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Nietzsche said, “A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.” As you will soon witness, I am the furthest thing from a good writer, but I will try hard to channel the spirit of my fellow EMBA friends from the 2013 EMP-90 class. This blog will be “our blog” that tells the story of our experiences together at Kellogg and learning to see the world differently.

The EMBA at Kellogg moves fast. The program causes life around us to move even faster as we balance our careers, our families and our education. We are  learning at an accelerated rate, and our friendships are developing even faster. During our third weekend, I actually witnessed “hugging”  replace the handshake. We came into the EMBA program as strangers, but we already consider each other family. How can this be?

Well, I started to notice the hugging trend pick up after our second weekend of classes. By this time, we had finished one live in week and one weekend of classes. Everyone had completed approximately four team conference calls that probably lasted well into the night. Images of our fellow classmates studying late into the night were vividly etched into our mind. Stories of global travel schedules were starting to spread. Redeyes from India to O’Hare were the norm. Multiple classmates welcomed new additions to their families (Babies born into the Kellogg family are welcomed with a classy “shout out” and a gift from the administration). We were being pushed hard, and we were thriving together. As we networked with the EMP-88 class (September Starters), we realized that we were the new group and they were the savvy veterans. As the new group, we formed a tribe: Teams bonded and friendships were formed.

Healthy debate was alive in the halls of the Allen Center and feedback from our assignments was starting to come back to us.

We were receiving grades for the first time in decades, so our support systems developed and subject matter experts stepped up.

We were becoming a family, and “our family” shows love with a HUG.