By Bethy Hagan
All of a sudden, my flight to Hong Kong will take off in less than 24 hours. With finals, pitch preparation, and a bout of the flu over the last two weeks, I seem to have put packing and final arrangements on the backburner. But now it is the day before I leave and I realize I do not even have a suitcase! Today is certainly going to be a whirlwind.
To do list:
- Find a suitcase! Luckily, my parents live about an hour away and have generously offered to lend one to their poor student.
- Pick out outfits for daytime activities, company visits, and the pitch competition. With other trips, I typically visualize my day-to-day activities and go from there. This trip will be different. How do you visualize yourself in a place that seems completely dissimilar to your home? After much fretting, I gather together what I think should keep me clothed over the next two weeks. If not, a quick trip to the market is all that I’ll need!
- Call Bank of America. We need two different currencies while we are there. My head is spinning already.
- Flight check-in. Check!
- Water the plants. My petunias need constant TLC, so I will need to delegate that responsibility to my boyfriend while I am away.
- Secure a ride to the airport from that same helpful boyfriend! My United flight departs at 9:45 AM from Baltimore to Newark. I plan to give myself 1.5 hours to check my bag and go through security. Once I arrive in Newark I will connect with five or six other Smith students for our 16-hour flight to Hong Kong. That’s right, 16 hours.
- Which leads me to my next point: download movies for the plane. I have packed two books: 1) Divergent, which is over 400 pages and will hopefully keep me occupied for at least a few hours, and 2) Predictable Revenue, which was written by Aaron Ross, former Director of Sales at Salesforce. Have to have at least one educational book in there! In addition to these, I plan to download at least three movies to get me to China and back. Any suggestions?
- A trip to the grocery store for medicine and toiletries. It is safe to assume that finding medicine for an upset stomach or a headache will be nearly impossible once we arrive in China. I will be buying Ibuprophen, Nyquil (which might also come in handy on that 16-hour flight), Dayquil, Pepto-Bismol, and Sudafed. You can never be too safe.
- Make a copy of my passport
- E-mail last minute “pivot point” notes to my team for the pitch competition. Time is winding down on our pitches and we all must devote as much energy as possible to perfecting our pitches. The “pivot point” part of our pitches will explain how our business ideas have evolved over the last few weeks. Ours has certainly changed for the better!
There is certainly much to be done in a short amount of time. China will not wait!
Bethy Hagan is a first year MBA student and Dingman Venture Fellow from Baltimore, MD. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. Following her degree, she worked for a sports startup in Santa Monica, CA in a variety of operations and program management roles. Through the Smith School and the Dingman Center she hopes to build her understanding of strategy implementation in order to assist in the growth and development of early stage companies.