a local favorite for Bocce Ball and sandwiches.
We decide to go back to the house for a few hours – Lauren and I have some work that we want to get started on since much of Sunday will be spent in Show rehearsal, but that doesn’t stop us from sitting by the pool with everyone. A few of us crank away on our laptops, and the rest of the crew chats and enjoys this rare opportunity to relax.
Dinner at Catelli’s in Healdsburg. Not pictured: the famous meatball sliders that we got as an appetizer. Just some light California cuisine.
Back at the house, we crack open Cards Against Humanity, but quickly get distracted when we discover that “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is on TV. We proceed to watch and quote all of the lines from the movie.
It’s a rager.
We all wander off to bed. This Saturday was unusually relaxing, and I’m feeling really appreciative of days like these. Good friends and chill days help offset the mile-a-minute life that is often characteristic of the GSB.