Last night, we received the following email:To the Class of 2007:
As you are probably aware, one of Yale SOM’s strategic priorities for the year is curriculum reform. Study groups have always been an integral part of the MBA experience, but their haphazard formation has limited the potential benefits that such collaboration could yield. To this end, we are excited to announce the new formal procedure for establishing study groups.
In the same way that second-years receive 500 points to bid on electives, so too will you receive 500 points to bid on members of your prospective study group. The size of each study group will be limited to four individuals. Thus, you may allocate your points across a maximum of three first-year students. In order to help you make an informed decision, students will be required to give a two to three minute presentation about themselves. Presentations will be given to your cohort in your cohort’s classroom from 5:30 – 7:30 tomorrow evening. It is MANDATORY that you attend and present.
Please create two PowerPoint slides that summarize the following:
· Work experience (e.g. industry, function, computer application expertise, etc.)
· Professional values and individual study habits
Please email the slides to your Second-Year Advisor by 5:00 PM tomorrow.
Because this is a new procedure, faculty and Second-Year Advisors will be on hand to facilitate the process. Second-Year Advisors will give instructions on the bidding process at the start of tomorrow’s session.
When: 5:30 – 7:30 PM, Thursday September 1st
Where: Your cohort classroom
Required: Email two PowerPoint slides to your Second-Year Advisor by 5:00 PM
Yale School of Management
Of course, within minutes of receiving this email, we all began calling each other. Irate that the school would even consider making us "bid" on our classmates - and, to a lesser extent, that we were being asked to do so on the evening before the start of a four-day weekend for which many of us had already made plans to leave New Haven - we began to look for ways to express our dissatisfaction. We decided to start by flooding Garstka's inbox with emails. We even contemplated forming a committee of four individuals, one from each cohort, that could approach Garstka about the issue.
Willing to do my part, I typed up an email and sent it. Two seconds later, it bounced back. Strange. I tried to resend it; once again, it came back as undeliverable. Fishy. I then went to the Faculty page and realized that the surname of the Deputy Dean is not, in fact, Gartska, but Garstka. I wondered if his email was set-up incorrectly, so I searched for an email that he had sent a little over a week ago. Sure enough, his name was spelled correctly on the email that came from him. Another thing that was strange about the email, it was sent to each individual in the class; it wasn't sent to the Class of 2007 group. Why? Because whoever wrote the email didn't have permission/access to send to the group alias.
Several of us figured this out at about the same time and assumed it was a hoax. Today, we got the following email:To Students in the Class of 2007:
The email you received late last night – telling you about a mandatory meeting this (Thursday) evening about study groups, is a HOAX.
There’s a mythical character at SOM, among the second-years, who delights in playing jokes on the first year class. A tip-off is that Stan Garstka’s name was misspelled – as some of you noticed who tried to email him to see if this announcement was real.
So, no meeting tonight. And be aware that Dr. Bad is out there trying to tease the Class of 2007!
Dean of Students
Yale School of Management
So, yes, we were PUNK'D
, SOM style.
Unfortunately, some of my classmates went ahead and dutifully prepared their presentations. One SYA got 7 presentations before Prish sent her email - out of a group of 13 students! I believe, however, that she was in the minority among SYAs, many of whom received nothing but voicemail messages from bewildered students.
It was also unfortunate for me, personally, because this took two hours out of my evening, which meant that I had to stay up late to finish studying for today's classes. I woke up at 8 a.m. today and ran to my 8:15 class. I was pretty much out of it until I was able to get my hands on some caffeine during lunch.
Ah, well. It was all in good fun. I'm thinking that 1st years should now make it a priority to pull a prank on the 2nd years. This could be the start of a tradition! It's something to consider, later. Right now, all I want to do is take a nap.