Mid-Week Deep Breath

I live in the Graduate Village apartments behind Matt Knight Arena. I look out my window and have the a view of one of the most stunning buildings on campus and the premier basketball arena in all of Oregon. And yes, that’s ALL of Oregon. I wake up early and run on Pre’s trail, a bark-chipped path through Alton Baker park, and then start my fifteen-minute walk to the Lillis complex on the other side of campus. This is how I start my day.

On my walk to day three of the MBA prologue, I couldn’t help but smile. After all, it was a beautiful morning, I was walking through a campus that is only just starting to buzz with energy, and I was relatively awake, albeit laced with caffeine, after a twelve-plus hour day yesterday. That’s right. Day TWO was twelve-plus hours. Having not been in school since 2009, day one felt like I was trying to start a rusty lawn mower and day two felt like I was trying to run a marathon with the rusty lawn mower dragging behind me. I suppose working on case studies for hours in groups and surprise fifty-five-page reading assignments will make you feel a bit out of sorts. Feeling battered and bruised heading into day three one would think a smile would be hard to summon. This was certainly not the case–it was actually quite the opposite.

Day three was a time to stop and appreciate what we had just gone through. Day three reminded me why prologue is so valuable and why I am here. It’s about the process, the journey, and the experience of doing. There are no grades in the prologue, it will not determine whether I land that dream job or not, but it will prepare me for what it will be like on the way to the destination, or the culmination of this program. For me, I am not here seeking any one destination, but instead I am here to experience what it’s like to to move in that direction, to be challenged by the great minds that lead us students in this program, and I am here because I know I will enjoy the journey. I have no set expectations of this program. My dad has always said, “expect nothing, and inspect everything” and I believe this holds true here. The value is the inspection along the way without holding expectations of a single outcome. Don’t look ahead with worry, but instead look at what’s around and enjoy the sights.

For those reading this looking at this program wondering what it might be like, I can say with certainty that it will not be easy. However, it will be an amazing opportunity for personal growth. It is an opportunity to meet people from all over the world and with varying backgrounds. It is a chance to learn from the best but also with the best. The people I have met and gotten to know only briefly have blown me away so far with their intelligence. I’m only three days through and I am excited by the fact that I only have about two years left! What will day four have in store for us? Well, according to the Aussie in the group, we are all required to go to Karaoke…. Karaoke it is then 🙂


Brad Pankey

Written by Brad Pankey

I am a native Oregonian who has spent time in the Bay Area teaching PE and South Korea teaching English. Pursuing an MBA in Sports Marketing is a dream come true as I grew up enamored with the University of Oregon culture. As runner growing up idolizing Steve Prefontaine and living and breathing running, I think I have found the perfect place for me to call home for few years.