by Alison Bullock, EMBA 2018
On June 9, I graduated, along with my class of 67 others. After two years, we finally made it! The Kellogg School of Management master’s of business administration from the executive program is ours.
Not mine, but ours. Not I. But we.
I say we for my family. For their love and understanding. For their unwavering support. My sister Erin, her husband Frank, and their two young girls who came to visit me just 6 months into my time in the program, then came back to see me walk across the stage a year and a half later. For my brother Barry and his wife Tamara, who became parents and got married during my time at Kellogg, and who understood when I raced home from India to be there as they brought their baby girl into the world. To my grandmother and aunts and uncles, cousins and second cousins who gave me encouragement and assured me “persistence pays off.”
I say we for my parents, Lonny and Edith. They instilled my love of learning and made sure I had the best possible educational opportunities growing up: from the preschool programs and school systems they chose, to Girl Scouting, to ensuring I had all of the right tools (and funding!) for undergrad at The University of Texas at Austin. Equipped with everything they taught me and myriad research over more than a year – I knew Kellogg was the place for my post-graduate education; moreover, I knew it was the right place for me based on the values most important in my life.
I say we for friends. For Brian, whom I was fortunate to meet at Kellogg. He is a bright light in my life and will graduate in just another six short months. For the friends and girlfriends from Kellogg who will forever be part of my life; they are my sisters. For old friends at home in Austin, new friends from around the world and others who shared their well wishes along the way. Without all of these people, I wouldn’t be here. They are my support, my team, my friends and my family forever.
I say we for my employer of more than eighteen years now, Dell. For the leaders who supported me in making my dream of going to the best business school in the world a reality. For Karen, Liz, Trisa and Bobbi. For my mentors Penne and Sue who kept me going and helped me find direction. For leaders like Tim who made me think differently about my career and what it means to keep challenging myself. For the colleagues and peers who encouraged me through my journey. Our people are the difference at Dell, and I’m proud to be one of the team!
I say we for my school study team, the “always awesome” Team A. Kristine, Rahul, Cameron, Kai and Siva. We made it together, and our capstone project culminating our two years of work together was our team at its finest: helping one another, challenging each other and committing to delivering as a team. Lou Malnati’s and Deep Dish Affinity forever!
I say we for the Wildcat Women. Each is strong, powerful, wise and beautiful – also unique and irreplaceable. We learned so much from each other’s example, and the relationship bonds we formed can’t be broken with distance or time.
I say we for my cohort, the great 108! Sixty-eight of us all together, all the way to the end. I have gained so much just from knowing this diverse group and am forever humbled and grateful to have learned with and from them.
I say we for fellow Kellogg cohorts around the world. Meeting people from the six sister campuses to our Evanston home during global week and the global elective experiences we shared in Germany and Hong Kong will live forever in my memory. Learning from each other’s perspectives, values, cultures and expertise helped to enrich and broaden our own.
I say we for the EMBA staff. For the faculty. For the university. For all of the people who gave so willingly of themselves to help us learn, who make us better. For Sally, our dean. For Colette, who interviewed me. For Larry, Aubrey and Christine. For Greg. For Linda and Mary. For Erin. For Bridget. For Stephanie. For my executive coaches Jackie and Steve. And of course for Miguel, our beloved bartender…and so many others! These are the people who make Kellogg world class.
I say we for Kellogg, for the number one executive MBA program in the world. All together, we are the best of all of us.
We did it.