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Signing Off…

The past few weeks have gone by in a blur (and not just because of all the alcohol). I’ve been to ’70s and ’80s parties. I’ve sailed on the Austin Powers boat cruise. I’ve gone to a James Bond gala. I’ve participated in Section Olympics at the Kong. I’ve done karaoke, hosted an engagement party, found an apartment in New York, helped plan a trip to Miami in May, learned the art of flip cup, saw a variety of speakers and played lots of tennis. (Oh, and I’ve gone to class.) All my meals have been booked. I’ve had no time for myself. And I’ve barely been getting my work done.

So if you thought that I’d feel any less frantic writing my final Harbus article than when I wrote my first one, think again.

Granted, I started out at HBS worried about all the technology requirements at school, dealing with my first cold call, struggling with finance, coping with grief and trying to make it through the RC in one piece. Now my major issue is whether I have time to go to the gym in between my lunch date, paper editing session and section Red Sox game.

Sure, I’m a little concerned about life after business school. No, I don’t have a job. Yes, I’m honestly considering writing a book and seeing if I can make a living doing something I love. No, I don’t know what my plans are for the summer yet. Yes, I’ve booked a restaurant for my family during graduation.

But frankly, the whirlwind of events over the past few weeks have made quiet periods of introspection and soul-searching near impossible.

Perhaps this intense socializing is just the HBS way of distracting us from what’s really going on. After all, if I did have time to think about the fact that I’ve had my last class, made my last comment, written my last paper and had my last section capstone class, I’d be a total mess.

The only time my emotions broke through the surface was at the end of my last class. Prof. Ashish Nanda gave the most inspiring, breath-taking closing speech I’ve ever heard. Literally, for forty minutes, there wasn’t a sound in the classroom, no paper shuffling, no coughing, no moving.

Silence. As Prof. Nanda shared his life lessons with us, contributing stories from his own life, encouraging us to follow our passions, keep a sparkle in our eyes, be kind to those around us and be tough-minded and soft-hearted, I could feel the tears welling up.

Not only were his words meaningful and poignant, but I also felt that in that very class my HBS experience had come full circle. After all, Prof.

Nanda gave me my first cold call in Foundations. I was in his class as the planes struck the World Trade Center. It was his class I ran out of the next morning, shocked that we were really trying to have a case discussion when my best friend was missing and my world was turned upside down. It was he who was an example of how well HBS dealt with the crisis. And now, two years later, it was he who led my final class at HBS and bid me farewell.

As I picked up my laminated classcard for the last time, remembering all too well how awkward it had looked when I put it in front of me the first day of Foundations, I was overcome with nostalgia. I promptly ran to the ladies room and burst into tears.

I had made it. I’d done it. I’d survived the two years. I’d stuck it out even through the most difficult period of my life. I felt relieved, happy, sad, exhausted and proud all at the same time. I even went home and called my parents to thank them for encouraging me so much and giving me the strength and will to just keep going.

But enough of this reflection. There’s Newport Ball to get ready for!

There are more dinner parties, trips to Foxwoods and barbeques! There
are graduation festivities to come! This is no time to be sad!

Plus, now I’ve written my last Harbus article. I’ve handed in the towel.

I’m officially done.

Onwards and upwards.

May 5, 2003
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