Hello New Orleans!
Hello New Orleans!!!
I thought the first time I’d say this would be when I’d go for Mardi Gras but (un)fortunately I said this when I attended the National Black MBA Conference.
Everything leading up to the conference was so intimidating. Dressing up sharp wasn’t an issue but knowing if I was well prepared was surely one. Basically, I was uncertain if I was ready to meet my potential employer and talk comfortably about myself. Knowing myself, it was all the more difficult as I don’t enjoy talking (especially about myself) to strangers. But however, I made it through those two days without any panic attacks and I realized that these esteemed employers are also human and are not there to eat you up. If anything, they help put things in perspective and help gauge more about the industry, company and role.
My takeaways from the conference were: Keep your calm as much as you can, do your best to prepare and don’t stress on the night leading up to the conference, have a good night’s sleep, eat a heavy breakfast (you don’t want your stomach growling when you are talking to employers) and don’t get intimidated by the scale of the conference.
This conference is also a great bonding activity with your classmates. Make the most of it, you may or may not take a trip with them ever again. Try to have fun and collect as much swag as you can (the real reason we go to the conference :P)!
The non- conference side of my trip to New Orleans:
So I reach New Orleans and the Uber takes me to my AirBnB (I wanted to experience the famed American culture of BnBs). I was putting up with 3 other classmates (read friends turned into family). At the first look the house looked like the perfect set up for a horror movie but it soon turned amicable.
I didn’t do much on the first night I reached New Orleans as I wanted to prepare myself for the conference the next day. So, after my successful first day at the conference, my friends and I got ready to take over Bourbon Street. We ate at a seafood restaurant and walked around, collecting beads, the French quarters and Bourbon Street.
After the second successful day at the conference we did the same thing again with the addition of visiting a couple of Jazz bars.
I am not sure how much of a difference this conference has/will make on my career but this conference has surely left a long lasting effect on my personal life. My bonds with my friends have mushroomed and I have attained new levels of confidence.
1st Year MBA Student,
Robert H. Smith School of Business,
University of Maryland.