I was a stringer (freelance writer paid by the piece) for the Philadelphia Inquirer for one Penn vs. Brown game on a cold October day during my junior year at Penn. Beginning my sophomore year, I wrote for the sports section of the Daily Pennsylvanian (the DP, the award-winning independent daily student newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania), and for this game, the Inquirer didn’t send anyone and asked the DP writer (me) to submit a story. When the windows in press box at Brown Stadium got too foggy to see and report accurately on the football game, my fellow writer and I slid open the windows, which left us vulnerable to the horizontal rain carried inside by gusting wind. My words-per-minute plummeted. I don’t remember how much the check was for, but I do remember it wasn’t very much, and I also remember being so thrilled about it.
I was a sportswriter for the Daily Pennsylvanian, and this was one of the more fun articles that we got to write every year. The event usually takes place in a small theatre, onto whose stage prance Penn’s fittest students. There’s a lot of shrieking, flexing, and nervous laughing, all over a Jay-Z / ACDC / Taylor Swift soundtrack.
Many business schools do some sort of practical, onsite learning / client-work (the line between those two can get really blurred), and at MIT Sloan, those courses are called Action Learning Labs. There are a number of fascinating offerings, including China Lab, India Lab, Global Entrepreneurship Lab, Operations Lab, Analytics Lab, etc. One of the newest lab courses is called USA Lab: Bridging the American Divides. The course was first offered in 2017, the year after the results of a certain election surprised a certain segment of our country – no official comment on whether that chronology represents causation or mere correlation. As part of USA Lab, I, along with two other MIT graduate students, spent a semester working with the Community Foundation for Greater Dubuque and a week in Dubuque, Iowa, living on the property of the convent of the Sisters of the Presentation. Those two weeks and the course more broadly afforded some of the most meaningful experiences of my MBA studies. This report was the final deliverable presented to the Community Foundation.