Sooo …. I’d planned to blog last term. Once a month or so. How hard can it be, I figured. Won’t take long to type out a few stream of consciousness thoughts. Errr … yeah. Here we are, my first blog post – two weeks into term 2!
What happened? First term of the MBA, that’s what happened. It was hectic, it was fun, and in many ways it wasn’t what I had expected. In December, a second year asked me what had surprised me about the MBA, and it made me think. Quite a few things had surprised me, which in turn surprised me some more – because I know London Business School very well. I worked here for 6 years before my MBA, and my boyfriend started the EMBA a year before me (you can check out his blog here). I’d spoken to plenty of students, perused this blog, and even read some books written by MBAs from other schools (yeah I know, I’m a geek). So I thought I knew exactly what was in store. But I still learnt quite a few things, so I thought I’d share them here.
Lesson #1 – You will doubt yourself, but that’s ok
I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do career-wise (consumer goods/retail), what treks I wanted to go on (Japan) and what activities I wanted to get involved in (touch rugby). But as everyone will tell you, the MBA makes you question things. Should I try consulting? Maybe I want to work in pharma? Was I right not to buy a ticket for Snow Trek? Do I go to the Corporate Finance tutorial or to Sundowners tonight?
Of course, it’s all wrapped up with the ever-present FOMO (fear of missing out). There are just so many interesting, fun, challenging, career-prospect-improving things to choose from, and I, for one, need sleep – but even if you didn’t, you still wouldn’t physically be able to do even a tenth of everything on offer.
Because I had it all planned out, I didn’t think the FOMO would get me, but it did – and the times I found the toughest last term were probably when I had to make difficult choices about what to get involved in. Because your time is so limited, you’re always trying to make sure that you’re going to the club event that will give you the best networking opportunities, or the trek that will be the most fun, and so on. Trying to figure out what to spend your time on can be tough – juggling academic, social, club and career activities with making time for friends and family is not easy. But of course, it’s a luxury to have so many things on offer. And I think it’s worth trying things you hadn’t planned to do, or thought you’d ever be interested in. When else will you have that opportunity?
This brings me onto my second lesson – but since I’m not the most succinct person, and I know you don’t want to read a huge long blog post in one go, I’ll cover the rest in my next post. Time to write some cover letters and applications (the joys of term 2 – more on that in future posts!).