Tag Archives: trip

Graduation Reflections & Going Forward


And just like that…I am now an International MBA graduate of the Moore School of Business! April and May have been two of the busiest months of my life, completing my last semester of graduate school, preparing for graduation, searching for housing in Greenville, moving across the country, visiting family, and planning summer vacations before my next chapter begins at Michelin.


Thank you so much for your patience in my time of transition – I can’t wait to be more active on inspirNational again once everything is settled this summer. Right now is one of my first moments in months where I have more than a half hour to spare as I am waiting for my trip to Seattle to begin. I have so many thoughts to share with you about my last few months, including my weekend trips to Savannah, Charleston, and Traverse City, my graduation, and my reflections as I prepare for my next life phase. Over the next several weeks, I will share these thoughts with you.

To begin, I wanted to pass along my graduation speech that I shared at the MBA Soiree on the evening before my graduation. It captures the essence of my IMBA experience and was an honor to represent my class.

“Hi Everyone! My name is Brittany VanderBeek. I am an International MBA graduate in the French track, who studied supply chain management and business analytics. As the MBA Student Association President, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you.

First of all, thank you to MBA Programs Office for making today possible and for your endless support throughout our MBA journey.

Thank you to the faculty and staff here today who have been there every step of the way – pushing us to reach our potential, growing our understanding of the world, supporting us when we need it most, and cheering us on during our successes.

Thank you to all members of the Student Association for your enthusiasm and hard work to represent the voice of our class and to plan events to strengthen our MBA community.

To our families and friends – thank you all for being here to celebrate the MBA graduates. We couldn’t be more grateful for your support throughout our lives.

To the graduates – it is incredible to think how far we have come. Let’s take a minute to reflect. To the International MBAs – in two or three years we learned another language, completed the core business curriculum, specialized, and earned additional certifications. To the One-Year MBAs – how amazing that you completed all of your business curriculum and certifications in less than a year! At the same time, all of us were maintaining on our relationships and our homes, making new friends, getting involved on campus, going to football and basketball games, and staying in touch with loved ones. Some of us welcomed new life into the world, some of us have said goodbye to loved ones, but all of us have prepared for an incredible life ahead of us. We have had our fair share of challenges, but we have also had some of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. I can say that the Moore community, especially all of you, are what made my experience possible. As I mentioned at our welcome mixer, we have created a lifelong network and community. I hope that we all take what we have learned and soar in our careers throughout the world. I also hope that we never forget our roots at the Moore School and come back to visit.

Let’s toast to the graduating class of 2017 – I couldn’t be more proud to be standing next to all of you! Thank you!”

Reflecting upon graduation, it was one of the most hectic, but also exciting few days of my IMBA experience. I was very grateful for my mom, boyfriend, and boyfriend’s family who attended my ceremony and festivities. I was also grateful to attend my boyfriend’s graduation ceremony from law school, which was an incredible experience because we both graduated at the Horseshoe, one of the University of South Carolina’s idyllic locations. One day I was the graduate and the next day I was the attendee, which made my experience feel full circle. The University of South Carolina business and law schools treated us graduates and our families like gold, with delicious Southern food, cocktails, and live performers (I’ll never forget the steel drummers after my graduation!). I am so happy that I experienced graduation, but I am also glad that I can now move on and relax (or more so travel and visit family) this summer.


I hope you all have an inspirNational weekend (and holiday weekend for those in the United States)! Off to Seattle for my boyfriend’s cousin’s wedding and to visit my best friend from preschool – I can only imagine what stories I will have to share with you over the next couple of weeks!


How Mom-Daughter Trips Contribute to Friendships


In honor of my best friend’s birthday, I wanted to write about our awesome tradition to go on mom-daughter vacations when we were growing up. Chelsea and I first met in preschool and were great friends and little rascals through elementary school in Michigan. Chelsea moved to Alabama in fourth grade, which we (and our parents) knew would make our friendship challenging. But our jokes, memories, and traditions made us want to put forth as much effort as possible to keep our friendship alive. And thanks to our moms, we were able to see each other at least once a year for girls’ weekend vacations. Over the years, we traveled to Chicago, New York, Boston, Florida, San Francisco, and Nashville. During every trip, we would catch up, eat too much food, site see, explore, and laugh so hard that our stomachs would hurt. I will always remember our trips fondly and give them much credit for keeping Chelsea in my life over the years and continuing our friendship that has lasted over 19 years!

The beginning

The beginning of our friendship

Why were the mom-daughter trips so important to our friendship?

  • They allowed us to have girl time, where our sole focus was our friendship. We could explore new destinations together, catch up on life, share stories, and reminisce our younger years. It was all about “us” and having a good time together.
  • They helped us relax. Going away from distractions of daily life at home, we no longer had to think about chores, school or commitments at home. We could just have fun and relax together.
  • They helped us continue to make new memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. With each new trip came new stories, laughs, and memories to share and keep our long distance friendship alive. Chelsea and I still to this day talk about memories of our past trips. When we moved away for college, having memories of our trips made us want to continue to travel together. We visited each other’s college campuses and most recently Chelsea has visited me in Cleveland. Now I owe her a trip down south one day soon!
Boston Trip in High School

Boston Trip in High School

I could not be more grateful to our moms for helping keep our friendship together and planning such fun trips over the years. Chelsea remains my best friend. I hope that if we have children in the future, we can plan similar trips with our daughters. Mom-daughter trips have greatly impacted my life and I want to pass along the tradition to the next generation.