“I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not here to baby you or make you feel at home! I want you to feel pain… I want you to get angry… Over the next ten weeks, me and my fellow Drill Instructors are going to make this the most miserable stretch of your life,” Senior Drill Instructor SSgt Doyle bellowed out to me and my class of 92 other 2nd week recruits as he paced back and forth across in our barracks. Over the next ten weeks he did just that! I remember many a day sitting in push-up position for what seemed like hours underneath the intense Southern California sun. Muscles completely gassed and sweat and mental exhaustion tearing down my face. I thought I’d never make it! One thing that I always remember one of my Drill Instructors (Sgt. Roe) always saying as he yelled and screamed at me to run faster, shoot sharper, or move quicker was that “I might give up on myself, but he would NEVER give up on me!” True to form, I probably gave up 2 or 3 times over the course of those 13 weeks of boot camp, but Sgt Roe always came and got me and screamed me back into a state of “finish the task at hand”.
He would walk over to where I was at, and say, “I am going to push you to your absolute limits, Clement. I am going to test your physical stamina in ways you can’t possibly imagine. This is nothing! Wait til I take your food, your sleep, and probably whatever else you might think you deserve. But, I won’t let you quit! You will learn to adapt and overcome. There is no quitting! If you have the extreme honor of graduating from this school you will be ready; ready to hunt men on the battlefield.”
Looking at my Consortium classmates here at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Of the thirteen beginning this class with me, every one of them had overcome many obstacles and defied extreme odds in some regards to be considered for this level of schooling. Some came from prestigious schools like Cornell and others came from small Liberal Arts schools that didn’t have much recognition. Some were math majors, but many were from nontraditional backgrounds that wouldn’t suggest that business school is right for them. All were decorated with success at their respected levels.
That’s why I am so proud of all of them, because they held fast to their aspirations and saw this journey to the end. Over these two years, there were many times where all of us felt like quitting at some point. These challenges are often spoken about in many scholarly articles and news columns. However, having a determined mindset is key (This TOO is often written about in scholarly articles)! My program at the Wisconsin School of Business really stretched me in ways that I didn’t think was possible. However, as I prepare to leave here, I feel that I am prepared mentally and emotionally to deal with whatever situations come my way. Most importantly, I am prepared for success in my next challenge and opportunity.My words of advice to future and current business school students is to have enduring preparation and wherewithal is the key to any long-term success for any future business leader. Stretching yourself beyond your physical and mental limitations makes one stronger, more resilient, and more apt to succeed. Good luck to my fellow classmates of 2013 and good luck to the 2014 class on their way to their summer internships! “On Wisconsin!”