Last night I went with my wife to a Graduation Gala -2012 for GWSB. The Gala was held at the Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery. Quite an impressive venue at night (someone told me they were not quite impressed with it in daylight). I have mixed feelings about the event, though I mostly managed to redeem the whole experience by the end of the night.
First, as we entered the courtyard I was surprised to see so many unfamiliar faces. For some reason I had thought it was an MBA graduation gala only. Turned out it was for all masters’ programs in GWSB: all flavors of MBA, MSPM, MSIST, Finance, Accounting, Tourism, etc., AND the undergraduates. That explained why I had hard time to spot familiar faces in the crowd at first. It was a humbling experience to realize that I did not know most of the people, unlike in my previous venture at MBA Gala. Later on I turned it into a benefit by actually meeting new people I would not be able to meet otherwise. It was also fun to spend some time with my Project Management buddies.
Second, I somehow did not get into the dancing mood this time. I hardly entered the dance area for the whole night. Even though I enjoyed shmoozing around all night, without dancing the night was somewhat incomplete for me.
Third, the most disappointing thing was that not many of my graduating MBAs came to the Gala. I enjoyed seeing whoever was there, but frankly I was expecting to see most of my graduating class. It seemed to me that considerably less than a half of the graduates showed up. One of the reasons could be that it was a week night and everyone, at least from part-time MBA program, had to go to work in the morning. Still, it’s a shame they missed this last chance to have fun and say hello. The Commencements are coming this weekend, but it will be more formal atmosphere. And I bet you, everyone will head in their own direction once the ceremony is over.
At least I had a chance to meet some new people, including a surgeon who got his Healthcare MBA online, and an undergrad. I would never meet them and have some interesting conversations if not for the Graduation Gala.