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Austin Scholars Logo

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Posted by Ken Yearwood

Fellow brethren and sistren in Austin-hood,
It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you all to both the Kellogg and Austins Fellowship community!  Let me be the umpteenth person to say “CONGRATULATIONS”!  The things you all have accomplished to get to this point are undoubtedly amazing, and we second-year Austins (it’s weird to say that) look forward to meeting you all in the fall.


With the formalities out of the way, I hope you all have epic summer plans lined up.  Irrespective of whether you’ve finished work, or still have a few weeks left, I hope you’ve set aside time to do whatever it is that makes you happy.  If I were in your shoes again, I’d have the following in mind:

(1) Spend quality time with friends and family: Business school is a whirlwind experience that will consume your life for the next two years (in a good way!), so it’s also important that you spend time with your family and friends this summer.  Before you know it, you’ll be in Evanston!

(2) Craft a flexible plan: People come to business school for a whole host of reasons.  Some come knowing exactly the types of roles they’re interested in pursuing at a few select companies.  Others are looking for a “vacation” from work, and are open to the opportunities that business school presents.  No matter where you fall in the mix, consider taking one day (no more than that! Have fun!) to think through a few industries or career paths you’re interested in.  You’ll appreciate having a plan in the fall when everything your classmates are doing sounds attractive (we call this the “Atrium Effect”, but more on that later).

(3) Fully engage: More than anything else, come to Kellogg ready to participate and challenge yourself.  Come with the intent to befriend and speak to people who look and think differently than you do.  Never eat lunch by yourself, and find ways to leave the Kellogg community better than you found it when you arrived.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re going on the KWEST Uruguay / Argentina trip, stop reading!  Part of fully engaging in KWEST is committing to not stalking your KWESTees in advance of the trip.  I promise, it’ll be worth it come August.


If you don’t feel like you’ve done it enough already, you’ll get used to introducing yourself and telling “your story” in the next six months.  Here’s mine: I was born and raised in Connecticut, and my parents hail from the West Indies.  I grew up about two hours east of New York City and two hours south of Boston, which means I’m a completely confused sports fan.  I studied mechanical engineering at Columbia University, graduating in 2009.  After Columbia, I remained in NYC, spending time in investment banking at Barclays Capital, engineering consulting, and corporate finance at GE just prior to Kellogg.  During this time, I also co-founded an education non-profit that conducts STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) camps for students primarily in New York City and Africa, although we’ve done work in six countries in the last five years.


Everyone says this, but it’s true.  First year passes by in the blink of an eye!  I can only imagine looking back at the end of next year feeling the same way about the entire two-year experience.  I am in the MMM program, so I started classes last June.  It’s the first time that I’ve ever been in class for 12 months straight, so while I’m looking forward to a break this summer, I’m also envious of you all about to kick things off.  In the past year, I’ve gotten to know my incredibly accomplished, yet humble classmates; sat in and had conversations with esteemed business leaders, many such events limited to Austins Fellows; landed my choice internship; and traveled the world.


This week I wrapped up my last course project for the spring quarter, and I’m excited to start training at McKinsey here in Chicago on Monday!  For you aspiring consultants out there, I’d be happy to chat about why I chose consulting, and discuss my experience at McKinsey with you all closer to the end of the summer.  In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out either this summer or in the fall as you’re thinking through your “flexible plan”.  There are a ton of Kellogg folks staying in Chicago for their internships, and Chicago is one of the coolest places to be in the summer with all of the food festivals, boat parties, and street fairs.  Exploring Chicago last summer with the MMM’s was a blast, and while many of them will be all over the world interning, I’m really looking forward to spending more time exploring Chicago both with my intern class and Kellogg classmates.

At the end of the summer, I’m excited to be leading KWEST to Uruguay and Argentina!  I’ll spare you all the details since you chose other trips (slight judgement, but you’re bound to have fun).  After KWEST I’ll be joining 18 other Kellogg classmates for a four-day hike of Machu Picchu, and then joining other classmates in Colombia before joining you all back in Evanston in mid-September.


Candidly, I still can’t even believe I’m already halfway done.  That said, I can only imagine the joy with which I hope my classmates and I return to campus in the fall (ideally with job offers in hand!).  I look forward to serving as your Co-Chair with Kyle over the next 18 months, and I can’t wait to meet you all in September.  Wishing you all the best until then!

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