Mondays like today (or yesterday:)) happen only at GSB – i can bet all my money on that.
Not often you get to listen to people like Mr. Nicholas Donatiello, Jr., who was the Head of the Audit Committee at Gemstar-TV Guid International in the early 00s. Mr. Donatiello triggered the ‘lay-off’ of Gemstar’s CEO: Henry Yuen in 2003, after the company revealed criminal manipulation of revenue recognition initiated by Yuen. You might ask – WTF is Mr. Yuen? Well Mr. Henry Yuen was convicted of securities fraud in 2006, and ordered to pay $22 million in penalties – biggest SEC fine to date. and he was so keen on paying the fine that as of April 25, 2007 his whereabouts are unknown. The story excited me so much, because it was delivered during our standard Financial Accounting (or ACCT 210) class and i could easily see it as a script for the next ‘Boiler Room’…I actually wonder when and which studio will buy rights to bring it to the big screen;)
But that was just a cherry on a MUCH BIGGER cake. A cake called TALK.
Kicked off (today) at lunch by Dean Garth Saloner. After listening for an hour to Dean’s personal&professional story I was flabbergasted. Not often do you find the head of the top MBA program bearing his soul to MBA1s. and doing it for a reason…to make us understand what drives his decisions as a Dean and generally in life. and after hearing it, boy I FEEL LUCKY TO BE PART OF THE GSB COMMUNITY. This hour turned me into a huge fan of Mr. Saloner. And I have a strange feeling that GSB’s going to be just fine as long as he is in charge. I hope he repeats his TALK..if not, for those that couldn’t attend – look it up online…I’m sure it is uploaded somewhere on GSB servers.
TALK-day was finished in the evening by our classmate: Rodrigo. And what a finish it was. Here you have a 25yo guy, wearing a funky Stanford cap…completely silencing 150 ppl in the room with a story about his family and a legacy of his father. A story that could easily (and probably at some point will) make another Oscar winning flick. A story about being driven by doing the right thing. A story about genuinely believing that you can change the world around you…and making it happen. doing all that with a ‘banana-smile’ on His face, because His mom told him that ‘you need to smile every day for at least 20mins, otherwise the day is wasted’
I feel fortunate to be where i am today. and when in doubt, i ask myself: #whatwould407do:)