Hello. Welcome to the Starvton Graduate School of Business, or as we often refer to it informally, the GSB (pronounced “Gee Ess Bee”). I’m Chad Greensburg, I’m gonna be helping you get oriented today, show you the lay of the land. Take a look around you – these people, yourself included – are the best and brightest. Last year, when my class came in for orientation, the administration felt confident that we were the best and brightest. Then they got a look at the collective work histories and accomplishments of your class and strongly considered dismissing my class to let your class be the sole GSB representative of bestness and brightness. Financial considerations prevented that from happening – but do not take this mantle lightly.
Look to your left – bestness. Take a gander to your right – brightestness. Sure, not everyone’s cut from exactly the same cloth of excellence – see that gentleman with the large forehead, breathing through his mouth? His name’s Stan Conner, and he got in sheerly through perseverance – he literally wore down the admissions office with his refusal to take “no” for an answer. His failure to keep up / general demeanor will inspire some clever sort to nickname him “Connorhea” – but he’s pretty much the only exception this year. And his shortcomings are more than made up for by the presence of that guy there: Nelson Yang, who had a 5.0 GPA at MIT (Electrical Engineering) and turned down an offer to be the first analyst ever promoted directly to managing director at Goldman Sachs, to come here. Some classmates might offer a little more in the way of bestness, and some might be more established at brightestness. But, on the margins (you will learn what that means in econ 101, but you should start using it in pretty much every declarative statement to sound smart), every one of your new colleagues will heighten your learning experience and network buildout.
I see from this information packet that you’re a white guy from the Midwest. Wow, what’s that like? One thing that you might find a little disconcerting here at the GSB is that you will be a minority for probably the first time in your life. In fact, everyone from the U.S. – white, black, native american, eskimo american – is a minority here. You are all generally lumped in the category of “dipshit Americans.” Diversity through role reversal – it works. You’ll see groups of people you think are average white guys like yourself, but they are more than likely Europeans. It’s generally pretty easy to confirm – if they dress better (or wildly inappropriately) and have cool accents then they are from Europe or South Africa. You are likely to hear a lot about “McKinsey” when you are in the presence of these folks; that’s not only their previous employer, but an emblem of their intelligence and business acumen. You’re probably better off just steering clear of them. And, never, I mean never, ask an Italian guy how many sweaters he’s wearing.
This scenic garden is Lucky’s Meditation and Freestyling spot, a donation from the late rapper Tupac Shakur. He donated his entire paycheck from Poetic Justice. It’s where we come to just hang and chill. That gentleman over there, with the olive green blazer and elbow patches? He’s rumored to be Tupac’s uncle; he came over from Long Beach State in the mid-90s. Might just be a coincidence. He teaches a highly popular second year class, “How To Make A Dollar Out Of Fifteen Cents.”
That’s your team sitting over there at the table, I’ll give you the 411 on some of your “podmates” before we walk over. First off, you are an A New Hope: Tusken Raider. Every year we divide the first year students into 5-6 large groups which are subdivided into 10 or so smaller teams. Then we whimsically name them. Last year it was continents and indigenous mammals. I was an Australia: Nabarlek. A nabarlek is a smallish wallaby know for its disproportionate speed and incredible brightness. Tough luck for your team not getting Wookies.
That tall kid there on the left? That’s Mason Parsnip – he’s from the Northeast, his family is impossibly wealthy and he’s at the GSB to prove that he has the entrepreneurial chops to stand on his own two feet. Even before classes start, he’s working on the business plan for his iPhone application development company. First app: iHunger, in which the voice of Sinistar offers practical advice to everyday situations (currently most helpful for workout-related questions). In development: iPitythefool, which will overlay gold chains and mohawks on all your iPhone photos.
The girl to Mason’s left is Pareetha Shantanu-Wattal; she’s an ex-IT consultant from India. At the onset, she is likely to talk pretty much nonstop and express an overconfidence bordering on narcissistic personality disorder. Don’t worry though – after she gets a 54% on her first Econ exam, she will dial it back considerably. Still a lot of talking, but more of the nervous energy type than the “I’m fucking right, listen to me” type. She’s coming into B-school hoping to transition to strategy consulting (McKinsey, of course) and will probably leave hoping to work in the back office at TD Bank.
To Pareetha’s left is Xiaiaiioooaio X, from Beijing. Phonetically, you pronounce it “shay-owe-oh-oh-ay.” She’s more than likely gonna go by “Shay” here, because of the Neanderthal Americans, such as yourself. In an ironic twist straight out of an afterschool special, you will end up having as much or more in common with her than anyone else on your team. That’s because she’s actually laid back, one of the 1% of people that fit that description in any given grouping of the best and brightest. Another common interest: she wants to get paid, so she is one of the greedy cretins who’ve mentioned an interest in – blech – finance.
That corn-fed looking fella to sitting next to Shay is Barney Jones – he’s also from the south or midwest, like you. The administration has found that matriculants with your unique background (and likely commingled DNA) generally do better when quaranteamed teamed together. Allen’s application really stood out from the pack due to his ability to quote extensively from Aaron Sorkin dramas and clearly describe how he improved the performance of the Lynchburg DMV. Barney’s looking to become a strategy consultant under the assumption that there will always be demand for people with little real world experience, but lots of charts and studies.
The final member of your team is Vakasa Siden, the gentleman with the cufflinks that are the size of a cowboy’s belt buckle. What Vakasa lacks in GMAT proficiency, he makes up for in polish, poise and keywords gleaned from ten year old Vault guides. Vakasa’s background is finance: he was the first to securitize earnings streams from Nigerian 419 cooperative income programs. He’s planning to go back into finance, assuming certain legal obstacles can be overcome.
Ready to go meet the team?