Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yes, Networking is a Form of Work

Yes, you can get sunburn in the middle of November. And naturally I did not get my face toasted by the sun holed up in my room pouring through my OB articles or crushing Excel for my next quant case. Those will be top of mind as I pull late nights from now until Wednesday.

For now, I want to emphasize the importance of stepping away from the coursework. Clearing your head is a necessary process, even if it creates a tighter rush to meet deadlines later down the road. This is an interesting time for Wake Forest sports as we transition from football season (hoping for better luck next year) into a promising basketball campaign. Friday night, I was invited to join several classmates to watch the men’s basketball team start their season against Oral Roberts. Great game and a win! 76-56

Saturday’s football game was less gratifying if the only criterion was the final score. This team has shown flashes of potential only to fall short so many times down the stretch.

What I have seen as the best opportunity from these events has been a time to connect with classmates and bond with members of my team in ways that would be inconceivable in our classroom setting. You get to hear about their backgrounds, current situations, and long-term objectives. You find common ground and you discover areas where bonds can be strengthened even further. It has been a terrific chance to work on networking.

There is more than just sports. I was able to assemble a team of evening students to compete in the first annual Schools of Business trivia contest last weekend at Waldo’s Wings. Hot wings, cold beer, and five rounds of trivia (with no questions dealing in accounting, OB, or quant)! Slowly but surely I will meet my goal of getting to know each of my 38 classmates on a personal level.

(Oh, our team finished 5th in the competition but we will be playing more trivia in coming weeks.)

There are going to be plenty of opportunities to spend more time with these folks over the next two years. We’re already planning on having colleagues make the “lengthy” trek to Greensboro to check out the restaurants offered by the neighboring city. The underlying message is that you must strike a balance between studies and socializing. Both will be an integral part of career development during the MBA or MA program and a major part of networking and upward mobility on the other side of graduate school.

Game on!

~ Paul Davis

Evening students mingling at semester-end event at Foothills Brewery downtown.

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