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Before Aoran Li could change the world, the numbers had to add up right. Read about this year's FSA (Federation of Schools of Accountancy) Student Award winner and where she's headed after her Masters in Accountancy.Read more
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MASTERMINDS BLOG: BENTLEY'S GRAD STUDENTS TELL IT LIKE IT IS
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The Last Kasper
On my daily commute from Sturbridge to Waltham, I would pick up my classmate Kasper Christensen, who lived on the way, and we would alternate driving, braving the morning traffic on both the Mass Pike and I-95. Some days were worse than others, but invariably our exit, 27B, would be backed up for nearly the entire length of the sizable off-ramp.
At the terminal end of this particular off-ramp, travelers can choose to wait at a set of lights to go either left or straight, or take a right sans traffic signal. Bentley lay in the rightward direction, but unfortunately so did most of the aforementioned traffic. After taking this right turn, Kasper and I would proceed straight onto 3rd Avenue and then Totten Pond Road, while the bulk of the morning commuters were keeping right, taking the bridge over Winter Street.
Whether or not you are familiar with this particular exit, know this: It is very possible to bypass the entire line of cars on the off-ramp by driving past it and then, instead of cutting into their lane, merely waiting at the lights and then taking a right onto the middle lane. This, in turn, takes you directly onto 3rd Avenue, eliminating the need to get into the Winter Street traffic horror show and then migrating into the left lane.
This move–elegant, simple, and not cutting off any other drivers–was dubbed “Pulling A Kasper” after its originator. The Kasper, all told, probably saved us five-to-ten minutes each morning which, extrapolated over the eleven months of the BMBA program, adds up to more time than I care to calculate right now. But the psychological boost of getting ahead of the game without breaking any formal or informal traffic rules or standards of etiquette, was even more rewarding. This makes me think of business–after all, we are all trying to stay ahead of our competition while still playing the game fairly. That’s what business school is all about, right? Or have I gone mad from too much driving?
In any event, last Thursday, May 7, marked the last day of the BMBA program and the last time that I was able to pull a Kasper. It was satisfying but a little bittersweet, as it meant that my time as a member of this cohort was at an end. Oh, sure, there’s still the graduation ceremony this Saturday. But the routine of the past year is gone for good, the learning, the laughs, the hard times, and the grueling projects-that-had-no-business-being-completed-in-the-time-frame-that-was-given-but-somehow-we-did-them-anyway. I’m sure that none of us will ever forget this year, wherever we may end up.
And so my final words of “wisdom” for my classmates are these: If you ever find yourself in an untenable traffic situation, think back on your business school education and look for ways to work within the confines of the system to your advantage while still staying true to your moral, and vehicular, values. It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. And how much time you’re able to shave off of your commute.
Thanks to Bentley for letting me blog during my time in the BMBA program. It’s been a fun ride (pun totally intended). And to my classmates, good luck with everything in the future! See you all this Saturday.
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