At the end of his journey, Mu Ye (1Y 2020) offers his candid thoughts on why Kellogg exceeds his expectations in every possible way.

GCC Series: Life at Kellogg as a 1Y MBA Student

This blog post is part of a series from representatives of Kellogg’s Greater China Club. Check back for more updates!

By Mu Ye (1Y 2020)

At the end of the winter quarter, another 1Y student told me that I might be the one who spent the least amount of time among the Full-Time MBAs at Kellogg. This statement makes total sense given that I arrived in Evanston just the day before CIM and had to leave before the third semester ended because of the pandemic. To be honest, as a sponsored 1Y student, I did not really have a high expectation on what I would gain from this journey. However, after I got here, I realized every day in Evanston was a gift for me. I liked all the lessons I learned, all the people I met and all the experiences I had–a lot.

Kellogg’s academic experience

The academic experience at Kellogg was the first thing that surprised me. I must admit that I was not passionate about the MBA courses before I walked into Global Hub. As a consultant who majored in Economics and Finance during undergrad, I simply assumed there would be a huge overlap between what I was going to learn and what I’ve already known. However, the variety and rigor of the courses offered at Kellogg proved me wrong: The intense Global Entrepreneurial Finance class; the heartwarming Personal Leadership Insights class; the unique, onsite internship provided by Private Equity Lab; the interesting global experience with Doing Business in Israel; the exciting Introduction to Software Development, which taught me how to code languages… The knowledge and experiences equipped my brain and heart, enabling me to go further in my life.

The Kellogg community

Among all the surprises, one thing that stood out to me was how wonderful the people are at Kellogg. KWEST gave me a warm family in global community, and GCC gave me a sweet home. As a somewhat shy person, I was always afraid of my MBA classmates being aggressive and tough. However, it turns out that all of them are super nice, kind, and friendly. It’ truly no surprise that Kellogg is known for its tight-knit community. We help each other in every aspect, spending time outside of class, discussing homework questions and sharing perspectives about social problems together. I had an enjoyable year with the best people, and the pure friendship is the most valuable thing I received during my MBA adventure.

When it comes to life in Evanston, it really is a wonderful town to stay in and enjoy the beauty of life. In summer, the peaceful Lake Michigan is the perfect place to swim, windsurf and sail. People will find it’s a waste of nature for not jogging or cycling along the lake, even for those who hate aerobics, like me. In winter, the splendid storms and waves would always remind me of the power of the earth and the insignificance of humanity, making my difficulties and troubles into tiny drops in the ocean.

Looking forward

In this nine-month short journey, I can feel my changes and growth. The most important things that I learned at Kellogg are not knowledge or skills, but who I am and what I really want. I still have the three engraved joy stones on my desk and the stones read: “What do you stand for?”; “Everything communicates.”; and “The smartest people learn from everyone else.” Before the day I packed up my luggage, we 1Y students from GCC–or 3/4 Y students to be precise–painted a rock along the Lakefill together as a long-standing tradition of Kellogg graduates. I hope that the next time when I walk by that rock, I will smile peacefully, knowing that my days after graduation are as colorful as what I had in Evanston and that I still hold my beliefs as a proud Kellogg alumnus.