I have just finished my first week of real classes for the fall quarter at Kellogg. Even though I already took a required core class during the pre-term (three hours everyday for two weeks), this week felt more official because I had a full load of 4 classes for the quarter. This quarter I am taking all core courses (there are 9 core courses total). I took Strategies for Leading and Managing Organizations during the pre-term. I am now taking Business Strategy, Marketing, Finance and Mathematical Methods for Management Decisions. Normally, first years pick either Marketing or Finance during the fall quarter and take Financial Accounting to round out the classes, but I was able to waive out of Accounting, so I am taking both Marketing and Finance. As far as my schedule goes, I have two classes in the afternoon on Mondays and Thursdays, and the other two in the morning on Tuesdays and Fridays (we always have Wednesdays off, but we do a lot of group meetings, recruiting events and workshops). I arranged my classes so I could have a longer weekend in case I want to take a weekend trip somewhere. Somehow I do not think that will ever happen because Kellogg always has so much going on.
There is a syndrome here called FOMO, which stands for Fear of Missing Out, so everyone always wants to be a part of everything that is happening, and of course that include myself. This Saturday night, we have the CIM Ball (CIM stands for Complete Immersion in Management, a.k.a. pre-term). The Ball is a big dance in Chicago for all the first years to celebrate the end of orientation and the beginning of our next two years here. I will be going with my KWEST group (KWEST stands for Kellogg Worldwide Experience and Service Trip), as will all the other first years with their respective KWEST groups. I went on the Mystery trip this year, which ended up going to Jordan. About 80% of the incoming first years go on a week-long KWEST trip every year. The trips are organized by second years who typically went on one during their first year. Each trip has about 20 first years (you can also bring your spouse or significant others on these trips) and 5 or 6 second year trip leaders. There were about 36 trips this year going to almost all parts of the worlds. Destinations included Scotland, Czech Republic, Finland, Japan, Dubai, Turkey, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, many countries in the Caribbean, domestic destinations such as Hawaii, Puerto Rice, and the legendary KWEST Mystery!
I was lucky enough to go on the Mystery Trip. The Mystery Trip has always been the first trip to fill up every year. I knew that I wanted to go on it from talking to a second year trip leader before. I thought people who pick this trip would be social, adventurous and love to take chances. I woke up super early on sign-up day and filled in my information with lightening speed. Each year, no one knows where Mystery is going except the trip leaders and one KWEST executive, even the administrators find out a couple of days before the trip begins. I got clues during the summer pointing to the destination, but they did not make sense at the time. I literally found out that I was going to Jordan ten minutes before we arrived at the Chicago airport.
Jordan was a great experience since it was the first time that I have been in the Middle East. We floated in the Dead Sea, took a 4×4 truck ride in the desert, rode a camel for two hours to see the sunrise one morning, cruised in a private boat on the Red Sea and toured Petra, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. My KWEST group is fantastic as well as the second year trip leaders. I think for these trips, location is only about 20% important, what matter the most are having great leaders and a fun group of new friends. I love spending time with them, and since we came back, we got together many times for people’s birthdays, potlucks and other social activities. I am definitely looking forward to going to the CIM Ball with all of them. I will have to tell you all about it in my next entry.