T2. Most of us are old enough to remember it. Arnold Schwarzenegger fighting the mean fight with a vicious and seemingly unstoppable foe. Not even liquid nitrogen and a bullet shattering Arnold’s nemesis into a million pieces could stop the guy from ultimately piecing himself back together so that the action and the movie could go on.
But at Wharton San Francisco, T2, takes on a different meaning: Term 2, that is, has indeed come to a close. After more than six months of working, studying, working (did I already say studying?), my classmates and I are one-third of the way toward our MBAs.
You should have heard the cheers in our dining room that looks over the bay at the term’s conclusion. You would have thought we were all on Oprah and she was giving out trips to the Maldives, plush robes and free plasmas.
Our professors sent us packing for the holidays with the gift of knowledge. Wharton administrators, who can’t hold our hands during finals, toasted us, their hands outstretched with what we needed most: a free drink.
Certainly no weapons were involved, but the concept of who we are has been shattered—in a very good way. Physicists are now orators, educators are becoming statisticians and this journalist—well, let’s just say she’s doing her best to be an accountant, or at least know enough about a balance sheet to be dangerous.
My classmates and I have indeed been disrupted. The oft-used term “disrupt” is too often used in Silicon Valley if you ask me. You hear people saying “I’m disrupting mobile payments.” “This app disrupts how people are listening to music.” Blah. Blah. Blah.
But when you take a look around the room, you will find one-hundred brilliant people who are willing to shake up their lives to be bigger, badder and faster. I’ve spoken to engineers who have degrees from the best programs in the world, who admit, they’ve been up late at night to study material they thought they already knew. All of us crunch through material so that we become better problem solvers and emerge to build stronger companies and organizations. A true source of impactful and positive change, if you ask me. The word disruption doesn’t give the concept justice.
Just like in the movies, a challenging year ahead still chases us and for people like us, hopefully it always will. T3 is coming up in T minus ten days.
Lindsay Stewart is an MBA for Executives student at Wharton | San Francisco and a special projects producer for KPIX- TV. She graduated from UC-Berkeley with a BA in English in 2002 and has worked in the TV business ever since.