Monday, March 29, 2010

What's The Lou doing at SOM?

A framed picture of St. Louis at the Yale School of Management I was studying this afternoon at SOM when I looked up and noticed there was a framed picture of the St. Louis skyline. That's my home town. Sometimes people ask me whether I want to move back there, and I don't have a strong answer, although I will say the longer I live in the Northeast the more appealing my memories of St. Louis become. I'm conflicted; on one hand I have some friends there, it's my home town, and I think it's objectively a nice city. On the other hand, it sort of reeks of the long-ago past. I enjoyed that past a lot, though, so moving back is definitely worth considering. Let's just say I wouldn't turn down a nice offer in St. Louis.

Then again, would I turn down a nice offer in Botswana?

I have mentioned before but may not have mentioned recently that I give tours to prospective students on Mondays. Today someone asked what's surprised me about SOM. I'm not sure this was a good answer, but before I enrolled I knew it would be challenging but I imagined the work to be pondering a large business idea or plan with a group, and working for weeks on some flashy presentation we'd deliver to a panel of elderly professors. There'd be financial slides and slick marketing materials, and it would be preceded by many late nights of coffee and pizza in living rooms. In a way, what I am describing is similar to an activity we had during orientation -- the Audubon Street Project, where we were randomly assigned to groups and had to come up with a viable but responsible business plan for an empty commercial space in New Haven.

Anyway, the reality is that school is about as challenging as I'd imagined, but in a different way. More readings, 3-page case write-ups and problem sets than large-scale projects with pizza-scarfing groups. Snarfing? Scarfing? Either?

Not a complaint at all, just an observation. Goodnight, St. Louis.

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