• That’s A Wrap!

    Travel back two years and you’d find a group of motivated, newly admitted graduate students walking into the Kogod School of Business ready to hit the ground running in the MBA program. Here we were a few weeks into our program with sincere smiles, as our class didn’t take long to gel. MBA programs all teach the fundamentals, so what makes Kogod valuable can’t be explained only by the curriculum; it’s also the community. The Kogod community includes faculty, staff, and students collectively building bright futures. During our two years, we became a strong cohort. Together we built the trust needed to value and learn from each other. This doesn’t mean we will graduate with a few more contacts to our LinkedIn network; it means we built truly lasting connections. This is us a few weeks before graduation after having presented our final capstone presentation—the last piece of a semester-long project to provide strategic consulting to real clients in...
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  • Spring Craziness!!!

    Here we are in Spring, the tourists have invaded the District, the cherry blossoms have peaked, and there are hints of warm weather every other day. However, at American University, it’s that time of year when midterms have come and gone, final papers are in full effect, and Spring Break is but a distant memory. When everything comes crashing down on you and overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to describe how you feel. You scheduled your presentation for the end of the semester thinking you were giving yourself time, only to realize that professor scheduled presentations and two papers are also due at the same time. There are readings, group projects, final projects, and meetings every week. You are job searching and internship searching, and still trying to do readings for class…occasionally. In addition to all that, there are those who live life on the edge…and choose to work. Senior citizen moments begin to frequent your life…forgetting you were scheduled to work,...
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  • “So, what’re your plans after graduation?”

    With less than 6 weeks until graduation, this is becoming the most popular question that I hear from friends, family members, professors, and especially other students. If they’re like me, others ask me this question perhaps hoping that I have a solid answer: an offer from a household-name company with a salary that includes many more zeros than I have ever earned before. I’ve come to learn this semester that this question about my post-graduation plans is the business school equivalent of the well-known D.C. conversation starter “So, what do you do?!” Both questions can easily make one feel evenly insecure or judged. I have a long personal history of struggling to manage my own high expectations, let alone those of the people around me. As much as I feel the looming student loan payments inching closer and the societal expectations becoming greater that can overwhelm any new graduate, for once I...
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  • Thankful

    “Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” -William Arthur Ward ‘Tis the season of Thanksgiving! Nestled between midterms and finals, this holiday is an important reminder to take a moment and reflect on the things around us that make us smile. I’d like to dedicate this blog to one person I am especially thankful for at Kogod, Jen Murphy. Jen is the Associate Director of Career Management at the Kogod Center for Career Development (KCCD). An important part of the Kogod MBA experience, this integrated career services approach offers students targeted coaching on their chosen career path. Each semester we enroll in a course structured with topics that range from personal branding to social media presence, resume formatting, cover letter writing, interviewing, networking, etc. Sarcastic but serious, Jen is the instructor for the Kogod Full-time MBA career course. She makes us laugh while pushing us to...
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  • Impactathon

    4:30 a.m. wake-up calls are not my favorite. I always set three different alarms a few minutes apart to ensure I don’t snooze through those pre-dawn hours. Last Friday, exhausted from a long week of classes and still recovering from a trip to the Net Impact conference the week before, I set four alarms. One of the things that I’ve learned in b-school is to function at a high level on less than the desired amount of sleep. I keep that endurance up by accepting challenges outside of my normal day-to-day class schedule, and so last Friday I traveled up to Philadelphia to participate in an Impactathon. “What’s an Impactathon?” you may ask… An Impactathon is a one-day design competition that brings together teams of students and professionals, challenging them to create innovative solutions to social problems related to entrepreneurship and education. Created through a partnership between SAP and Net Impact, this German tech...
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  • Kogod To Do List: Attend an Affinity Fair….Check!

    I sat in the KCCD conference room for our pre-conference briefing and as Jen was giving us tips and advice, I felt the pressure of attending the nation’s largest MBA affinity fair – The National Black MBA Association Conference & Career Expo – begin to overwhelm me. I second-guessed my readiness, my preparedness, I had school work to finish, I still had to research employers, I had to print out my resume, and….OH MY GOODNESS I still had to pack! I literally had a moment where I thought…”why am I doing this again?” Now fast forward to my post conference reflections and I am definitely glad that I decided to take advantage of the opportunity. I was able to engage and network with employers, secured an interview, an amazing offer, got inspired by Magic Johnson, built relationships with colleagues, and had a great time in Atlanta! I think that everyone...
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  • Business as UNusual at Kogod

    When I was on my journey to graduate school, I spent a lot of time debating why I would quit my job at an organization I loved, take on thousands of dollars of debt, and lock myself in a room for hours on end to practice accounting problems. Yuck! I wanted to gain the quantitative and leadership skills promised by an MBA, and agreed it offered a positive ROI based on salary projections…but I also knew I wanted—and needed—something more. Ultimately, I came to graduate school to contribute and make the world a better place—for myself, my community, and yours. Luckily, I found Kogod, a business school that offers something a bit unusual…a business school with a mission based on creating and investing in positive community impact both here in the nation’s capital, and around the world. At Kogod I found a tight-knit community led by faculty and staff who encourage enthusiastic students to...
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  • AND I get paid for this?

    For the past few months, I have been part of an on-campus research project that has turned into quite the professional experience! This position is similar to other graduate student positions at Kogod in that it provides an opportunity to add dollars to those scant student bank accounts, and, more importantly, to work closely with faculty and staff in their respective fields and crafts. I jumped on board with this project because it involves fields I am enthusiastic about: women’s executive leadership, talent development, and organizational culture. A little about the research project… Since 2010, Kogod has partnered with Women in Technology (WIT) to track gender diversity on corporate boards of publicly traded companies headquartered in this region. The study has garnered attention in the region and among the growing body of research touching workplace diversity because the study uniquely presents findings specific to Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Kogod’s Jill...
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  • Start Off Strong!

    This week our blog introduces two of our newest Full-time MBA classmates: Oluseyi and Steve. Each new class at that comes to Kogod brings a new set of expertise and enthusiasm. This infusion of fresh faces is exciting and I look forward to meeting the rest of the 2016 cohort! Before they share their experience over their first few weeks at Kogod, here is a bit about their backgrounds: Seyi was born in Nigeria but raised in Los Angeles. Her passions are a mix of those cultures: LA fashion and African dance. She built a personal style blog, InFashionITrust.com, and stays active through African dance, as well as traditional ballet, modern, and tap. Before graduate school she worked as a negotiator in the media/advertising industry. Steve comes to Kogod as a local Washingtonian, having earned Mechanical Engineering degree from The George Washington University and a career in the Federal Consulting industry. He is a competitive triathlete who prefers cycling, and is running his...
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  • Welcome!

    The 2014-15 school year has begun! I’m excited to be back on campus, catching up with classmates and meeting new ones. To start this new year of blogging, I’d like to introduce the incoming class to the President of our GBA (Graduate Business Association), Harrison Wagenseil. Assigned to the same orientation case comp group last fall, Harrison has been a close friend throughout my time here at Kogod. He is a fantastic leader and I think you will find the insights on his blog quite useful! While he shares pointers mostly intended for the new class, I also found them to be a great reminder to us “Second Years” as we transition back from summer internships to another year at Kogod. Make sure you read them all; the last one is my personal favorite.  Welcome to Kogod! As the president of the Graduate Business Association (GBA), our graduate student governing body...
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