Kid’s Story: Enjoy the Fall

Timeline: Tuesday noon-ish.

I see: my BlackBerry flashing for attention and a pile of work ready for my boss.

I hear: Stratovarius.

I smell: freshly printed pages.

I feel: hungry.

Getting an MBA is not easy. It’s like falling down.

OK, so at first I thought I would leave it at that; I mean, the phrase is pretty much self-explanatory. However, I figured I’d rather avoid the hate mail for saying negative things about our program.

First and foremost, this is a positive thing. Sure, some of the images that come to mind when talking about falling down are childhood memories of scraped knees, the smell of blood and iodine, the taste of your own tears, the sound of mom making everything better… or maybe of one of your dorkier friends asking “dude, did you fall?”, I don’t know.

However, this is a different kind of fall, especially since mom is no longer around (or she has at least hinted you should move out at some point). This is you standing on the ledge, a wimpy backpack with a chute, the wind pushing you forward, the rocks and trees at the bottom, the lack of a safety net… and once again, your still-dorky friend asking “dude, you gonna jump?”

When I considered withdrawing from the workforce, giving up two years of my life, leaving my family and friends behind, and so on, I felt the exact same gut-wrenching sensation as before such a leap. Everything that can possibly go wrong, along with some of your fondest and scariest memories, manages to flash before your eyes in an instant. You start wondering how you got yourself into this situation and even consider how it would look if you simply backed out now. Perhaps it would be better, you figure, rather than risking it all to follow an elusive dream.

What you usually fail to see is the fulfilling sensations of freedom and accomplishment, the relief of making it safely to the bottom, the pride and joy of your closest ones, and the fact that every single time you tell the story you will have to say “it definitely wasn’t as bad as it looked, and it was totally worth it”.

An MBA program opens doors you cannot even see before you get in here. An MBA degree is the magical key that unlocks those doors. Like I told a prospective student the other day, the job market is a battlefield, and this is just like getting a bigger gun. It may not guarantee success in itself, as you must know how to use it, but it will certainly increase your probability of success. “Success” here is defined by each one of us for our particular situation.

The difference between a battlefield or a free-fall parachute jump and studying an MBA is this: what’s the worst that could happen?

PS: I love the weather in the Fall as well; here are some pictures from a beautiful picnic we had with a friend at Mt. Gilead National Park, about 30 minutes north of Columbus. Like I said at the beginning: Enjoy the Fall.

“Why don’t we see what is going on? There are not so many years to be wasted…” – Stratovarius