ALL POSTS BY: Taylor Forman
I believe that the people who comprise a person’s immediate environment determine whether a place or situation is fulfilling. For example, because I was with some great friends, I once had an amazing two days stuck in a car in a snowstorm. Additionally, when I think back to my undergraduate and professional experiences, I have no idea what grades I got on which tests but I do recall the classes with dynamic professors, being immature with my buddies, and working late nights on projects with my colleagues. At Vanderbilt, I have already started, and hope to continue, creating the same types of memories.
Additionally, there have been plenty of times in my life when I remember thinking, “Please don’t make me work with ______ (insert name here)”. That thought has crossed my mind at work, at college, and while playing awkward family games during the holidays, but not while at Owen. For the rest of our lives, we will be working in groups, and most of the time, we will have no control over their composition. It is reassuring to know that, at least for the next two years, I will not have to worry about who else is on my team. Everyone I have met at Owen is, in some unique way, smarter than me, and I thoroughly enjoy that feeling. Here at Owen, everyone wants to learn about how smart others are instead of competing or showcasing how smart they are.
Taylor Forman is a first year MBA student at the Owen Graduate School of Management. He comes to Vanderbilt from California where he worked in international human resources for an engineering company after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill.
When I arrived at the Abu Dhabi airport a little before midnight on a Monday, I collected my luggage and walked outside to find a taxi. I only know two Arabic words so when I handed the driver the address and he looked confused, I had little recourse other than to simply point at it again. And then, after he asked me a question in Arabic, I responded with “shukran” (which means “thank you”) and again resorted to the pointing tactic. We started driving toward the city and I thought how massive and well lit and familiar it seemed, and as we passed grandiose mosques in the distance, how foreign it was. When we arrived at my new home for the next eight months, a large apartment building rising skyward in the midst of multiple similar buildings, I paid the driver, grabbed all my belongings and he sped away.