Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Join me in a toast to my doneness

A Portuguese wineI have just completed the very last assignment in my first year at the Yale School of Management. Technical difficulties abounded, but I was working enough ahead that spending five hours dealing with them still left me with five hours to spare.

To celebrate, I did what you probably would have done in a similar situation -- I bought a salami sandwich and a bottle of Portuguese sparkling wine. One has been devoured entirely, and the other I'm just beginning to work on. I'll let you guess which is which (or which is 'wich).

Now that the year is over, I think it would be legitimate and courteous of me to share five lessons I think I learned this year, as a former journalist getting an MBA. That is, after all, what this blog is supposed to be about.

1. A journalist can cut it in an MBA program. Recently we had an activity in which fellow students shared first and current impressions of one another, and someone told me he remembered the first time I spoke in class. I prefaced my comment with an apology about not knowing what I was talking about because I was only a journalist and didn't know anything about business. Now that the year has ended, I realize that the thing I didn't know about, specifically, was finance. That's just one slice of "business," and it can be learned. I learned some of it this year and did just fine at it, and I intend to learn more about it next year. So if you're a journalist and you're thinking an MBA might not be for you, you might be right, but the reason is not that business is rocket science.

2. You cannot script the future. Often when we daydream about the future, we think of the positive things relevant to the reason we're making a change. When I was looking forward to this MBA program I thought primarily about being back in school and embarking on a new career. As it turns out, one of the foremost weights on my mind all year was neither of those things; it was of a romantic nature. The point is you can't plan everything -- you may think an experience will be about one thing, but you have to relax and let it be about whatever it's about.

3. Connecticut is not wonderful. Sorry. Living in Texas, I imagined Connecticut as a gorgeous haven of gay people, crisp fall breezes, intellectuals, beautiful buildings and, you know, nice-looking streets and stuff. It's not exactly paradise, friends. I wouldn't even say it's better than Texas. It'll do for now, though.

4. You always bring yourself to the island. You may think you can become a completely different person just because you put yourself in a new situation, but that's not true. Your strengths and weaknesses will always follow you around, so if you're lazy and introverted today, you'll be lazy and introverted even if you win the lottery and move to Paris. Unless you work hard at fixing those things, that is. But fixing those things comes from within, not from where you live.

5. iPhones are amazing. Get one.

1 comment:

  1. (taking notes)...Texas...better than CT... :)