Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Top ten new MBA signs

Yesterday I had the good fortune to meet with Schulich’s entering MBA class of 2010. These are first year MBAs entering in Fall 2008. Nice bunch, lots of smiles and uncertainty.

But don’t fret MBAs, they’re no longer teaching MGMT 5150! Unfortunately, you might still have to endure reframing techniques and endless head-scratching about your personal 15% solution (just wait and see…)

So as someone who’s gone through the wash, been rung out and hung out to dry, here are the top ten signs that you are an incoming Schulich MBA:

For added effect, I’ve included professional looking stock photos from a Google image search for “business school students”. Impressive!

10. You gesture a lot with your hands to explain things. Talking with hands is great. It makes your points so much more impactful when there’s physical action associated to the points you’re making. It also helps to make you appear like an action-oriented professional business person!

9. Overwhelming anxiety (for some) masked by a pretty see-through smile. Get over it, everyone is nervous and doesn’t know anyone else.

8. Suit and tie. Yikes…suit and tie? See if you’re still wearing it two weeks later. See if the compulsion to wear boardshorts and hoodies doesn’t overwhelm you by the end of Frosh Week.

7. No swear words, slang, idioms, or casual conversation. Conversation must be business-like, adult, and meaningful. Talking about one’s weekend, hobbies, or drinking habits are perceived to be verboten.

6. You’ve practiced and prepped way too much and instinctively answer the question “why did you choose Schulich” whenever someone asks about you. Note, they didn’t ask about Schulich, they asked about you. The answer to this question will invariably slide to a vague description/supposition about the ethnic diversity of the class and the valuable perspectives that international students bring to the program. While this is not in dispute, you don’t need to make it sound so canned! I even used this one in an early interview with the school.

5. Your professional experience matters only to you. Everyone else is concerned with their own professional experience. Again, this has been well-practiced and diligently rehearsed. Chill out a little, open up about yourself. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, it matters who you are.

4. You believe that networking begins immediately and that “this is the most valuable network [you’ll] ever form”. WRONG. You’ll soon realize that more than half of the students you know are pretty irrelevant to where you might want to go in the future. You’ll also soon gravitate to the ones you know are smart or influential and those people will come to form your real network out of school.

3. You can’t wait to meet your professors and develop meaningful business relationships with them. Are they interested in you? Maybe. Have you proven yourself worth of their attention? Not yet.

2. You have your resume and elevator pitch down cold in your head, ready to spiel out at a moment’s notice. Yes, the verisimilitude of what you say you’ve worked on to your actual resume says you’ve worked on is critically important. Also important is your 60 second pitch. Too bad it might still come across as canned and cheesy and offer no insight into your personality.

1. You have rationalized paying at least $42,000 in tuition, $2,000 in textbooks, $10,000 in accommodation and living expenses, $2,000 in transit or related expenses, and the opportunity cost of making at least $100,000 for the next two years because, in your opinion, it’s worth it.

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

What about civilize MBA class atmosphere? Such as people who are constantly shaking there legs in the class (could be mental after experiencing MGMT 5150), starting eating exactly after the class brake and making those noises with paper bags (God knows what they do during the brake time), and of course those constantly later f@ckers (most of them live on campus) who always ruin first 15-20 minute of lecture.

Ana said...

This is officially my favorite post, because it is soooooo true! Good one!