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by Kristina Moore, 2Y 2018

With second-year spring quarter wrapping up, I can’t help but feel a bit emotional that my time as a Kellogg student is coming to a close. As I look forward and think about my next steps, I’ve been spending time reflecting on the experiences I’ve had these past two years. I’m overwhelmed by all I’ll be taking with me – from frameworks to friendships to formulas to failures.

It’s difficult to put into words what my time at Kellogg means to me. One way to distill some of my Kellogg feelings is to take inventory of what’s currently in my backpack. These innocuous items reveal bits and pieces of my life as a Kellogg student. As the age-old adage goes, “Never judge a ‘backpack’ by its cover. It’s what’s inside that counts.” And as the new-age Beyonce lyric goes, “I got hot sauce in my bag”:

  • Planner: A personal challenge that I faced while at Kellogg was learning how to prioritize. There are hundreds of ways to get involved and it was sometimes difficult to know which activities would prove most valuable long-term. Spending time writing out my weekly schedule, managing my to-do’s and journaling notes and intentions helped keep me on track.
  • Kellogg Ski & Snowboard Club t-shirt: Given my long days on campus, I often bring gym clothes in my backpack’s bottom compartment to work out in the Global Hub’s fitness center. I love this t-shirt in particular because I led social event planning for our 2017 Telluride ski trip. I could hardly make it down the bunny slopes, but the trip was a great way to decompress after fall quarter and bond with more than 850 of my classmates.  
  • Bain water bottle: During fall quarter, consulting firms shower first-year students with swag like umbrellas and water bottles. Even though I didn’t have any interest in recruiting for consulting, I still rock my Bain water bottle. It’s a reminder of the career goals I had in mind when applying to Kellogg as well as the plethora of resources that were available to me on and off campus to help me reach those goals.
  • Sri Lanka hand cream: I picked up the best hand cream while traveling in India and Sri Lanka with my girlfriends over spring break this year. From walking around the majestic Taj Mahal to surfing the scenic beaches of Unawatuna, it was an unforgettable adventure trip. Through international trips like KWEST and Global Initiatives in Management, I’ve had the opportunity to travel through Kellogg and valued every minute.
  • Microsoft SurfacePro laptop: It would be impossible to survive at Kellogg without my laptop. Besides the obvious – such as needing it to complete statistical analyses for a client consulting project in my Marketing Research & Analytics course – I was surprised and excited to gain access to innovative technologies such as Slack for daily communications with other students and Tableau for presentations.
  • VentureCat judging feedback forms: My Cariset co-founders and I recently won the opportunity to pitch at Northwestern’s university-wide startup competition, VentureCat. It was such an adrenaline rush to share our excitement for Cariset with hundreds of attendees. It also was useful to get direct feedback from leaders in Chicago’s venture capital world. I’ve accelerated my business learnings exponentially by co-founding a company while in school and taking advantage of Kellogg’s first-rate entrepreneurship program.

Our Cariset backpack is designed to make you feel radiant and put-together, no matter how many times you hit snooze, skip the gym, or choose reality TV over doing laundry. The Cariset team consists of Allison Brown, Cara Maresca, and Kristina Moore, all 2Ys with an expected graduation of June 2018. For $50 off your first order, use code BETTERBACKPACKS.