During one of my internship interviews I received a question that I would have never expected. Rather than the performance or case questions that are the norm, I was asked one question so open ended that it left me reeling for a moment.
“You have an hour to do whatever you want. What do you do?”
They’re looking for something here. Do I say skydiving to make myself seem adventurous? Do I show dedication to a task? Do I talk about how many of my free hours are spent watching old sci-fi television, or does this particular company frown on excess Space: 1999? I cleared my throat and gave the only answer I thought was logical.
“I’d have lunch.”
While this answer may have helped me land my eventual internship at Myriad Restaurant Group in New York, it seemed incongruous for many other companies. Only lunch? There’s nothing more important you want to be doing? Nothing more adventurous or exciting? What’s the benefit of lunch when you have the whole of human experience? It may sound odd, but I think a good meal with the right folks will help you more than anything.
[my apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien for the punny title]
It had to be a Chick-Fil-A sandwich… it only seemed fitting that the call about my first “big boy” MBA job would come while I was eating the same sandwich that I was making during my first real job as a “chicken maker” at Chick-Fil-A ten years ago while in high school.
Okay… that’s a lie… I was eating the new spicy chicken sandwich which wasn’t around when I worked at Chick-Fil-A in high school, but it was still delicious nonetheless. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend the new spicy chic… wait, we’re getting off topic. Back to the story!
Coming to business school, I had set my career goal to work for an investment bank. Before Owen, I worked for a public accounting firm in their audit practice focusing on Energy companies in Houston, TX. Given my experience working with financial statements, especially companies that had to consistently raise money to build new rigs, buy new barges, or acquire new pipelines, I felt like I had a good background for joining an investment bank. My job as an auditor involved reviewing supporting documents to ensure that balances in a company’s financial statements were properly stated in all materi…
On [a rainy] Easter Sunday, it is particularly relevant to write a few thoughts about the past few years of my life here in Nashville. Today is about meaning and significance. It begs remembrance, reverence, and purpose. I feel that I must call myself to account for my time in this city; and as it has revolved much around business school, I will try to especially hone in on that context.
The title of this writing is borrowed from the reverend John Piper, who wrote a book by the same name that was given to me by my church community upon graduating from high school near Charleston, South Carolina. I had absolutely no idea nor conviction as to why I should have read it at the time, because I was 18 and ruled the world. But its message was as relevant then as it is today, will be tomorrow, and I suspect in the last minutes of my life. It’s also a great title because I figure that 97% of anyone glancing at this only wanting the twitter version, or executive summary, can already walk away with it.
A team of 15 Owen students will head to Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business next month to compete in the MBA Games, an annual fundraiser benefiting Special Olympics of North Carolina. Started by Fuqua students in 1989, this event is in its 25th year and has raised over $2.2 million for this great cause.