Monday, October 25, 2010

The power of ten ...

October 23rd 2010 was a landmark date in the history of WEMBA West - something that many of us will remember for years to come. After a lot of planning (thank you Juana and Doug!) we had an event that brought together all batches to ever be part of WEMBA West - from class 27 all the way to class 36. How cool is that!

The event was kicked off by Mike Useem with an engaging lecture on leadership. For those of us in class 36 it felt like a continuation from earlier in the day when we had just finished our leadership simulations and lectures for his class. All ten cohorts have had the rare privilege of learning leadership from Mike, so it was only appropriate that he kicked off the event. It was fun to watch cohorts that graduated years ago volunteer enthusiastically to answer questions that Mike posed to the audience. Of course there was the pride in one's own class evinced by the cheers that the responders got from their classmates.

This session was followed by a wonderful reception hosted at the Wharton Pub. Great food, great music, and an important announcement from Doug - stay tuned for an official update when its ready to be announced. The warmth with which classes from years past greeted us class 36ers and engaged with us was quite refreshing. It was also fun to observe them meet each other and catch up, after a long hiatus, in a school setting.

What did I learn from this event? School is school irrespective of what age you graduate from it - nothing like a ten-year reunion to drive that home. The growth of the WEMBA West program in the past ten years has just been amazing, and the next two years will expand and solidify our presence here in the Bay area. So applicants, now's your turn to claim a piece of WEMBA West history and make it your own!

What else? We got done with managerial accounting last session with an "interesting" final to wrap things up - alas, no more Ittner or Useem for the rest of the program. It was a pleasure to learn from them. In terms of visitors who came to speak to the class, we had David Pottruck, the ex-CEO of Charles Schwab who came to talk to the class despite not being in the best of health. We also had Stephen Denny, the author of "Killing Giants", give a riveting lecture on what companies can do to stand on their own against giants in their own market. We had animated sessions to discuss which electives to vote on for Year 2, with the different focus groups recommending electives important to them. Some of us were out partying with Berkeley-Columbia folks Friday night as well. And oh, did I mention the upcoming mixer on the 5th where we will have WEMBA, Berkeley-Columbia and UCLA folks attending! All in all, the sessions end up being so packed with action that one needs all of Sunday just to recuperate and get back to regular life!

That's it for this update. For folks that are looking to apply, visit us, attend a reception, and let us know if we can help answer any of your concerns. Until next time, goodnight, and good luck!

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