Why I chose Johnson
Johnson is one of few schools with a small class size and greater diversity. I believe in getting to know people and sharing their stories and memories. Once I engaged with alumni, current students and the admissions team, Johnson seemed like the perfect fit for me as a woman of color.
Also, on a professional front, being close to New York City is a great vantage point for the school. Johnson specializes in customized immersions and the Career Management team is highly effective with expansive career search support.
April 18 2016
True Life: Management Cases
I was recently reviewing a PowerPoint (PPT) presentation, trying to determine the right shade of blue to use for my perception map. The lighter shade was not strong enough, while the darker shade was too bold. I needed a blue somewhere in-between. It dawned upon me that this mundane color-choosing-activity might take more time than normal. Luckily, I knew how to get the color I wanted thanks to my best friend dragging me to last night’s, “Become a PowerPoint Pro,” session. Luckily, after the silent complaining about missing happy hour for this extra session, I focused and consulted last night’s notes.
I noticed my phone screen lighting up. Someone, like me, was awake and reaching out via the social web. I didn’t have time to reply though. It was 2:47 am. My PPT deck was due at 4:40 am, just four hours before my Management Cases class started. I laughed at myself. When did choosing the perfect shade of blue become my priority in life? I had the answer to that – since I started Management Cases with Nate Peck, a Johnson legend.
Every week we are assigned a real-life case to review, analyze, solve, and present. In this nine-week intensive course, I work individually on six cases and on a team for two more. In addition to submitting a full PPT deck four hours before class, students also have to be ready to present any slide from their PPT deck at any time during class. Talk about being prepared.
Only two weeks into the course, I feel absorbed by the groove of Management Cases. My entire week revolves around the case at-hand. It’s fun to work individually on a case that everyone else is also studying. When people are out and about at Sage Hall talking about Steinway’s exit strategies after an acquisition, you automatically know what they’re talking about. In fact, all my weekly planning is done, mindful that I need 12-15 hours to work on my deck.
I finally submitted this deck at 3:18 am. Though tired, sleep deprived and mentally exhausted, I was happy, even complacent. After the following day’s presentation (I was the first person to be called on) a tiny part of me considered dropping the course, just for a fraction of a second. I didn’t know if I was ready for this kind of commitment, ready for “real” work, ready to go outside my comfort zone. When at the front of the classroom, my hands were sweating, my mind was flustered, and my first word was the ultimate worst opening word possible, “umm.”
But this is the one course that I couldn’t bail on. This was part of the learning curve, the part where the curve actually starts trending upward. In fact, after just two classes I was more prepared to face my summer internship than before. The thrill of working on a real-life case definitely outweighed all other concerns. Getting to learn from Professor Peck and his excellent teaching assistants was not an opportunity to be missed. Fast forward to this week, where I obsessed about which arrowhead to use and how many Harvey balls could depict my investment opportunity analysis to create a fabulous deck worthy of being presented in front of a CEO. No other course would give me the tools, opportunity, and excitement to do this. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that working hard pays off – and Professor Peck is definitely making us work hard to get where we want to be.