One of my favourite movies from last year was Up in the Air because of my childhood love for airplanes and airports. There were times this past week when I did feel like George Clooney, shuttling between airport and hotel as in the space of 7 days, I caught 5 flights, held 3 information sessions, attended one MBA fair, and travelled more than 24,000 km.
It was a fruitful trip as I met about 50 enthusiastic, strong candidates from a wide range of backgrounds. In Chicago, I learnt about the rebuilding work that one candidate was doing in Somalia and Rwanda; I heard about an e-commerce website called the Savvy Goose; and met an ex-member of the Cambridge Rowing team. In Seattle, I learnt about the economic development and governance of a Native American tribe; the engineering work that goes on in Boeing; and how an American university invests its endowment. In the Bay Area, I met a national-archer turned digital marketeer, a servicewoman turned water engineer and a candidate told me about her company’s product that alleviates spinal pain, something which I hope I will never have to use.
Although these trips are physically punishing, they also energise me because I get to meet interesting people, many of whom would make great Cambridge MBAs.
It is also the last day before the new school year starts. Already, MBA 2010s are streaming into the School, sorting out their university cards, IT access and comparing accommodation with one another. About 40 of them will attend the matriculation dinner for Hughes Hall this evening — I just hope I can remember all their names when I meet them.