Just Say No

Ahh yes my friends . . . I’m actually old enough to remember Nancy Reagan championing this phrase in her war on drugs during her husband’s presidency.  It turns out to also be a handy dandy phrase to keep in mind during your MBA experience.

Since the time we started our pre-orientation work (yes, you are given homework for orientation due during various sessions at orientation), we have had numerous exercises, surveys, evaluations, and tests that give us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves, our motives, and our interests.  Whether the intent is to make you a better teammate or help you choose a career path, self-knowledge and reflection play a major role in your MBA experience.  Not only is reflection encouraged, it’s required.

Spoken best by Polonius in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”:

This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.

Amidst all the self-awareness “food for thought”, there is a lot going on within the Fisher College of Business and in the greater OSU community.  You may choose to be involved in groups/chapters/clubs as a member or by pursuing a leadership position.  In addition, you have the opportunity to attend events of all varieties: lectures, guest speakers, panel discussions, debates, celebrations, pep rallies, and informational meetings.  The list is nearly endless and most are great uses of time that will educate, inspire, energize, and inform you.  BTW: factor in social gatherings such as the weekly EOTW (end of the week) event, karaoke night, $3 burgers at Brazenhead on Wednesdays, tailgating, salsa lessons, and various other sporadic fellowship functions that arise impromptu.  Meanwhile, make sure you don’t neglect your career search (resume workshops, career fairs, company info events, site visits, networking, industry and company research, interviews, correspondence, etc).  One last thing: you have a family and friends . . . or at least you did before you entered the program.  Don’t forget to carve out time to nurture those relationships.  PS: You balance all the above with classes, homework, papers, team projects, and possibly a job on campus.

DAILY DILEMMA: You have 24 hours and you need to spend some of that time sleeping and eating.

The better you know yourself and your limits, the better you can determine which events to attend.  I guarantee you: many of us are still figuring out how to best balance our schedules and occupy our time.

I continue to struggle with what matters most.  For me, it is *really* difficult to pass up a great opportunity.  Priorities matter and I must continually weigh each opportunity against my long-term goals.  What do I want to get from the MBA program?  How can I best contribute to the Fisher community/my cohort team?  What type of company (culture) fits me best?

Pursuing something based on intrinsic motivation will result in greater satisfaction and success.  Listen to heart, not just your head.  For some of us, that’s easier said than done.

KEY: Knowing when to say “No”