Kellogg Impressions

Note: This is an entry I wrote for my Kellogg Student Diary, which was a student life blog I kept as a student at Northwestern. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m copying my entries to my personal blog to preserve my writings. You can read all of the entries by viewing the category Kellogg Student Diaries.

“Back to school. Back to school. To prove to dad that I’m not a fool.” – Billy Madison

At any age, there are definitely a few magical qualities to the first day of school: the excitement of starting a new phase of your life; the nostalgia of finding yourself back on a college campus; the thrill of finally meeting your new classmates.

My first day of school started early, with my 8:30 management strategy class — part of Kellogg’s core curriculum. It took a little adjustment to get used to sitting still for 90 minutes, but Kellogg’s faculty makes it so much easier. In my marketing class, the professor used part of her time to tell us what she already knew about our collective backgrounds — a sign she’d already taken time to get to know us, even before she’d met us. Within the first two weeks, my management strategy professor managed to end one morning lecture by going around the room and reciting each student’s name – all 70.

The professors are amazingly engaged with their students, and they are clearly there to challenge us. The students, in turn, are there to be challenged. During each case discussion, I’m still amazed how fervently students raise their hands and try to relate every discussion to something they’d seen in their professional lives. The curriculum is interesting, and more importantly, relevant, to the lives we all led before coming to Kellogg.

But the real story began well before the first day of class. Since we’re only here for two years, it’s vitally important to get the most of our Kellogg experience from day one. To make this happen, Kellogg puts us through CIM (Complete Immersion in Management) week, which basically amounts to Kellogg boot camp. In one week of CIM, we learned just about everything about Kellogg — its expectations, its resources, its culture and its social life.

We also bonded — a lot. The student body is divided into eight sections with bizarre names. The “Cash Cows,” “Jive Turkeys,” and “Moose” are just a few. The sections become a form of identity during and after our Kellogg careers. During CIM, however, they are pitted against each other in various events with the ultimate prize being a few dollars in our social budgets and two years worth of bragging rights.

Even though my section – The Bucketheads — finished a disappointing sixth, we still maintain the real goal of CIM was to bond with our new section-mates and build new friendships – and I think we finished first in that.

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10 2009

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