How is it possible that half of my MBA is over?!? I looked back at the first blog post I wrote on the MBA Student Voice just under a year ago and it was bittersweet - in some ways, it felt like a month ago, and in others, like forever. So much has happened in the last year! Almost all of it amazing.
But first, a wrap-up of the spring, as I have been delinquent in posting this quarter. I will start by blaming my new position as President of the High Tech Business Association (HTBA), a role I am honored to hold for the year starting this Spring through next Winter. My amazing board of Vice Presidents and I are taking an already great club and making it even better. Special events next year include Career Nights, Tech Trek company visits, and I am so excited to announce our inaugural Case Competition next fall! I can't tell you the sponsor yet, but it's a fantastic company. Some advice for the class of 2014: start thinking about applying to be a First Year Director and also forming a team for this special event. This will give you a great jump on a successful year!
Classes were as tough as ever this quarter, but it was hard to get mad at our strategy teacher Prof. Florian Ederer when he taught an incredibly interesting class by day and joined us at night for karaoke (or as it was also known, Eder-Oke). Other fun things included the marquee event of the spring, AnderProm at the luxurious Biltmore Hotel in Downtown LA. This featured everyone at Anderson dressing up to the nines, taking limos, and dancing around like a bunch of idiots. In short, it was a blast.
Before you start to wonder what happened to said husband, he and I were able to sneak away for a few nights after our March 31st wedding (wrap-up here, you know - the one where we got married Saturday night in Atlanta and I was in class on Monday in LA!). That's right, we sailed away from the beautiful Port of Long Beach on an exotic 3-night cruise to Enseneda, Mexico.
I thought it would be a fun surprise for Stanton if I had our stateroom festively decorated for our arrival. He wasn't sure whether to be horrified or relieved that I might have confused this trip with our actual (TBD) Honeymoon.
Just getting away was nice, even if this was one of the few moments on the trip I was actually awake. Much of my time was spent catching up on much-needed rest, much like the Mexican seal in the right of this picture.
I also got to do my first sight-seeing in LA (at least, that didn't occur as part of a run) when my parents came to visit us for the long Memorial Day weekend. Having been meaning to go to the Getty Center for approximately five years since I first came out to LA on business, it was a real treat to actually go. And it didn't disappoint! This is a must-do activity, if for nothing but the amazing views.
One of the most exciting things I participated in this spring was the TED TOMS Shoes Case Challenge. My amazing team of fellow first-years Alisa Sommer, Lauren Logan, Remy Monteko and I made it to the finals, where we had the chance to present in front of an esteemed group of judges from the TED organization, TOMS Shoes, and Anderson. Coming up with our own product idea that combined TOMS core values of companies engaging in sustainable giving with the ideals of TED was an extremely exciting and gratifying experience. Another tip to future students: jump on any case competition opportunities you get! They are great ways to improve your public speaking, work hard under pressure, and get to know your amazing classmates on a more intimate level.
So after an insanely busy, exciting, fulfilling, fast-paced year, school is over and I am leaving for Seattle, WA for my summer intership as a Product Manager in Kindle at Amazon. I am really looking forward to it! It's going to be fantastic and I am so excited and grateful to have the opportunity.
Naturally, the first thing I am doing in my new city is running the Rock 'N Roll Seattle Marathon on June 23rd. I like to consider it a great way of sightseeing, although I realize that might make me sound insane. Either way, it's going to be an amazing summer! I'll see you guys in the fall as I share my continuing adventures as an MBA student at the best business school in the country, UCLA Anderson School of Management!
Have a great summer!
-Charlotte Baxter Maines
Follow me on Twitter: @CharlotteK