My Last Long Winter Break

Hello, loyal readers. It’s been quite a while, but I am back to class now for the first time since mid-December. It’s been a crazy few weeks, but here’s the basic breakdown of how I spent my last winter break before my inevitable return to the real world.

December 19 – January 1
Since I’m from New Jersey, I didn’t have to travel around this time to see family or friends, which was really convenient. I spent a lot of this time celebrating the holidays with my family, class mates, friends from high school and college, and other awesome people. Since I had no work hanging over my head, I spent a good amount of time reading, catching up on shows on Netflix, and generally avoiding responsibility. Good times.

January 2 – 5
I spent a few days back at school, helping some of the MBA1s prepare for their interviews, which mostly took place during January. They kept themselves quite busy, researching companies, doing mock interviews, and practicing their behavioral interview questions. I spent the rest of my time preparing for my upcoming trip.

January 6 – 26
The aforementioned trip. As an MBA2, I also get January off from classes, just like the MBA1s do. Unlike most MBA1s, I did not need to spend my January getting ready for and then having interviews. Instead, I, like many of my classmates, took this opportunity to travel around Southeast Asia. A large contingent of Sternies took part in DBi Hong Kong and DBi Singapore, which were two week classes that took place in, you guessed it, Hong Kong and Singapore, respectively. I was not one of those Sternies. Instead, I traveled around Thailand and Indonesia (with a brief trip into Burma/Myanmar) with 6 of my classmates, while running into friends along the way (including fellow bloggers Kristin and Serena).  My trip ran the gamut from luxury hotels in Bangkok to sleeping in a small village in Northern Thailand, to a week in a beautiful villa in Seminyak, Bali. We laughed, we cried (maybe?), we surfed (with varying success), and we became much closer than we had been.

January 28 – February 1
All of us MBA2s came back to Stern for a week of professional responsibility. The program was redesigned this year by renowned moral psychologist and recent addition to the Stern faculty, Jonathan Haidt. He and Professor Bruce Buchanan brought in some great speakers for us, including Charles Ferguson (director of The Inside Job and author of Predator Nation), Walt Pavlo (white collar criminal and MBA graduate), Jacqueline Novogratz (founder of the Acumen Fund and pioneer of social microfinance), Conor Grennan (Stern MBA alumnus, bestselling author of Little Princes and founder of Next Generation Nepal), and Preet Bharara (U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York). In between talks and Q&A sessions with these excellent presenters, we worked through major ethical issues that we could face in the workplace in classes of about 35 students. The real benefit of this class is getting students to understand the underlying social and organizational systems that impact individual behavior, and then working through ways to overcome those systems to do the right thing while inside of them and to change those systems for the better as future business leaders.

February 4 – Today
This was my first week back to real classes, and I’m really excited for the semester. I have a great schedule lined up, and you’ll hopefully be reading all about it as my final semester as a student (it pains me to write that) pushes forward.

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