Exactly a week ago right now, I was driving home from my last class... my last presentation... the last everything. My Capstone team gave a killer final client presentation - the professor who was serving as our advisor for the project pulled our team out twice to tell us how awesome the presentation had been. We went all out - our first client presentation wasn't as good as we wanted and we got killed in the Q&A by the client panel. But boy did we come back strong! We were so excited to go out on such a high note. And after we finished, we were listening to the last team and you could just feel all the tension draining out. I looked over at Chad at one point and he was totally giddy and practically bouncing in his chair next to me. lol. I just couldn't help but laugh and start feeling a bit giddy myself! We walked out after class excxitedly talking about all the things we were going to do with ourselves. Like sleep. lol.
We weren't quite done with all things school yet - Tuesday night was our closing banquet instead of class so I got to head over to the Tanner Building one last time (I told some of the professors not to worry if they saw me haunting the halls there. Prof. Swain offered to give me a quiz if I needed it, and mentioned that he thought they might need to institute a step-down program. lol. I might need one!)
The banquet started with dinner, and then they showed the video that was made from all the filming they had done during Capstone - in our presentations, in our study rooms and some other stuff outside of that. They had our team do some funny things - the guys all did this flamenco thing with their coats and then walked away from the camera looking back over their shoulders and they had me reach up and take the clip out of my hair and shake it out - they were going to slow-mo it for the video. They did. Of all the footage that didn't get cut... lol. It was pretty hysterical, though. The entire video was awesome - they did this really humorous take on everything that morphed into showing how much we were doing and how hard we worked (and oh did we work. My team estimated that we put in 60 hours each during the two weeks or so. It felt like more. lol.) After the video, they gave awards. A few serious ones for best analysis, best presentation, etc... and then some funny ones. We called them the EMBYs (EMBA awards...lol) And who got the last, crowning award?
That would be me receiving "The Herbal Essence Award" from Prof. Swain for my hair tossing cameo in the video (seriously. How did they know I actually use Herbal Essence?). The presentation was accompanied by still shots from the video. It was pretty funny... so I tossed my hair a few more times on the way back to my seat. Might as well just ham it up, right? If I had a mantle, my little gold, plastic EMBY would go on it.
After the awards, Melinda and Matt got up to say a few things. At the end of Matt's remarks, I came up as a surprise to give some special gifts to our program director, Tad (he came on our FBE too) and Debbie, who basically coordinated everything we did for two years. We couldn't have gotten it all done without their help.
A few months ago I started collecting small donations from everyone in class, then I got people on each trip to help me - I gave them each a budget and had them buy little gifts in all of the countries we went to. When we got back, I collected everything and put together gift baskets of all the goodies and then added gift cards to a favorite local restaurant, La Jolla Groves (the owner / chef is another Marriott School guy. Gotta give props!) They were surprised and really loved them. It was so fun to be able to do that for them as a class.
After that, we watched slideshows from each of the trips. I have to admit, the Middle East slideshow (which was really a full-on video) was the best. Todd totally rocked out a professional video that he shared with all of us to download and keep. It's just for personal use so I can't post it, but it's such a treasure. I love watching it and seeing all the photos and video clips from the trip. I can't believe I've been home almost six weeks! And I'm still amazed that I got that opportunity.
Finally, it was all over so we wandered around getting a few more shots of friends as we started to break up.
Some of the guys from the Asia trip, showing off their custom-made suits (Brent, Greg, Kenny, Brandon, Dr. Jackson, Mark and Josh).
Friends from the Middle East FBE - Nicole and Joe, Prof. Radebaugh, and Steve and his daughter Natalie:
And then a bunch of the Middle East FBEers got together with some of our professors for another photo opp:
We were missing a few people from the executive committee, but Matt, Dave and I got together for one last shot before we headed out:
School might be finished, but it's really just a beginning. We'll all see each other at graduation in August - definitely looking forward to it. And Matt and I get to work together to plan reunions and class activities for the next five years so we can all keep in touch. In the meantime, I'm working on a class yearbook - we're going to get them uploaded so we can all order copies and bring them to graduation where we can go full on high school and sign them (lots of K.I.T. in my future! lol.)
So I'm sad to be done - I really miss my peeps! I've been so bored this week... I need to get back into my hobbies to start getting busy again! I don't know what to do with myself with so much time in the evenings. But part of it has been that this is a slow week for me, especially at work. Why, you might ask? Well... remember that little mystery I alluded to in my last post? (like 3 weeks ago? I guess I just lost my excuse for slacking. lol.) Well, it's time for the big reveal. The fact is, this week has been slow because tomorrow is my last day at Ancestry. That's right, a little over two weeks ago I gave my notice and I'll be starting a new job on Monday. My new office is about a whopping 300 feet away from the old one. lol. I had been interviewing with Adobe earlier this year after they found me via LinkedIn and mutual acquaintances. I didn't feel like it was the right position for me and they ended up going with someone who had a bit more experience in a certain area, so it all worked out, but last month they recommended me to my new company who contacted me while I was still on the trip and brought me in a few days after I got back from Dubai. Less than three weeks later I had an offer and the next day I accepted it and gave notice. I'm going in as the Optimization Manager for their website and I'm really excited. I think this is going to be a great opportunity and the company and culture should be a really good match for my personality. I'm sad to be leaving the friends I've made, but I won't be far away :) It's great to be putting the MBA to work in a new position so soon! Gotta make all that hard work (and money!) pay off, right? I'll be busy getting to know new people, settling in, learning a new company and systems and getting their optimization program off the ground. So this weekend I'm going to enjoy sleeping in before I dive in to my next adventure. Stay tuned :)