Where's Nate?

living large in the four-oh-eight. wicked large.


the counseling life.

It's good to be a counselor. Last week Paige was wined and dined at Duke, where she had the chance to see one of the most exciting finishes in recent history at Cameron Indoor. Can you say, "jealous"? I can.

never too old.

Friday night was the second annual MBA prom...errr...Winter Formal. So we did what any prom-going group of teenagers did and got all dressed up, went out for a fancy dinner, rented a party bus, and danced all night. The event was held this year at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn which holds a little significance for me. After all, when my dad was getting my MBA in Ann Arbor a few decades ago, my mom worked at the museum. I was so delighted by this fun fact that I told everyone on our bus and then called my folks at one in the morning (sober, of course).

Here's Jocelyn looking stylin' in her painted John Deere hat and matching dress. Carl wore the green hat and tie combo. Very clever. Was that the last Prom for yours truly? Or do I need to get my PhD?


late night ramblings.

The Admissions Office asked me to write up a "typical" week to share in a newsletter for admitted students. So I decided to share it with the greater wheresnate audience. Lucky you.

There’s no such thing as a typical week at Ross. Just when you think you have it figured out, a new meeting or club event or social activity blows up your calendar. Below is a sample week from last November.

(A bit of background. I’m a Silicon Valley kid focusing on Marketing and Entrepreneurship while at Ross. My plan is to go back to the Bay Area after I graduate in April. I’m married, own a little white dog named Fenway, and have been a Wolverine fan since birth. You can put yourself to sleep by reading my blog, wheresnate.com.)

While I’m a bit groggy after a full day of tailgating yesterday, I realize that today has to be a productive one. Big meeting with my Strategic Marketing Planning team. This class revolves around a marketing simulation that requires us to make dozens of decisions each week; our firm is leading the industry, but we’re holding back on high fives. We decide to reconfigure our product, tweak our marketing spending, and pray that our capacity decisions will hold up. I feel bad for our competition.

Class in the morning: World Economy and New Venture Creation. Mock interviews in the afternoon. As a Career Counselor through OCD, I spend a few hours each week helping MBA1s with their internship search. Somehow I’ve been labeled the “High Tech Guy” so I tend to be pretty busy. One MBA1 comes in and says high tech is his “back-up” industry and that he’s been prepping for consulting. So I’m sure to throw the toughest high tech case questions at him. He leaves a bit frazzled, but with a good sense of how and when to prepare. Nobody calls my industry a “back up.”

Law class. Lawyers really like commas and long sentences. So while I’m glad I’m not in law school, this requirement is helping me understand how to protect IP, a critical skill for an entrepreneur. I spend the afternoon running up to North Campus to meet with a prof in the College of Engineering who has a technology he wants to commercialize and then back to the B-school to film one of our deans for a comedy show next week. Strategic Marketing Planning at night. Our firm still leads the industry, but Professor Kinnear is starting to beat up our strategy a bit. Guess we have more work to do.

It’s gotten to the point where I need to schedule social time. A good friend and I meet at Maize and Blue for lunch, where she vents about the challenges of the interview process. I enjoy my delectable turkey sandwich and dill pickle. At night we have a Section 5 reunion at a local watering hole. It’s the first time since last year that our section has gotten together, and it’s hilarious. These are some of the most loyal friendships I have ever made, truly a group of lifelong friends.

Law class, again. And a big meeting for my New Venture Creation group. We think we have a compelling business model for our golf ball locator technology until our finance guy plugs some numbers into his magical spreadsheet. Crap. Undeterred, we head to Scorekeepers for the weekly B-school happy hour. I haven’t met an academic challenge yet that can’t be worked out over a free beer (or three). Late night run to NYPD on the pizza train.

Homework in the morning. Gotta prep for classes early next week, as it’s shaping up to be a busy weekend. Band practice with P-Hat, the all-Section 5 rock group we started as MBA1s. We have a gig next week, so it’s time to rock (pun intended). Today we review our drummer’s spreadsheet, which reveals we need to learn “Dani California” and “Take Me Out.” Only a B-school band would run it’s rehearsals by the light of Excel.

Thank goodness for an away game. More homework in the morning and I start to edit the video I shot earlier in the week. The afternoon is spent at a friend’s apartment, watching Michigan beat up on Indiana, and eating pizza for the third time in 48 hours. Head home with a smile on my face, ready to do it all again next week.


northern exposure.

Sometimes my alma mater call really bring in the big guns for a graduation address:

Former President Bill Clinton will deliver Middlebury's 2007 commencement address on May 27, marking the first address by a modern president to the College. The 42nd President of the United States will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the commencement and address an expected crowd of more than 5,000.

What's unique about Middlebury is that they don't pay for speakers, unlike 95% of other academic institutions. So while my Ivy League peers may yawn about an ex-President giving a commencement address, this is an interesting indicator of the rise of a premiere liberal arts college. Go Panthers. Williams sucks.

UPDATE (Jan 21): Clinton is stalking me. It seems that he's also giving the Commencement speech for the greater U of Michigan population (albeit not the B-school). What's next, Saratoga High?


bush's retirement

A great article from Bill Ferguson of the Salt Lake Tribune:

So let's start a campaign to send the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team to
Iraq in 2008. They deserve the opportunity to "finish the job" in Iraq,
and I think that the sight of the three of them tooling around the
streets of Baghdad in a lightly armored Humvee would do a lot to improve
the morale of all Americans.


one semester left.

So I'm back in Ann Arbor for the final semester of this wacky MBA experiment. Some very interesting courses this semester, including Valuation, Competitive Analysis, and Managing Innovation. I'll also be deciding soon where I will work full-time after graduation. I'm deep in planning FuturTech, which runs at the end of January, and helping with Follies, which hits the stage in February. Plus I have basketball tickets and am still doing career counseling and a consulting gig with a certain hardware company. In other words, I have a TON of free time.

Here's an interesting map that shows the travel I did between mid-December and this afternoon. A wedding in Naples, Florida. An interview in Seattle. Holidays in San Jose. More holidays in Seattle. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena. And back to Ann Arbor. Good times.


can a wolverine tuck his tail between his legs?

After the ass whooping laid on my Wolverines by the mighty Trojans, I'm surprised I had the patience to smile for the picture above. Perhaps it's because everything else about our journey to the Rose Bowl was epic. Great house in Santa Monica with a dozen of my buddies from Ross, cracking my first beer a 9:00am on game day, getting to share the Rose Bowl with Paige and Reed and Jessica. Maybe that two touchdown shellacking wasn't so bad, after all.

Then again, maybe it was. Looking forward to the rematch next January.