David McGrady is a first-year student in the evening MBA program and an ambassador for the Wake Forest University Schools of Business. In both capacities, he spent the past weekend welcoming students to the first of two Red Carpet events designed to get accepted candidates accustomed to the Wake Forest experience. Here are his initial thoughts, with more to come.
Red Carpet weekend is the first opportunity for every admitted student to the full-time MBA, evening MBA, MSA, and MA programs to join together in a formal event. Last weekend’s event is the first of two this year that can help an admitted student determine if they want to join our Wake Forest family. Many in attendance had already determined that Wake would be their home for the next year or two. But for those who remain undecided, this was an opportunity for them to get an overall feel for the community, meet other admitted students, and interact with the faculty that Wake Forest has to offer.
The weekend had plenty to offer with house/apartment hunting, multiple chances to socialize with future peers and use some free time to explore Winston-Salem. The final event of the weekend was a chance for the admitted students to ask any forgotten questions of the weekend and hear from our Dean Steve Reinemund about our current momentum at Wake Forest. The night started with current SGA president David Madison (left) talking about his decision to attend Wake Forest and his experiences from his first year of MBA school. After what seemed like only a few minutes the night was almost over and with a cling of a glass the Dean stood. Most of us have heard him speak before but for some this was their first opportunity to grasp the presence of our great leader. His past experience, including as CEO of PepsiCo, speaks for itself but tonight he gave a few words of wisdom to every student about to make the transition into a graduate school program.
He began with a simple questions: “Why do you want to go back?” Next, he shared his reason for going back after starting at IBM. He quickly realized that he was unprepared to truly excel in the business world and that he needed to go back to school. But the dean challenged every student to make their own decision about what is best for them. The second part of his speech was about momentum. He stated that momentum is critical in both your career and organization if they are to move forward.
It gave the Dean another reason to discuss the recent rankings (#46 rank from U.S. News & World Report, a five-place improvement from 2009) and accomplishments of the Schools of Business that shows the current momentum at Wake Forest. This ended the night on an upbeat note for the ones who had already decided to attend Wake next year. And it gave undecided prospects something to consider on the ride or flight home the next day.