Monday, March 12, 2012

True worth of Kellogg: Networking

In this post, I will talk about what I consider to be the most important feature of a Kellogg MBA: Networking opportunities.

According to me, the most important goal of an MBA education is to network feverishly and get to know as many people as possible. Now, when I say networking, I mean it in the genuine sense and not acquiring contacts for the sole purpose of using them. Genuine networking happens when you are truly interested in getting to know the opposite person and looking for ways to help him/her out regardless of personal benefit. Such networking helps in not only professional enrichment but also personal enrichment.

That being said, I can safely claim that Kellogg provides the biggest opportunity to network through it's heavy emphasis on teamwork. I don't know whether this was by design or chance but even in the worst case scenario you will graduate from Kellogg knowing at least 200 (yes, two hundred) students (and this is a conservative estimate). Let's see how this number came about:

1. KWEST (Kellogg worldwide experience and service trip) - These trips are led by 2nd year students and take the incoming students to several parts of the world. New students sign up in advance for their choice of destination. Each group is normally composed of 25-30 students and the most striking feature of the trip is that no one is supposed to ask about the backgrounds of other students during the trip. At the end of the trip, everyone is supposed to guess about the other participants. In addition, the trips are usually very intense and this results in bonding amongst the students.

Conclusion: You end the trip and start your Kellogg experience with 30 lifelong friends.
Tally: 30

2. Teamwork - You are supposed to work with different teammates for each course. In total there are 24 courses which you must take up, each requiring 5 persons in a teams; therefore you work with 120 different students during the two years.

Conclusion: You get to know 120 students up close.
Tally: 30+120 = 150

3. GIM (Global initiatives in Management) - This is a course in which you are required to study a target country during the quarter and then visit them for 10 days as part of the coursework. Usually a GIM group consists of 30-35 students.

Conclusions: 24x7 with 15 people for 10 days brings you very close to them.
Tally: 150 + 35 = 185

4. Career Treks - Several treks are organized by Kellogg, e.g. Entrepreneurship Trek, VC Trek, etc. which takes interested students to several parts of US and the world where they interact with related companies and hob nob with domain experts. The groups usually consist of 10-15 students.

Conclusion: You know what I am getting at.
Tally: 185 + 15 = 200

This is not even taking into account the numerous clubs you will be part of, which will take the minimum tally to 250. And if you are full of energy and a networking maniac, you are looking at 500+ connections in two years alone. Now, where else will get this?

Kellogg really undersells itself.