And it has been more than two weeks since I went to one. But, given the lack of information I got online, I did want to pay it forward. I signed up for this dinner way back in December, and glad I did because it filled out pretty quickly. The venue was Old Ebbit’s Grill, a known DC landmark, though not one of my favorite places to grab dinner. On the upside, it is close to the metro.
A day prior to the dinner, Brad Rosenwinkel, Associate Director of Admissions emailed to confirm the RSVP and we were set. I reached about 5 mins early to the gig and was one of the first few to arrive. It filled up pretty quickly within the next 15 mins though, but I used the opportunity to chat with Prof, Matthew Billet for quite some time and discuss the talent issues in finance world. There was an open bar available to everyone, so once people picked up their drinks, we also mingled with other applicants, alumni, applicants for Fall 2015 (yep! quite early of the mark :)). Surprisingly, while I turned up in a formal dress, many people were in jeans, and other attire that can be categorized as casual. It didn’t particularly raise any eyebrows.
Brad opened the event formally to introduce himself and Prof Billet, once we were all seated at our dinner tables (around 6:40). Each table had at least one alumni available to all participants to chat. All of them were really down to earth and nice people, easy to chat with and spoke very fondly of their time at Kelley. Our table included a New Yorker, who claimed to be really surprised at the great quality of life at Bloomington! Fact: Bloomington has the second highest density of ethnic restaurants in all of United States!
We had a three course dinner and my wine glass kept refilling itself, by magic! But, I blame that on the interesting conversation, rather than my lack of attention. The alumni on my table had taken the same path after MBA that I plan to take, so it was great to get his perspective. He warned us about the Core (I think its common to all schools!) but what was revealing is how he said he coped with it. When asked, what helped him get by through the core, he said, “Trusting and leaning on other people. If you are a person, who wants to go to school, then come back to your room to sit and study by yourself, then you’ll find the Core really overwhelming. You have to work with your team through these few months and figure a way out to help each other get through it.” He mentioned that one of the people in their class actually left business school because he/she couldn’t cope up with working in this group system. Scary.
Overall, I had a great time, great conversations and found everyone from Kelley smart and personable. They are excited about what they are doing and if your aim to spend two years trying to become a better professional, better person, then Kelley School of Business is definitely a school that can help you get there.