Yesterday, the Haas School of Business hosted the annual >Play conference, an event dedicated to digital media and the future of technology. It was the culmination of months of effort put forth by over 100 Haas MBA volunteers. The event included keynotes by industry luminaries Chris Anderson and Dr. Michael Johnson, panels covering every aspect of digital media, and an exhibition featuring many exciting companies. The conference sold out and we had the pleasure of welcoming over 500 people to the business school yesterday.
After the rollercoaster that was yesterday, I can confidently say that >Play was one of my best experiences at Haas. The energy and passion of my classmates created an amazing event that showcased exactly those qualities that Haas embraces. Talking to various attendees and participants showed me just what sort of impact we were making. One woman told me of how she had come to >Play five years in a row to meet the real movers in digital media. She had the option of expensing the trip, but considered it such a personal pleasure that she chose to spend $1,200 out of her own pocket. I was only a small part of the effort to make >Play a reality, but I was a part of something truly great. And that kind of experience lingers and resonates for a long time, changing how we perceive and influence the world.
I’m only a couple of months into my time at Haas, but I can tell already that >Play will not be the only time I will be a part of greatness. I believe that my entire time at Haas will be that kind of special experience, as I spend time with my classmates both inside and outside the classroom. Together we’ll scale mountains over winter break, volunteer on the boards of non-profit companies, start innovative new businesses, and host many other great events at Haas. Even as students, we’ll make a tangible difference through our passion, intensity, and collaboration. The bonds we forge now will last a lifetime. And when it is time for us to split up and re-enter the real world, we’ll leave Haas forever changed by our shared experience.
Brian Guenther also writes at his personal blog, http://www.digitalerudite.com, on topics ranging from technology to marketing. He can also be found on Twitter (@bguenther).