As I think back on the past month-plus, I cannot help but think about the incredible Kelley community. It was unimaginable months ago, just as it was across the world, to think that we would have our lives turned upside down. Yet, as I have realized, the worst of times help you appreciate the best parts of everything else.
In April, I had my original summer internship at a management consulting firm rescinded due to COVID-19. Like others around the country who have also lost their internships, or worse, full-time jobs, I was stunned. We all feel invincible until we don’t. My first reaction was to tell the second-year MBAs that had helped train and coach me to get that internship. As always, they were incredibly supportive. Next, I reached out to my academy director and career coach in Graduate Career Services and I will never forget their reactions. It was essentially this: “Don’t worry, no problem, we have your back.” Instantly, a sense of calm washed over me. I knew that it, in fact, would not be a problem and that I would rebound. Afterward, I reached out to the rest of my network on LinkedIn and other recent Kelley alumni that I knew. It would be an understatement to say that I received incredibly supportive messages of encouragement from everyone. I now felt even more supported and empowered after hearing from people across my network. After a couple interviews over roughly 3 weeks, I had landed two more offers for the summer and finally accepted a new, 10-week, internship starting June 1st*. There were certainly moments of doubt over that time, but I always had the supportive Kelley community to rely on for words of wisdom and additional help.
Once the semester ended, though, I was stuck. As in, literally stuck in Bloomington since it was not feasible to go home to the east coast and my internship would be remote. So, over the last few weeks, I have, again, relied on the Kelley friendships and overall community for support. Most of my first-year friends have stayed local as well so it has been a chance to get to know them even better. As the weather has warmed up that has included long, socially distanced, walks down the B-line or numerous rounds of golf (and thus searching for golf balls) at the local course. The best moments of all though have come at the local park, The Mill, near where most of us live that has become the unofficial MBA summer picnic spot. So far, we have celebrated at least three birthdays there and, I expect, will do so for more throughout the summer. It has been the highlight of my time off before my internship and I expect it will be so the rest of the summer weekends.
Now though, as coffee shops and restaurants in Bloomington continue to reopen, a sense of normalcy is returning to all our lives. It won’t be like it was before, but I know that, along with the rest of the MBA community, it will be pretty darn close and that’s good enough for me.
*Nick will be interning with AthenaHealth in their customer success/business transformation team.