I spent last weekend in Ann Arbor, Mich., for “Go Blue Rendezvous”, the school’s official event for admitted students. Final verdict: fun. I’m sorry to all the Michigan haters out there, but the place is pretty damn cool.
I say that first of all because people at Ross just seem down-to-earth. I met a ton of classmates who were all really friendly and excited to meet each other. One of the deans said Michigan business school is not competitive in the bad sense of the word “competitive”, and I got the feeling that people really get their helpful team-atmosphere on. Plus, it’ll be nice to have career-planning services. Normally in life we get that stuff a little in high-school and probably even less in college, making this a great time to look at my work future and do some idea-making. So I’m excited to get there this fall.
That’s the gushy stuff. Another question is when did undergraduates get so young? I did a lot of the same stuff when I was in college as I do now, but I look around at these young peeps and wonder how they’re even allowed to drive a car. The girls looked grown-up and hot when I was in college, but now I get a bit of a creepy old-dude feeling just walking around. I should be telling the undergrads to get off of my lawn and go play in the neighbor yard.
If I can’t actually be an undergraduate again, at least I can socialize like one, because apparently Ross students are into college-house-party nostalgia. Friday night I walked up to an off-campus house and came upon people spilled onto the porch drinking beer from red-plastic Solo cups. After that we went to a second house party that cost $5 to get in, upon which I was given a higher-quality souvenir plastic cup for entry. Maybe next I receive a pledge paddle at graduation? I already have two, so it would have to be extra awesome for graduate school, with spikes on one end or something. Sweet.
(w2q3iksaz, responds our cat. Indeed.)
Choose your weapon
But I think I’m getting old for another reason, which is that the novelty of a hotel stay is wearing off. When I was a kid taking a trip with my parents, we’d settle in to our hotel room and the ‘rents would give me and my bro change to go out to the hallway vending machine and get a can of pop. That was just about the greatest thing about going on vacation, but then you add in a swimming pool, too? A completely mind-blowing experience. At age 27 I still believe it’s high luxury that someone else makes the bed for me, but after that’s been untucked and I’m trying to actually sleep, I find myself thinking it would be a lot cooler if I were back in my own bed. And again, those kids really do need to get off of my lawn.
But like an old man, I’m rambling. The point here is that going to Michigan business school is going to be both useful and fun. I have found one annoyance that’s probably not great going into business school, which is that I really hate the word “brand”. This word is very useful to convey the idea of how a company presents itself to the outside world, but it’s become the new “thinking outside the box” catch-all term that doesn’t always make sense. One of the speakers this weekend mentioned “building your own personal brand.” Acknowledging one’s talents and abilities is very important in life, but navigating the complexities of human social interaction is a bit different from changing the font on a bag of Doritos. (Although if you had a Blazin’ Buffalo and Ranch soul you could probably rep that.)
You know what else is cool? Bold tags.