Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Last Post

The Last Day of My MBA Program
(June 25, 2012)

This week is not like all the rest; not like the 94 previous weeks my posts on Living the Northeastern MBA have outlined. No, this week is the last of my Northeastern MBA.

I start my day at the Ocean Spray offices like I have been for the past two months. I work on my projects, grab lunch in the cafeteria and send off a flurry of e-mails. But work is not what I’m going to focus on in this post because something much more epic is happening. Today, at 7:30 pm, I will enter Dodge Hall as a student for the last time, sit in a classroom for the last time and present to my fellow MBAs for the last time.

But, for all the hype surrounding this last day and all the wishing I have done for the past several months for the program to hurry up and end because I was just so darn exhausted, I now want to savor every moment.

While my Marketing in the Service Sector class tonight has a final presentation, it is no Interdisciplinary Project from Spring Semester 2011; no Living Document; no Accounting Annual Report Project. It is simple, quick and over rather uneventfully.

Furthermore, my class is composed of only a scant few of the classmates I started orientation with 21 months 2 weeks and 5 days ago. Most of the members of Section 24 and 34 are off at their jobs, in their concentration-specific courses or on their extended corporate residencies.

My graduation ceremony already occurred. There is no great fanfare for the end.  At this realization I start to tear up in the middle of class (don’t laugh). I don’t know if it is with joy, sadness, nostalgia, anxiety or just plain exhaustion but my emotions are getting to me. My graduate school experience was many years in the making. For any of you who have completed an MBA, are in the middle of one or are just starting to consider it, you know the journey is far more than two years long. Far more than all those applications, a co-op, a cohort or a degree. For me, it was nearly six years ago that I started to consider an MBA. Six years from when I first got that inkling during my junior year of college that, yeah, maybe this was for me.

My journey not only took me across the country to what would become my new, permanent home, but across the globe to India for my International Field Study and through a universe of jobs (aviation to cranberries is no small trip). But the journey also transformed me from a recent University of Washington graduate struggling in the economy of 2008 to landing my dream job, in my dream city and with the perfect MBA behind me.

So, faithful readers, 86 posts later this trip comes to an end. And just when I thought it would close in an uncharacteristic whimper, I step outside of Dodge Hall at 9:30 pm to the most extreme thunderstorm I have ever seen. Taking shelter under my tiny umbrella, I speed through the torrential downpour to my apartment. I rush through roads that have become rivers, my shoes and clothes drenched all the way through and I think, this is how it should end; this amazing journey; this transformative experience; just like this: in a glorious flash of lightning and a crash of thunder.

*The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Northeastern University, Ocean Spray Cranberries, either entity's staff, employees or affiliates.


  1. Wonderful closing post, Katrina! And thank you so much for sharing your MBA experience with us. Several of the students who started their MBAs last Fall mentioned on their applications that your blog was one of the things that convinced them to choose our program. We loved hearing about how you found your residency, how you found your dream job at Ocean Spray, and everything in between. And as a native Californian, you have taught us a thing or two about where to eat in Boston too! We are so happy for you and so proud of all that you have accomplished. Thank you, thank you.

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