There Are Certain Lessons You Can Only Learn at Ross

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By Katie Marenghi and Lauren Opatowski, MM ‘15

It was just one year ago that we walked across the field at the Big House to receive our undergraduate diplomas. Together we had degrees in Creative Writing, International Studies, English, and Film. But, according to NPR’s Planet Money podcast episode “What’s Your Major?” none of those are particularly employable degrees. Which meant, while we were well-equipped for a life of dissecting the nuanced power dynamics of hegemonic masculinity in Wuthering Heights, nobody seemed to want to pay us for that.

Flash forward two months later, and we were back in school as members of the inaugural class of the Michigan Ross Master of Management program, a unique degree that gives students with diverse backgrounds a strong foundation in business fundamentals. As students who have now graduated from the University of Michigan in both LSA and Ross, we recognize several lessons that can only be learned at the Ross School of Business.

If U of M taught us how to think, Ross taught us how to do.

U of M taught us that knowledge is power; Ross helped us figure out how to use that power. Ross taught us that even if you reserve a study room, you must check in online or it will be given away. Ross taught us to advocate for ourselves, whether it’s negotiating in an interview or ruthlessly stalking a table in the winter garden. It taught us that you might think you know what a resume looks like… but you could be wrong.

Ross taught us to be confident. But it has also encouraged us to stay humble.

We gained confidence from the smiles from Norma at Siegel Cafe when we refilled our coffee mugs for the second and third and fourth time each day and we were humbled by the “Event Participants Only” sign next to delicious catered food. We gained confidence after mastering a tricky regression model in Professor Ahn’s class and we were humbled by his mad skills as DJ Prof on football Saturdays. We gained confidence from the warm acceptance we felt at club events, and were humbled by the inspiring events put on by our school, such as Nelson Mandela’s grandson speaking on MLK day.

Together we’ve come to be confident in what we know and humble in recognizing that the big world out there has much to teach us. To the Class of 2015, we’d like to give some unsolicited advice: Be confident, stay humble, and in the words of former president Mary-Sue Coleman, “Wherever you go, Go Blue!”


Katie Marenghi and Lauren Opatowski are inaugural 2015 graduates of the Ross Master of Management program.

This is just one in a series of #RossGrad posts from students graduating this Spring.

Click here to see the entire collection

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Katie Marenghi and Lauren Opatowski
MM ‘15

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