This morning, I took my final exam for my final class of my final term of the MBA. HOORAAAAAAY!!!
Nearly 24 months, three continents, three cities, a hundred identity crises, several failed classes, dozens of amazing new friends, $120,000 and a virtual lifetime later — I FINISHED MY MBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (A little strange, I know — given that I graduated in April, so it feels a bit… Anti-climactic? Maybe? But only a bit!)
These last two years have been, without question, the best two years of my life. It’s been a roller coaster, and I still doubt my own judgment in choosing to do an MBA (instead of studying, say, Education? Journalism? Spanish?), but the experience has been amazing. I’ve never doubted myself so much, never had to dig so deep, never been so frustrated and so stretched. I’ve also never laughed so loud, partied so hard, learned so much, or reached so far. As a result, I feel more resilient, more humble and, actually, more professional (turns out I may have actually learned a few things along the way! weird!).
The highlight reel, in no particular order:
– AMAZING new friends! Matt, Blanca, Benj, Dan, Megan, David, Leo, Guille, Nicole, Brian, Aimee, Graci, Christopher, los Klose, los Gonzales, Brooke, Kelly, Tonni, Camilo, Heather… The list goes on and on!!!
– Visits from AMAZING old friends and family! Paddy N, Aimee, Becky and Ben, Laura and Sean, Kim and Marijn (who got engaged when they came to visit!!), Mary and Doug, Will, my parents, Jessey and Aaron — ALL awesome!
– Speaking of AMAZING old friends: in the course of these insane 24 months, I also FINALLY figured out that, duh, the love of my life is also one of my very dearest friends. Don’t know how I missed it, but turns out I’m madly in love with the guy. Who knew?
– Trips! Dublin with Aimee, Sevilla with Matt, Blanca and Ben, San Sebastian with Megan, Munich with Will and J&L, PR for Guille’s wedding with los Tompkins and los Klose, London twice! (about to make that three times!), Portland at Christmas both years, the Beach House with Micah, Boston for 4th of July AND my birthday last year, Andorra for skiing, LA for Jen and Laurent’s wedding, DC in February, Kruger Park with Megan and David… Wow! What an incredible couple of years, just for traveling!
– Living in Barcelona with Raul again, in el Gotico!
– Really living in Brooklyn with my tremendous family and realizing how awesome that is. Brooklyn rocks my world. Also, all that family time was priceless — family dinners, soccer games, movie nights, birthday parties, millions of great conversations… If it weren’t for the aforementioned love of my life, I’m pretty sure I’d be heading back to the basement in Brooklyn!
– Friday night dinners!
– Passing Finance on the first try. Passing Corporate Law on the first try. Social Entrepreneurship. Global Economics. Leadership, Power and Influence. Never having to take another accounting course ever again. Ever. The DGDW conference. Studying all night for finance with Guille and then walking all the way home at midnight.
– Hours and hours and hours at the MBPoW and the fabulous cheap tapas place (pescaitos fritos… mmm…).
– Working for the most prestigious bank in the world and making some cash for six months last year. While the work itself is not for me, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
– The last six months, while strange in some ways, have been an amazing time to relax, rejuvenate, kick Operation MM(f)PF into gear (15lbs down! woot!), and attempt to re-focus (yeah, still working on that…).
– Graduation. What an amazing, special week with my folks and Mary and Doug, and an incredible time to meet the families of my friends.
– Living in South Africa for three months. When will I ever have a chance to do THIS again??
– Testing my personal boundaries, limits, comfort zone and intellectual capacity.
Anyway, wow, I’m sure I could go on, because I’m sure I’m leaving out TONS of important, memorable things — but obviously, it’s been a very intense two years. I’m sad it’s over, terrified of the all too present future, and ready to move on to the next phase of my life. I have NO idea what the coming weeks and months will bring, other than a lot of joyful reunions with family and friends, starting in London next week, progressing to NY and finally back to Portland, my new home! I’m going to take the next few days to feel excited about this accomplishment and ignore the fact that now that I’m done with my MBA what I REALLY am is unemployed — because for the moment? I’m just EXCITED (ahem, Laura and Sean).
And? I’m DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m done I’m done I’m DONE!!!!!!!!!!!