Last Friday my older boss was sick and asked me to drop off some reports at his house. Granted, it is not substantially out of my way, but it is out of my way nonetheless. As I was ranting to my mother about getting a call from him saying he was going shopping with his wife and to leave the package underneath his front bench (I figured he should pick up the package), she said something profound. He views this company as a family business and you're part of the family. In that sentence, I understood everything. When we hired my co-worker, it was important to find someone with the right "fit". Not only in skill set or vision, but also in personality and mannerisms. We emphasize customized PERSONAL service. If a client calls, there WILL be someone on the other line and if they wish to speak to their portfolio manager, that person WILL be available. This is simply the way it is and perhaps it is the reason I have difficulty justifying leaving for any reason other than an MBA, even if I am ready.
This fit is the same in the MBA world. Each school constructs a class of diverse people who will work closely together and ideally become lifelong friends. In fact, I chose each school because I perceived there to be a true fit. Not a fit based on stats either, but based on programs, opportunities, culture, and people. As I write, I think it may be possible to incorporate some of these thoughts in my next interview, which means I need to start my research for Darden. Hopefully someone else sees in me what these two gentlemen did many years ago.