Saturday, 12 November 2016

Where Has Time Gone? 10 Things I've Learnt in the Last 4 Months

Most MBA blogs tend to have lots of content at the start and then generally fade out in the middle. Now being 4 months into the MBA, I find myself and this blog in the same state. In short, life as an MBA student is so full-on you really don't get a chance to write. I've composed probably 20 or so half-posts in my head on my way to classes, events etc, but none of them have actually made it into proper posts. At the end of the day, you're just so exhausted from juggling everything that blogging gets bumped way down the priority list.

I briefly considered back-posting some of the more interesting things that happened in the last 4 months, but honestly, I doubt these'll see the light of day. So here are 10 things I learnt in the last 4 months:

  1. On Intensity
    You might have thought your previous job was intense, but MBA life is astonishingly more exhausting than you think. There is never enough time to sleep so if you get the opportunity to, take it.
  2. On Priorities
    You need to constantly assess your priorities because b-school really really makes you choose and make tough choices everyday - all cool/interesting/fun/important events can and will happen at the same time. Not used to making tough choices? Tough luck.
  3. On Study Groups
    You might get along really well on a personal level with your study group, but find conflict in working styles. Managing relationships within your study group tends to get more challenging over time - especially when there are 3 group assignments due concurrently. 
  4. On Careers
    The more you talk to other people about careers and what they want to do, the more you're going to end up questioning what you want to do - expect to be completely confused. Rest assured though, majority of folks are feeling exactly the same way
  5. On Classmates
    You will meet people whom you'll wonder why or how they even got into a top b-school - every community has got to have black sheep right? But majority of those you meet are really nice people - at least at LBS :) - so don't let the bad apples get to you
  6. On Assignments
    While it's ideal to do all assignments as a study group, realistically it is far easier to divide and conquer. Most groups tend to go all out on the first few group assignments and then you end up settling into a divide and conquer rhythm.
  7. On Grades
    Yes, everyone knows that grades don't really matter in b-school, but it's hard to keep from trying to maintain at least decent grades. Unfortunately, while the school makes it easy not to fail, it is tough to get good grades without putting in far more effort than it may possibly be worth. Again, priorities. At least in our MBA class, this is a great challenge for most - letting go. And at LBS, expect to do not that great in Strategy.
  8. On Exams
    Mid-terms will sneak up on you before you know it, and so will finals - it feels like we just finished mid-terms yesterday and yet in 3 weeks we have our first final at LBS. Honestly, tie just flies by when you're living from one class/assignment/event to another.
  9. On Treks
    It's definitely worth going for as many as you can - be they social or career-specific. You learn a lot about your fellow classmates during treks. Be warned though that there isn't unlimited space for some of these treks so you need to be quick (e.g. the Snow Trek sold out in under 5mins). Also, the career treks will require you writing applications for them, so it's not just a matter of putting your name down. The treks do mean you will have to plan ahead in terms of scheduling for classes, finding time to do your group and individual assignments, other commitments and studying for exams.
  10. On Entrepreneurship
    The biggest different between entrepreneurs and "wantrepreneurs" is what you actually do about making things happen. Entrepreneurship is trending currently, but reality is not as glamourous. B-school and entrepreneurship do not actually co-exist harmoniously, simply because life as an MBA student eats away at so much precious time that you could spend working on your start-up. As such, if you're a true entrepreneur it might be a good idea to evaluate if b-school is really the right place to be for you.

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