Just 2 months into the MBA program, and we were already approaching the most exciting event of the year – The Advisory Board Meeting. It was intimidating to see the impressive list of board members at first and the thought of interacting with them made me all the more nervous. However, a conversation with my Alumni mentor helped me to calm down and focus on learning from these distinguished people.
Day 1 – Dressed in our best business attire, we were looking forward to the Advisory Board dinner that day. We got to interact with a few board members during the Weikel Speaker series reception. I had an opportunity to talk to Jim Neupert, and I was amazed to see his enthusiasm and affinity towards the Wisconsin MBA community. He has one of the oldest associations with the CBPM Board, but his excitement for coming back was unmatchable.
At the Advisory Board Dinner, I was delighted to talk to Dan Maurer [P&G, Intuit]. One of his pieces of advice that resonated with me was to see myself in the shoes of my aspirational role while using my past experiences as the groundwork for this role.
Later at the dinner, I was fortunate enough to get a seat with Signe Ostby and Matt Vokoun. Matt, who had launched Google Pixel2 just 9 days back, chatted with all of us in the humblest manner and answered all of our questions. What really inspired me was his passion for his work and the curiosity to keep exploring new territories.
Next day, it was the formal Advisory Board meeting. Having interacted with few of the members earlier, I was much more comfortable in my skin, looking at the day as a chance to learn more.
At the meeting, I shared a table with Dan Maurer and Sarah Jones [Amazon]. The day started with some great presentations from the second year students sharing their summer internship experiences. At our table, Dan shared some great experiences about living in Europe and the European work life. While interacting with Sarah on her current and future work assignments at Amazon, she introduced me to the “Dive Deep and Narrow” strategy of tackling new sets of challenges. Moreover, I had brief conversations with other board members who were equally welcoming and ready to answer all of my questions.
In a nutshell, the Advisory Board meeting gave me the opportunity to interact with some of the best minds in the industry. The common qualities that resonated with me among the members were humbleness, warmth, and enthusiasm for the cause of the Wisconsin MBA. As the day ended, I came out of the board meeting feeling proud and privileged about being a part of this great community passionate about the Wisconsin brand.