Our GSM Village By Vanessa Errecarte

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In July, my husband and I are expecting to welcome our first child into the world. Of course, as first time parents, we have lots of questions—from wondering which car seat is the safest to what to expect in those first few months of having a newborn. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and my husband and I do not doubt that, however, what we didn’t realize is how much of our village we would find at the GSM.

We announced our pregnancy after about three months, right at the beginning of winter quarter. As my classmates found out, the support I received was overwhelming. You see, we have a handful of new parents in our class—three of which had babies during the first year. Immediately my classmates offered advice and answers to my many questions. One even offered some newborn gear that he and his wife no longer need. Additionally, there are three fellow moms in my class, and listening to them about how they balance careers and children has been extremely valuable as I will face that in just a few months. In short, I knew it would be fun to share this experience with my classmates that have become such good friends, but the outpouring of support and good cheer has completely exceeded my expectations.

This feeling extends beyond fellow students to staff and faculty too. I’ve had professors congratulate me and share experiences with me as well. All of this highlights an important point about the GSM. We are more than a close knit community; we are like a family.I truly think this is unique for a business school or any professional program, yet my experience at the GSM has proven to me over and over that we are always there for each other. There have been so many times that wehave put competition aside and helped a classmate with interview prep—even if we were interviewing for the same position; or stayed up helping a classmate master one last topic before a midterm that we knew would have a tight curve. I am certain that this family feel—this collaboration before competition will make us all better business people in a world that is becoming more and more connected by the second.

I always knew that I would have a great network of business colleagues when graduation came along. But now, with graduation just a few months away, I realize every day that we are so much more than just colleagues. We are the village that will help raise each other’s children, pick up the phone at 2 a.m. to help a business school friend weigh the pros and cons of a big move,and practice with that friend for the next job interview. We are the GSM family that extends far beyond just business.

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