Mocktails with the Dean is the anticipated annual event hosted by Women in Leadership club. This year, WiL hoped to make the event more charming: pink roses and carnations, sushi and other healthy food, soft drinks in wine glasses. When I checked our RSVP list for the last time, only two hours before the event, I was excited to find myself heading to the store to buy more food and drinks. Why? Participation was much more than we had expected! Everyone was represented: women, men (thank you, Dave Mescon), MBA students, MPAc students: this event was truly connecting the community within the GSM. I was so excited to see the passion coming from our amazing first-year students. As the sun crept through the windows and across the floor of the Great Room, Dean Currall walked down to the stairs and joined the students in happy and meaningful conservations again.
Even though I am the President of WiL, Dean Currall has more experience with this event this than I do. He asked us to pull chairs and sit in circle (“circle time”!), and we all shared our two-minute-me elevator pitches to our Dean for the first time. Many students had read Dean Currall’s outstanding resume on GSM website, but we would have never discovered that he is from Missouri and has such a wonderful sense of humor, and is very humble and amicable as well.
About 15 first-year students showed great interest in women in leadership. They raised many interesting topics. For example, asking about the Dean’s perspective on UCLA Anderson’s MBA program become self-sufficient, and the future of the GSM in this regard. Dean Currall shared his long-term insights and efforts in bringing in more philanthropic support, so more financial aid will be available to students of the GSM. Another student had a fresh idea about mentorship between students and female faculty. UC Davis is well-known for a high percentage of female quality and esteemed faculty and administrators. Leveraging their knowledge and resources while connecting them with business leaders of tomorrow will be a win-win for both students and school. Dean Currall encouraged WiL to take more initiatives to gauge the feasibility of these great ideas.
It was a wonderful evening. WiL will continue to celebrate this much-loved event for years to come. Thank you Dean Currall!