Hey guys! Happy Monday. How are you? Things are going pretty well over here, for a rainy (what else is new?) Monday. Thank you, as always, for your amazing support regarding my commencement over the weekend. You guys are the best. I’m quite a lucky lady.
I mentioned briefly on Saturday that I wanted to put together a recap of what I deem the most important lessons I received during my time as a graduate student. I think this is important to me from a reflection and journal-keeping standpoint. I hope also that you can find some inspiration in it. I feel like while I’m discussing education, really, this is more about setting a goal and reaching it. About striving and struggling to be a better and happier you. I feel like we can never reflect on such matters too much. Hopefully you do too. J
1. Nike was on to something. When I was contemplating going back to school to earn my MBA, I was nervous, not sure if it was worth it, not sure if I could swing it while working full-time, not sure if I wanted to take on more debt… During one of many conversations with my Dad, he very astutely commented that, in two years, I could just be Emily OR I could be Emily with an MBA. Put that way, I realized that time was going to pass anyhow. Why not fill that time in pursuit of something that would fulfill me? I am officially Emily with an MBA and I’m so glad for it. When in doubt, just do it.
2. Public speaking and presentation skills are essential. I distinctly remember sitting in my very first class and going over the syllabus which contained at least four required presentations. Wide-eyed, I thought to myself…We’re going to have to present!? Well yes, presentation skills are a key requirement of MBA students, duh. While I was extremely nervous and unprepared at first, practice really does make perfect and I’m so grateful to have learned the keys to a good presentation: Preparation and Expertise. You need to practice, and you need to feel confident that you are the expert in your presentation material. You need (only) to be one step ahead of your presentees. Being persuasive and able to convey information clearly is an amazing skill.
3. The power of relationships. Both within my classes and beyond, I made some amazing relationships with my classmates and instructors. In group work, we learned how to delegate, command, compromise and effectively get work done. Outside of class, we kicked back and made some of the most intimate relationships I’ve experienced. From the diversity in my class, I gained so many perspectives and so much appreciation for others. Professionally, the power of the network I have formed cannot be beat. It is so important to nurture relationships that are important and beneficial to us.
4. The power of ambition. At one of our celebratory events over the past month, one of my classmates asked us what one takeaway we found most important. She explained that she learned to not be afraid of stepping outside of her comfort zone and pushing herself. We all reflected (with amazement) on how we managed to juggle full work schedules, family, friends, and social lives with school. We all powered through and showed ourselves and each other that with ambition, anything is possible. Just like training for a race, making professional aspirations, setting life goals, etc. we are in control of the outcome. We have the power to make these goals and dreams come true.
I feel like I can go on, but in the fear of diluting the message, I’ll cut myself off here. J What experiences have you guys had that have left you feeling bettered and proud? What is something that you have learned recently that excites you? I’d love to hear about it. I think it’s so important to celebrate learning and self-improvement.