Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Some Reflections: The First Official 2 Weeks

Ok, remember how I said in my previous post prior to starting the MBA that it was two weeks of crazy? Scratch that - the last two official weeks have been so intense that it's felt like I've been at LBS for 2 months. My fellow classmates can attest to that.

On FOMO (fear of missing out)...
While all MBA alumni and current students tell you to try and avoid FOMO, I'm discovering that trying to do so is seriously hard! There's just so much going on in the social sphere. For instance, last weekend there was the option to either go for a group hike of the Seven Sisters Cliffs or go for the Notting Hill Carnival (both are highly recommended by the way, just very different sort of activities). Or last week there was the last Flat Hunters Pub Crawl (awesome way to meet people) and 2 parties happening concurrently.

I'm not going to advise any future MBA students to not FOMO because you won't get it until you're in it. What I'm going do is to quote some really really good advice given to us on Day 1 from Alex Edmans, one of the most popular profs at LBS - "It's either HELL YEAH or no". If you aren't 110% in, then pick something else.

On careers...
The cliche "what you put in is what you get out" really applies here. Even though we've barely begun, there's loads to do for careers - if you make the time. Most of this though is lots of introspection. I've found that the more I've spoken to my fellow classmates about what they do and what they want to do, the more unclear my own future goals are - because there's just so much out there that's possible!

So dedicate time to reflect on what really suits you and where you want to go. Additionally, the LBS careers centre offers lots of different workshops and information sessions. Plan early and sign up for those that you really would like to attend, otherwise you might find yourself on the waitlist.

On classes...
Let's just say it takes time getting used to being a student again. Most of us are used to lots of distractions and many different things going on at once during the work day. We're used to multi-tasking, working on several different things at once, answering phones, so focusing for a 3 hour lecture is hard. My focusing stamina was definitely tested when we had a full week of 8.15am - 6.30pm classes with 15min breaks in between!

On time management...
It's worth mentioning again that there's so much going on all the time, especially in the first weeks. You really need to make sure you're keeping on top of things - classes, readings, assignments. Good calendar habits will ensure you don't miss classes and key information sessions/networking events. There's plenty of optional stuff, so pick and choose where your priorities lie.

On study groups...
These are randomly assigned groups of 5 or 6 and LBS really analyses who they put together. Count on different backgrounds and nationalities - for instance in my study group we're only missing someone from the continent of Africa! Personality-wise, it's a bit of luck really. You actually end up learning a lot about your team dynamics when LBS puts you through GLAM in the first 2 weeks.

I'd say probably the most important thing really is to keep an open mind and be willing to improve your behaviour to adapt to the rest of your study group. Participation in all the team activities/assignments is also key to getting the most out of the leadership courses.

On partying...
There are plenty of opportunities for being social! In London, I'm finding people drink a lot (like everyday in some cases), so it's a good idea to make sure you're disciplined enough to monitor your own intake. Bear in mind as well that drinks aren't cheap either, so it could be an added incentive for not going too hard at it :)

And with that, I'm off to Amsterdam as our stream has a long weekend!

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