As this Winter quarter abruptly came to a close, there are quite a few items that I feel are necessary to touch on. I think we can all agree that 2020 has lasted a lifetime already and it literally just started. It is incredibly difficult to put into words the range of emotions and experiences that have encapsulated the past three months of life for me: excitement, disaster, celebration, fear, anticipation, happiness, etc.
These are scary times that we are living in. I can’t help but to note how surreal this experience is – as if this was pulled straight out of one of the books on my virtual kindle shelf. To have one of the most incompetent leaders of all time in office, during what is to be the worst international health crisis of our lifetimes in unfathomable.
Alas, we must continue on and remember that there were better times before and better times ahead – how far ahead is yet to be seen. So much has happened in 2020 and it’s only right that I share my own recap.
March: Corona Has Arrived
Spring Break Canceled
February: That Was Fun!
Got An Internship
Made it into NVC
January: It’s A New Year!
Joined A Startup
I finally made it to the art institute (the second largest art museum in the world conveniently located a few blocks from my house) with Najib and got to check out Warhol’s temporary exhibit which was pretty dope.
I became a doggie auntie to Gary! It’s literally the best of all worlds. I get to play and love on Gary all the time and then just return him. And he has the best parents ever with my best friends Shane and Kaitlyn who conveniently live two floors below me.
I turned 28! A bunch of my closest girlfriends flew in town, weathered the snow and partied all weekend with me and my fellow Boothies!
I joined a classmate, Julian Davidson’s startup – Ruby! We are a sports tech company focused on creating the next big second-screen experience for sports fans. On my Mom’s birthday as Julian, our co-founder Ryan and I sat on google hangouts discussing our New Venture Challenge Application, we found out that the world lost one of the greatest athletes of our lifetimes – Kobe Bryant. At first, the three of us were praying and hoping that the news was simply not true – another piece of fake news. And unfortunately it wasn’t as we collectively had to break from our meeting to cope with Kobe’s passing in our own ways. To have just gotten back into thinking strategically about the world of sports and this business that we are building, it showed just how incredibly powerful sports and athletes are to society and culture.
As many of you know per previous posts, I never intended on applying for summer internships. Yet, I somehow landed an incredible opportunity to spend the summer building a business for Anheuser-Busch InBev under their ZX Ventures group! You can read more about the application experience and opportunity here. Keeping my fingers crossed on landing a great project.
I joined hundreds of fellow black MBA’s from around the country in Vermont for Black Ski Weekend! I got to reconnect with one of my closest childhood friends Gibby Graves who led the trip and is graduating from Tuck this year. Boothies crushed the themed party as black panthers. It was an awesome getaway weekend.
All-Star weekend was so full-circle for me. I worked for Turner Sports and the All-Star property for years, but never got to experience the event first hand. Needless to say, my first All-Star weekend was AMAZING! This was the first time that I got to see my old co-workers, especially my very close friends and mentors Ali Clark and Mallom Liggon who helped me through every step of my MBA application process and wrote my recommendations, since leaving Atlanta last spring. I was so proud to see my peers hard work in real-time and the excitement that fans had to be at these events. On top of that, so many of my friends from Vanderbilt and Atlanta were in town so we got to celebrate life.
I got to see All-Star weekend in all its glory from Inside the NBA to the actual All-Star game. Seeing Andreson Paak, one of the only artists I’ve wanted to see live for the past year, was so cool. Nevertheless, being in the arena for the All-Star game intro was unbelievably moving and beautiful – unforgettable. Jennifer Hudson’s memorial to Kobe, Common’s tribute to Dwayne Wade, Chicago and basketball, and Turner’s Ode to Chicago left not one dry eye in the arena or at home. It made me so so proud to have worked with an organization that understand their audience, impact and the city that allowed them to host. Please, take the time to watch the outstanding production – it’s worth every minute.
In between All-Star Weekend festivities, I stopped by The Field Museum for Booth’s Winter Formal and danced the night away with my classmates and Sue the T-Rex – it was like Night at the Museum.
I headed to LA for a VC/Startup Trek that I co-led for our Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club. We met with different stage VC firms like Greycroft and Mucker Capital and startups like Bird and Thrive Market. All of which was eye opening and a great opportunity to get to know some of my classmates that I didn’t know that well. I spent time with my sister and cousin and ended up taking a spur of the moment day trip to Vegas with them. Needless to say Vegas 1 – Morgan 0.
Lastly, Ruby, the startup that I joined in January, was accepted into one of the biggest MBA entrepreneurial competitions in the country: Booth’s New Venture Challenge. Last year they gave almost $1M to Booth students owned companies, the winner took home almost $400K. We are so honored to be competing against our peers companies and hope to make it to the finals and show the world what Ruby has to offer!
Then, everything quickly took a turn at the beginning of March. Conversations began about things potentially being shut down. Coronavirus reached America.
We celebrated our last day out in with an eerily quiet Chicago St.Patty’s Day, and then quarantining officially began.
Students spring break trips across the world, including ours to Colombia, were cancelled. We found out that we would not be going back to class physically, and should anticipate all classes to be held online. And tried to figure out exactly what our new reality would look like.
The One Big Exciting Piece of News
I will be spending next January – March at Nanyang School of Business studying abroad in Singapore! Hopefully the world will be safe by then…