The MBAR: A Magical Memory Maker

This acronym may seem just like all the others – M.B.A., N.O.I., G.P.A., J.O.B., but don’t be fooled.  This one is different. For one, no one knows for sure what it stands for (I’m hoping those mentioned above are more obvious). Besides that, to the hundreds of current and recent graduate business students at USD, this acronym stands for things such as relief from studying, fun with friends, and arguably most appealingly, free drinks.

When I started the full-time MBA program more than a year ago, I remember hearing murmurings about this MBAR thing that students were excited about. Being that it was the first month of school and I felt too busy to sleep, let alone worry about something that sounded more like a law exam than anything else, I let it slip through the cracks. Had I known that what I was missing was a great bonding experience I would have prioritized differently. In attending a subsequent MBAR, I discovered that they are a great chance to have a couple of drinks and build relationships with first, second, and third year students across all of the programs under Graduate Business School umbrella. Now, I never miss them.

Let me take you through a typical MBAR evening.

The most recent MBAR was the first of this school year and was held as a dual event. The evening started at Vin de Syrah, a very surreal wine bar taking cues straight from the ambiance of Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole. We had an incredible turnout of over 300 students, so it goes without saying that we basically took the place over.  There, students enjoyed free passed hors d’oeuvres and complimentary wine, beer and cocktails. This was just the classy start to the evening that a bunch of over-worked, under-slept students needed. Not to mention a great chance for new students and old to talk and get to know each other away from the school environment.

Yes, that's greenery on the walls at Vin de Syrah (image courtesy of

From there, the entire group headed down the street to Sé Hotel’s rooftop pool lounge where we had arranged for complimentary cover to the venue and drink specials for USD graduate business students. One of the great parts about these events is the opportunity to mingle with fellow USD B-schoolers, but often times these events double as mixers with graduate students from our so-called rival programs as well. In this particular case we had been approached by the MBA programs at both UCSD and State to throw a mixed event. So, in arriving at Sé we were greeted by a group from both programs, each eager to connect and get to know our new students.

As the night wore on I took a moment to step away from the crowd.  What I looked back and saw was so telling of the collaborative nature of young professionals in this city, not to mention the spirit of inter-institutional cooperation that USD promotes within its student body. There, in the reflection of the rooftop pool and under the stars and city skyline was a group of very smart and talented individuals, some friends and some new acquaintances, networking and having a great time.

Classmate Bonding

At that point I thought to myself, “How great is living in San Diego?”

-Danny Reeves

Danny is a second year dual degree (MBA/MSRE) Candidate and a councilor on the graduate student council. He works as a financial analyst at Pacifica Companies and graduated from the University of Idaho with B.A.s in Public Relations and Spanish.

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