Posts Tagged ‘sloan experience’

The day finally arrived, long awaited and eagerly anticipated, when I entered the London Business School as one of the 52 Sloan fellows of the 2013 class. Each different, from 22 different countries yet similar in being a well accomplished, experienced professional and a risk taker out to maneuver their careers to new heights and with a burning desire to be more self aware and to learn.

Apart from the incredible mix of very distinguished classmates the other striking thing about the early days at LBS was the precision of planning and coordination by the program office in managing the whole orientation process and thereon in the most smooth and seamless manner, and why not, coming to a world class institute you expect that and they deliver more, giving you the first taste of what it means to be studying at a top of the line institute. This is only the beginning and you experience the quality in every sphere, especially the professors with their very latest insights from the corporate and academic worlds.

To sum it up, the first impression is that you made the right choice and all the hard work put in getting admitted is worth the effort. So now is the time to immerse yourself in this amazing environment for learning, self-awareness and development.

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THE SLOAN WAR GAMES

Posted by: Ritu

Term 1 ended in a tizzy! I have never had a more challenging academic tenure or a more demanding social life, packed neatly into 3 months. Come April, I packed memories of my Term 1 ‘all-nighters’ in the library and the Windsor Castle pub and headed home. Term 2 will definitely be easier…

Term 2 whizzed past in a ‘motion blur’! The core courses were significantly reduced and my electives occupied a significant mind and time share. Electives meant studying with a new cohort of people – with a new study group of mixed blood… from courses across the school. This was a bitter-sweet experience! The term 1 battlefield was still fresh with blood shed during Sloan study group ‘guns and roses’ sessions. We had called each other names and sworn ‘life-long’ enmity, yet combated deadlines together in the still of the ‘last’ hour, drunken each other under the table and sometimes even found soul mates! And here was this new cohort of young blood (MiMs, MIFs, MBAs and Exec MBAs) to deal with to pass Term 2 electives. Let the war-games begin!

If you have studied business education or worked in a study group before, I have probably lost you to nostalgia already. Some of you might even be calling your soul-mate long distance just about now! So adieus amigos!

For the rest of you, study groups are extremely tricky swamps. ‘No-hierarchy’ flat groups, forced together without any ‘for-profit’ motivations… often resembling ‘headless’ chickens with sharp and shiny canine teeth!

However, interacting with the younger LBS blood in Term 2 study groups made me come face to face with my ‘mirror-mirror on the wall’ moment…

In one’s twenties, a business program mirrors ‘who and what’ to expect in your new workplace and arms you with ammunition to best deal with the external enemy to reach given goals.

At a more mature age (and you thought I would reveal our age? Fat chance!), a business program mirrors ‘who and what’ we have become fighting that workplace. It arms us with ammunition to best deal with the internal strife and redefine goals (as we all know by now – monetary goals are mere carrots; there has to be more to this rat race).

Term 3 will be all about stepping back from the battlefield, arriving at that elusive goal that would probably define a deeper meaning and lunging forward.

As the Sloan class of 2012 dives inward, the clock is relentlessly ticking away and we must remember to savour the last few months with our sworn enemies and soul mates! For, at the end of the day, isn’t that what life’s really about?

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Now that’s a blog Ritu! Obviously, my new Sloan BFF (read: my co-author) knows how to do this ‘blog thing’…which quite frankly, scares me to death!

Putting myself out there on social media, and just being open about myself are not things that come naturally to an ex-US Air Force officer, but Sloan is teaching me… boy is it teaching me.  Learning to be self-aware and stepping out of our comfort zones are watchwords in the program.

The word ‘naked’ (see, I would never have thought to use that!) is incredibly apt.  Never have I, or (I would imagine) the rest of the class exposed our inner thoughts and desires to people we have known for such a short period of time, but that’s just what has happened.  Heck, I haven’t talked this intimately about myself to people I’ve known most of my life!  And surprisingly it’s been a liberating experience, even comforting! We’re all coming from the same base of uncertainty, so it just doesn’t seem so hard.  Even team-building exercises (for me, it was acting in a play—I was Margaret Thatcher, although I sounded more like the Queen) that just months ago I would have absolutely hated, have seemed, well… fun.

It’s thrilling to do this journey with the 51 other wonderful people–people I study with, party with, and just hang out with.  We have a way to go, but the “crash of Sloan 2012” has propelled us a good way ahead already.  Even though I haven’t cleared away the fog that’s been surrounding me for years and figured out where I’m going from here, my friends and classmates say they can see things for/about me I can’t see for myself yet.  I can’t wait to see what they see—the rest of the year has such promise!

Yes, the Sloan will celebrate me!

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Only a few days ago, all 52 of us sat ensconced in our comfort zones trying to reach out to our to-be classmates, somewhat reticently, on linked-in. Then in January, we all crashed into each other… 51 strangers privy to our dreams and fears, exposed to our lacunas and party to our strengths. Its probably the most naked most of us have ever felt!

But there was another person lurking in the shadows of LT10 (lecture theatre 10). I would catch a glimpse at times, but couldn’t put a name to her face. Oddly familiar…strangely new! The more I was made to introspect, the more familiar this person became. Somewhere in the middle of week 5, I befriended her. I had crashed into myself!

In my hurry-sickness of yesteryears, an almost terminal condition (curable by Sloan I am told!), I had never really gotten the time to sit back and figure out the ‘WHO, WHAT and HOW’ that defined brand ‘me’.

After a few cold Windsor beers on Thursdays, you can often hear a Sloan fellow marvel at ‘how well he/she has gotten to know the 51 others, so soon’. But if you close your eyes real tight (ok I am being a girl here) you will be amazed at how well you are getting to know yourself.

I see my negatives and strive to turn them around. The stuff new age ideal leaders are made of – all in the new me! The Sloan will change me!

But the fact is that I am always a little late! (Personal Development Plan: better time management :()

My dream job, eulogy, timeline…and all the ‘soft’ stuff most investment bankers and consultants hate…reeks of me! So is the challenge really to ‘change’ myself… or is the Sloan really about ‘celebrating’ myself? Strengthen my strengths or weaken my weaknesses?

(Carrie Bradshaw would probably end with that open-ended question!)

I am inclined to work on my strengths. Everyday, the 51others help me find my strengths (and the elusive chalice of leadership :)). I grow in their tall shadow… And celebrate each moment at Sloan 2012.

Yes, the Sloan will ‘celebrate’ me!

My co-author (Lee-Ann) is a strong as nails Colonel (well most of the times!). I crashed into her before I came to London. The electronic media brought us together and we have already built memories together in London that will last a lifetime… Go Colonel…

Read about Lee-Ann’s Sloan journey so far.

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