Be the Change You Want to See in the Business World

November 21st, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

NI 09

Last weekend I made the smart decision of attending this year’s Net Impact Conference appropriately labeled as the conference for Changemakers, Innovators and Problem Solvers. The conference was hosted by the Johnson School of Business at Cornell University and it was a two day event that was kicked off Friday (11/13/09). A pretty good indication of the quality of content and speakers that were going to be at the conference became evident when I found out that Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, would be the keynote speaker on Friday morning.

The Office of Career Services helped to provide a bus for all the 20 or so of us students that decided to go to the conference. The bus ride up set the mood for a great weekend as it there was a buzz of excitement on the bus as we watched a movie and shared in some boxed (only the best quality for us MBA students) wine and beer. We got to cold Ithaca, NY late on Thursday night but we still have enough energy to soak up the local culture by finding a nice bar close to our Super8 Motel (another indication that we are debt-filled students). Who could resist $4 cosmos at Felica’s Atomic Lounge.

Early rise and shine for us all as we headed to Cornell to see Mr. Immelt’s inspiring speech about what GE does for innovation in energy and how policy is going to change. Some of us (me and my friend who waited for me to get ready) missed the Smith bus shuttle to campus…but we still made it in time to see most of the speech! For breakout session number 1, I attended a panel of J&J employees about the Johnson & Johnson credo since the beginning of the company to be cognizant of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and providing products that keep the consumer and the environment healthy. I loved every minute of the panel because J&J is a company I have really admire for years now because of not only their portfolio of consumer and pharmaceutical products, but also because of their history as a company that is trying to satisfy consumer needs in a responsible way. There were many more interesting sessions that taught me many new things, especially since I am a novice in terms of my education in this arena. Actually, the main reason I wanted to go to the ’09 Net Impact Conference was to learn while immersing myself in the language of CSR and green products.

Friday night about 20 of us representing Smith went out to a Thai restaurant in Ithaca and those types of moments where we are all laughing over a few beers and some spicy Thai food really are my favorite parts about these conferences. It was a great weekend to get to know some of the first year kids (even though most are older than me) and create more fun and ridiculous memories with my fellow second years. Something I forgot to mention is that I ended up begin the only female second year so of course while it was a lot of fun; I was the target for many jokes throughout the weekend. Yet, please don’t have pity on me because I dish the jokes just as much as I can take them.

Well, now it is a week later and I find myself this weekend in Philly for a good friends wedding. See, the life of an MBA student can be just so busy sometimes and a shock when you realize how much more so than you remember in college. This is all an art that I am still learning to perfect of the balance between the real adult world and the bubble world and responsibilities of being a student.

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