My last post on application tips was rather explicit. Here, I hope to share a reflection on the personal growth that is all too palpable on campus in these first few months at Anderson. It is something that is incredibly stimulating and exciting, and I hope it gives a more implicit, broad perspective on what the first quarter at Anderson is like.
A 2007 Harvard Business Review article by John Potter listed 8 steps to transforming an organization. As I, and my fellow students, are now 6 weeks into the MBA experience, I cannot help but recognize that we are all in the midst of our own personal transformation. It makes me wonder how many of the 8 steps to organizational change are related to those at an individual level, espcially in the microcosm of business school.
Take, for instance, Potter's first point: "Establishing a Sense of Urgency". Our Parker Career Advisors had us engaged mid-summer, investigating industry(s) and function(s) of interest and understanding the complexities of the organizations and industries that we found to be most compelling. On the academic front, urgency is in the need to comprehend material quickly; the academic rigor does not wait for you to adjust from post-professional life to an academic environment. Needless to say, I wouldn't be back at school if I didn't love the challenge.
Next, Potter discusses the need to Form a Powerful Guiding Coalition. With a 1st-year student body of 360 students, class section of 70 students, primary learning team of 5, case competition team(s) of 4-6, secondary learning teams of 5, club leadership teams of anywhere between 10-15 Directors, and social coalitions compiling the makeup of your support network... throngs of small teams are abundant. Which are most important to you? They very much define the experience.
Creating a Vision. An organization - a b-school student - a strategist - anyone with a goal - must create a vision. That is one really exciting aspect of business school - mapping out the coursework, clubs, networking events - even dinner parties - that are going to contribute to the "two best years of your life". Our 2nd Year Orientation Team bestowed upon us the anecdotal phrase, "YOBO" - You Only B-school Once". The gravity of creating a powerful vision for your experience is heavy, but thrilling at the same time.
While I'll save you from my elaboration on the remaining five steps to transforming an organization (and in this humble homage, my rather subtle attempt at comparing that to one's personal transformation), I will leave you with a pie chart that some fellow students and I designed. I think it captures my experience quite well. And for those who are quant-inclined, I hope you appreciate the subtle humor when you sum each component.
To the second round applicants out there, good luck! Start early, save often, and proofread proofread proofread! :-)