Friday, July 10, 2009

CEO or Yu-Gi-Oh?

Photo via Readers Digest

The importance of networking is never underestimated in business school. Every professor will tell you that without networking you will not get anywhere in business - and thus around every corner you begin to anticipate meeting your future employer, discovering a new client, or forging the next great partnership. And so, with every flight I take, I board the plane rehearsing my elevator pitch in expectation of the friendly CEO I will be seated next to. They will promptly discover how charming and astute I am. Our witty banter and discussion of the corporate social responsibility climate will most certainly turn into a job offer on the spot (yes, I am just as surprised as you that this scenario has yet to play out).

So as I found my seat on a small United jet I was somewhat surprised to find my young seat-mate was not a high power CEO, but a pale, somewhat pimply twenty-something. "No worries", I comforted myself, "He's probably the next Bill Gates or Marc Zuckerberg. All the young tech geniuses today are a little awkward...and kind of smelly". However, before I had the chance to introduce myself and begin dazzling my audience with a carefully crafted personal bio and mission statement, "young Bill" was asleep and snoring rather loudly. 

Photo via PlayingZone

Well, needless to say my job offer did not come on the plane today. I discovered my seat-mate was flying from California to the Yu-Gi-Oh convention in Pittsburgh. I had no idea what that meant either, but it turns out that this weekend is not just your average convention but an invitation-only national tournament from which 4 finalists will be selected to compete in the World Championship in Tokyo come August. By the time I made it to the hotel lobby to pick up my room key at 11 this evening, a whole slew of young Yu-Gi-Oh champs had filled every spare table. Powered by massive cans of Arizona Iced Tea and bags of Chili Cheese Fritos, kids and adults alike composed their deck themes, searched for crush cards, and practiced their throw downs* for tomorrow's matches.

So I have to admit, it turns out my seat-mate was a big deal after all. This has got to be the biggest event ever for a lot of the people here, and it's kind of fun to see so many card-crazed duelists in one place. I have my fingers crossed that my seat-mate will hit it big and make it to Tokyo. After all, I still have the flight back to secure employment ;)

*I picked up a little Yu-Gi-Oh lingo in my travels. Apologies to any players out there if I butchered the use of these terms.

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