I thought that a very important component of a business school experience is networking, and I don’t think networking is best done over beers. You have a good time, but it doesn’t make a lasting impression of the people you’re with. I wanted to create a forum in which people could share what they’re passionate about and where they want their careers to go, such that, if I ever run into an issue that is relevant to you, I can send it your way. I really think that compounding effect within the network can be really powerful, especially when you’re in a cluster of 60–70 people that you’ve become very close to, both in the first semester and in the two years that you’re in business school.
I felt that by creating a forum in which you give roughly 10 minutes to every person and then open it up to questions, you give people an opportunity not just to practice public speaking but also pitch themselves and say, “This is what I care about.” I ask that everyone address the question, “What matters to me and why?” and I think that if you address that successfully then it will make a lasting impression on everyone, plus you’ll be dedicated to that in 10, 20, even 50 years.
I really hope it becomes part of the culture and part of the CBS experience: to share among your cluster what you’re passionate about, so that when you leave your cluster, you know that person cares about X and I care about Y and that person cares about C and then your cluster really becomes an effective network that helps your career progress.
As an alum, I would love to be able to ask anyone interviewing for a job, “What matters to you most,” and they can give me a good answer. That means someone is hopefully taking their career where they care about most.