Thursday, November 19, 2009

What's the combination to MBA success?

The combination is 16, 35, 04Because I'm the most successful first-year student at SOM*, I'm constantly asked about the keys to success in an MBA program. What a dumb question, I respond. If success is a lock, it can only have one key, or copies of that same key ... not multiple keys. A better question would be: What is the combination to the combination lock of success? With that, I give you three things that, together, open MBA success. You need all three, though, or you'll be standing, defeated, next to the locker that contains your dreams.

1. Ducks in a row. If you are a frazzled person who is always forgetting appointments and losing keys, success at business school will be hard to achieve absent a concerted effort to improve your organization and prioritization skills. I am not the best example of these skills at their most refined, but with the help of an Outlook calendar, I am getting along just fine.

2. Brainz. If you can't read or add, you're SOL at b-school. It's not rocket science, to be sure, but some of the stuff is like hard. If you are without smarts, however, you may nevertheless get by on confidence, charm and resourcefulness. That's how I'm managing. And nobody seems to be the wiser.

3. A work ethic. I'd elaborate on this, but "Deal or No Deal" is on, and that's more interesting.

*This claim has been neither made nor verified by anyone.

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