What Summer?

photoIs it summer?  I haven’t noticed.  I’ve been ensconced in air-conditioned lecture halls and study rooms for at least 16 hours a day.  My life centers around finance, data models and decision making (statistics), and supply chain operations.  In between, I’ve got projects, homework, and readings.  It’s relentless.

We’ve become zombies.  Walking into a classroom with a colleague this morning I asked him what happened since I’d seen him last night.  He had a cut on his nose and a bump on his head.  He described how he’d walked into a class door last night leaving the building.  He was so tired he never saw it.

Colleagues are nodding off in our afternoon classes, drinking Red Bull, and 5-hour Energy drinks, and we’re all constantly downing caffeinated beverages.

We’ve got the legendary Andrew Lo for Finance.  He’s incredible.  He talks about the stories that the stock market tells.  Witty, intelligent, insightful, amazing.  I’m incredibly lucky.

We heard from Marsh Carter, head of the New York Stock Exchange today.  He shared some interesting thoughts on leadership.  I agreed with some of them, especially how difficult it still is for women in the corporate world.  He didn’t duck the issue.  He said that women with children have to have support that’s either hired or home-grown; they won’t get ahead without being able to work the long hours that are part and parcel of those positions.

I’m continuing to learn a lot about myself through this program.  Something that surprised me, on a very basic level, has been how much I love math.  I can get lost in solving a math problem.

I’m also learning how beautiful it is – I really mean beautiful – to watch people like Andrew Lo teach. He’s steeped in his subject area. He can synthesize ideas and draw analogies that are elegant and insightful.  My biggest challenge is trying to stay in the game – I don’t know the language of finance well enough to appreciate all he’s bringing to our class.  I do know, however, that I’m sitting in the presence of greatness.

What did you learn about yourself this week?



  1. David on July 30, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Gayle — I learned that I love your blog! Thank you.

  2. Gayle on July 31, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Thanks David! I’m looking forward to reading your blog. : )