For all 4 people (my Mom and Stepdad included) who regularly check the B-School Boy Blog for updates, you might have noticed that I'm falling behind on my preseason goal of two entries per week. I won't say I completely underestimated the amount of time and work necessary for my MBA program, but I may have slightly underestimated my ability to write stimulating blog entries after marathon group homework sessions immediately followed by 5 hours of work at my restuarant.
Over the course of the last week, I participated in some fun activities that were only truly appreciated by those in attendance. Last Thursday was my first time out for MBA "Mug Club" (Disclaimer: this is not a University sanctioned club!). This experience entailed 100+ first and second year MBA students treating a downtown Champaign bar to one of the busiest Thursday nights they have seen probably since the last time the Mug Club visited them last schoolyear. I was having flashbacks to my undergrad years at Kam's (yes I went there, and yes I loved it). The bar was completely understaffed and the fact that average Joe doesn't easily catch a bartender's attention allowed for a somewhat difficult time ordering a cocktail. Luckily for me, I former co-worker of mine from my short stint at nearby eating/drinking establishment had recently acquired new employment at the bar. Honestly, I couldn't remember her name, but luckily that didn't come into play when pleading for her service. Once that obstacle was overcome, it was back to "networking". The night took us to another drinking establishment nearby where the networking came to an end. I would love to give more details of the night, but the B-School Boy finds it more entertaining to leave some things to the imagination for readers to create their own version of the story. All in all, it was a great experience and I look forward to more Mug Club events throughout Champaign-Urbana.
Two days after Mug Club marked one of my favorite days of the year. For any die-hard Illini sports fan, the Illinois-Mizzou football and basketball games are can't miss events. I definitely fall into the category of "die-hard" and unfortunately, that's exactly what our team did this year. On a side note, the pre-game highlight had to be my buddy Greg's orange and blue Zubaz pants. Kickoff was 11:30, way too early for college football fans to truly get "pumped up" before kickoff, but nonetheless our group was ready after an hour bus ride and a couple hours of early morning tailgating. In nearly an instant replay of last year, I managed to break off from my group of friends so I could navigate the mass of people in my smaller more manueverable state in order to make it to my seat for kickoff. Everyone from our group managed to get settled in alot earlier than last year and we became witness to the greatest half of Illinois football in history! Ok, so that isn't true at all, but in the heat of the moment that's exactly how you feel. I was out to sea onboard my ship the year Juice got loose against Ohio State and did complete the greatest upset in Illinois football history so this was my chance to relive that excitement live and in person. I'd like to give play-by-play of the first half for anyone that didn't see the game, but lets just say the Illini fans might have been more surprised than the Missouri fans by the level of play from our guys during the first 30 minutes.
Fast forward another 30 minutes of gametime and every Illini fan had crash landed back on Earth. We weren't embarrassed like we have been in some previous years, however we did manage to complete the "arch rivalry" series with a perfect defeated record of 0 wins and 6 losses in games held at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. After a little research, I did discover that the Illini did get their last win in St. Louis over Missouri just a short while back in 1896!!! But enough about my bitterness toward another loss to Missouri.
After a full day of enjoying college football it was time to get down to business. Sunday was our fantasy football league's annual golf outing to determine our draft order. My teammate Kyle and I were out of the gates fast and finished in second which meant I was entitled to the third pick and he got the fourth. Golf was followed by Pizza Man (renamed Chandler Brother's Pizzeria but basically its Monical's of south-central Illinois) and the eventual draft of the greatest fantasy team ever assembled. My team is anchored by MJD and Larry Fitzgerald and thats really all you need to know. I'll report on my record in the coming weeks.
I feel like I should probably finish up this entry with a little something about my actual MBA experience three weeks in. I've been able to stay afloat with the help of a great homework group and some long hours in front of this laptop churning out papers and accounting homework. This week I also met with my awesome Career Services Advisor Amy. I can already tell Amy will be one of the most valuable if not the most valuable resource I have in the Illinois MBA program. There's just something reassuring for a guy who really has no idea where he might end up in two years knowing that there is a trained professional in the building who seems to have nothing but great advice/suggestions/ideas for my career development. I plan to take all her words of wisdom and use them to the best of my ability. Its safe to say, that if I don't end up with a good job offer when I leave the program, it can be attributed to "operator error". The College of Business Career fair takes place next Tuesday and Wednesday and this will be my first true test of what I've learned about networking up to this point. I know I need to do my research ahead of time to pinpoint a handful of companies that interest me and be ready to put my best foot forward with them in hopes of landing an interview or at least a business card for someone who can lead me in that direction. I can only hope my "STAR" technique is polished enough to make a good impression!
So its Friday evening and I'm actually happy about the fact that I have no plans this evening. I was on-call at work and wasn't requested to come in, therefore, I'm kind of at a loss for any plans. However, I do have my drill weekend for the Navy reserves tomorrow and Sunday which requires the unenviable task of waking up at 5:30 AM on a home football game weekend. I am lucky enough that my work day ends early enough that I can actually make it back to Champaign in time for the game. I can only imagine how far behind I will be from the rest of the Illinois student population who will have had an entire morning and afternoon to get "pumped up" for the big game. I guess when duty calls you have to make some sacrifices. I'll be content with an Illini victory over Southern Illinois University. If we fall short then my preseason prediction of top 3 teams in the state might in fact be completely wrong. Let's hope thats not the case! Thank you again to everyone who takes the time to stop by and read. Anyone who has any ideas to spice up the blog or maybe just wants a shout out of some kind in an upcoming entry, please feel free to email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan (aka Petro for those who may not be familiar)