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Des Moines, Iowa
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Orientation Day!

Geoff Wood

I had my first (of two) orientation day at Kelley this evening. It's been almost ten years since my last college orientation and this time I didn't get to take my Mom with me.

The session was pretty light - primarily a "get you pumped up for a lot of time, effort and money over the next 2.6 years" event that concluded with a cash bar(1) social hour and a dinner.

Personally, I'm bought in. I was reminded of the weed out scene on the first day of class in the old movie "The Paper Chase"(2). Ours was much more positive and enthusiastic (of course it's also not Law School nor is it Harvard). They threw out all the rankings and stats that prove that they are the premiere MBA program in the state and one of the premiere programs nationally and I'm excited to be a part of it.

I considered pursuing an MBA at a smaller school that opened an MBA cohort location in our suburb but was talked into Kelley by one of our executives who truly thought that it was the best move for my career long term.

The evening started off with us meeting our "small group"; the four other people that have been selected(3) to team with me throughout the core classes (4). It's a couple engineers, a sales manager, and a database programmer (no accountant like Kerry McGuire had recommended). We did an ice breaker that included a challenge to each group to find the most unique experience/fascinating fact about someone in the group. Nothing that we came up with really rose above the rest, but I thought that what was more interesting was our similarities:

  1. One of the guys lives a block or so from me in the same subdivision
  2. Two of us went to Space Camp as kids (though one of us had never heard of Space Camp or the movie that inspired us to go)
  3. Two of the guys were fraternity brothers together in the same chapter at the same time but hadn't seen each other since graduation - at least until the walked in tonight and were placed in the same "small group"

I was told at an open house for the program last Spring that Kelley is well suited to technical people that are moving into management/executive careers. To solidify this, one of the professors was holding up a t-shirt that said something to the effect of:

"MBA: when your BS won't take you any further". Nice.

(1)The beer was less expensive and less sanctioned the first time around. (2)A favorite of my dad's back in the day. (3) Apparently the criteria was zip code - clever. (4) This reminded me a bit of the study group sessions in The Paper Chase.