By: Nitesh Srivastava
In the Notre Dame MBA program, students have exclusive access to team rooms in the Mendoza building where they can work on group projects together. Given the high demand for these rooms and the relatively low supply, the fight for these rooms often reduces students to their basest instincts. These are their stories.
Read Part I here.
After much politicking and the deployment of a complex pulley system, my friend Bill and I had claimed a team room so we could work on our marketing project. Unfortunately, I dozed off during my shift guarding the door. When I woke up and peeked through the window in the door, a horde of entrepreneurship students had amassed outside the room.
“Bill, I need your help!” I cried heroically.
“Just a minute. I’m close to a breakthrough,” Bill said as he entered really, really complex marketing formulas into an Excel spreadsheet.
The entrepreneurs were prototyping some sort of battering ram. However, without adequate seed funding, the only materials they had were classroom chairs from Room 162 and a stapleless stapler. The battering ram fell apart the moment it hit the door, and the entrepreneurs retreated to create an app instead.
I cheered and immediately took credit for the victory. Then I saw an army of consulting students approach. Their battering ram was made of nicer classroom chairs from Room 161 and scotch tape.
“They analyzed and improved the design…” I whispered, awestruck.
The battering ram struck. The door cracked.
“Bill, I really, really need your help!” I shrieked bravely.
“Just give me a minute. I’ve almost got it…” Bill replied. A bead of sweat rolled down his forehead as he tried adding and subtracting within a single Excel formula.
The battering ram struck again, and the door burst open. The biggest of the consultants charged through. “We already claimed this team room!” he yelled as he pointed to his backpack sitting in a corner.
I stumbled back. “But then where’s your laptop?”
“You threw it in the garbage! With my lunch!”
“But…” My vision dimmed. My soft skills as a marketer were no match for his logic. I needed to go nuclear. “But think of how much MBA students in the Bay Area have to pay for living expenses, while at Notre Dame we pay pennies for our housing and still get a top 25 education. What a steal!”
I blew his mind. He fell to the ground, unconscious.
With their alpha incapacitated, the remaining consultants were easily dispatched with a combination of direct mailers and 30-second spots during Shark Tank. “You haven’t seen the last of us!” they shouted as they boarded their weekly 6:15 flight to Newark.
“Nicely done,” Bill said. “And you didn’t even need to mention our world-class alumni network.”
“Next time,” I said. “The war is far from over.”
Nitesh prefers the chairs in Room 161. He is also concentrating in marketing and business analytics, and did his undergraduate studies at Northwestern University. Follow Nitesh on Twitter and Instagram, or reach out to him on LinkedIn.