Summer 2000 @ucla.com
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Dow and Nasdaq may tumble, but there's an air of sunny optimism
permeating The Anderson School as its newest M.B.A.s prepare to
launch themselves into the uncharted territory of the dot-com
on the pretty tile plaza of The Anderson School, the wind is blowing
furiously. Tablecloths are flying, umbrellas are tipping and a light
but insistent rain is starting to fall. It's the second day of the
18th annual Graduate Business Conference, and some 200 of the nation's
best business students are about to partake of a Mexican buffet
after a stimulating morning of panels about the Internet.
April conference is aptly titled "The Net Effect." And
Anderson students have spent months corralling speakers and lining
up sponsors such as Sun Microsystems and industry stars such as
Chris Alden, the 30-year-old wunderkind of Red Herring. After today's
panels, there's a dinner at the famed beachfront seafood dive Gladstone's
and, for the truly ambitious, a gathering later at the hip Santa
Monica night club Lush, with '80s freak icon Boy George serving
as DJ. Tomorrow night there's an awards dinner on the lot at Sony.
Indeed, Anderson's can-do M.B.A.s seem to have anticipated every
detail except the weather. "I was wearing shorts yesterday!"
shouts one Anderson student above the wind.
out on the patio isn't the only storm that's brewing. Even as the
dot-com wannabes and budding venture capitalists load up on tacos
and enchiladas, the Nasdaq and Dow are falling like a truckload
of PCs. When the numbers are tallied, it will be the single worst
drop in recent history, with much of the blame placed squarely on
the overvalued Internet sector.
the Anderson building, the mood couldn't be sunnier. Armed with
cell phones and laptops, the crowd of clean-cut mid-20-somethings
exhibits a kind of irrepressible optimism. Superlatives abound,
as in, "We have a FANTASTIC weekend lined up for you!"