It’s a Dirty Job!
March 14th, 2011 - No Comments
On my first day of work in July 2008, I looked out the window of my brand new office and thought “Wow—what a view! That’s a great big pile of dirt I’m looking at”. It was summer, so the pile of dirt was, well, brown, and somewhat muddy on rainy days, and even a little mossy in places that hadn’t been touched in awhile.
The giant pile of dirt would eventually become the location of the Penn State Arboretum. Those of us who work or take classes in the Business Building have the privilege of being only a quick walk across the street from this beautiful place that celebrates nature and whisks us away into a fairy tale land of flowers and scents come mid-June when everything blooms. While the end result was well worth the wait, it was indeed almost two years of dirt (and probably longer as the dirt was already there when I arrived). Dry dirt, wet dirt, grassy dirt, snow covered dirt, ice covered dirt, half-melted sleet and who-knows-what-mixed-in-with-it dirt. For those of you familiar with Penn State and Pennsylvania winters, you can probably imagine that our winter weather is not a stellar selling point, especially for those coming from more temperate climates. The pile of dirt was not helping our case for pleading that we really DO have a campus with beautiful scenery to those who were visiting for the first time.
One of my favorite memories of the dirt pile was meeting with a prospective applicant who was visiting the U.S. from Thailand. She had just spent 5 hours on a bus from NYC in January to get to my office. As I explained the layout of the general vicinity to her from my office window, her eyes grew wide. The dirt pile was snow-covered at that point, and she thought ALL of it was SNOW. I quickly explained the construction project and assured her that it was really only a few inches of snow on top of a very large mound of dirt underneath. I’m not completely sure she believed me, as her application never did appear on my desk.
As the dirt mound flattened out and the structure of the Arboretum began to emerge outside my window, it was really like watching a butterfly slowly go through a metamorphosis and emerge from its cocoon. I guess, in retrospect, the pile of dirt had a long, painstaking two year transformation to a beautiful garden. Coincidentally, I suppose this is much like that of the transformation we see as our MBA students go through during the two year MBA program. They begin as humble applicants and emerge as proud graduates. Like seeing the dirt mound go from “just something” to “something fantastic”, it didn’t happen overnight, and it clearly took a lot of effort and teamwork to achieve the end result. The returns for the time spent will be felt by many for years to come, and we hope our MBAs feel the same way after completing the Penn State Smeal MBA.
–Stacey DorangUncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.