Here is some actionable advice:
November is tough. With the banks and consulting firms descending on campus, Anderson becomes a sea of suits. Picture the heist scene in the Thomas Crown Affair minus the bowler hats. It is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed this time of year. I still remember back to November of my first year during my (first) meltdown. I recall the exact place I was standing in my Weyburn studio when I called my mom, deeply questioning by decision to even attend business school. The clarity that I had when I wrote my b-school application essay was missing. And it didn’t return overnight. After a lot of exploration thanks to Parker, some mentors, my Anderson classmates, my family, and the five professional clubs I joined (EA, MCA, MA, Net Impact, SOMA—really should have joined HTBA though), I was able to distill the exact industry and function I was looking for, which made networking much more effective and set me on a lengthy series of informational interviews. Whenever I stressed, I went back to my tracking sheet and contacted a few more targeted people for informationals. Taking action was always empowering.
(SPOILER ALERT: You will only get more busy. Yeah, Fall Quarter is packed because of core, but you will just keep on taking on more extracurriculars—recruiting, academic internships, leadership positions, electives, etc.—and it is that same overachiever mentality that will make you successful in your post b-school job too).
Okay, grab a piece of paper
- List your goals for what you want to get out of business school: skillsets you want to develop, networks you want to build, a job you want to get, etc. It is fine if they have changed since you submitted your application.
- Rank order your goals.
- Now, bucket how you spend your time on a daily basis (or how you plan to spend it next quarter) and map it back to these priorities. Ideally, the most time should be spent on your most important goal. Try not to exaggerate the time spent on your least favorite activities due to the drudgery.
- Optimize your time utilization:
- Can you minimize the time spent on low priority activities (except hygiene).
- What activities seem to drag and/or you find yourself watching the clock? Minimize, if possible.
- What activities fly by because you are so engaged? Can you spend more time on these? Drinking does not count.
- Do you need to spend more time on your #1 goal?
- Do you need to reevaluate your goals?
According to Socrates, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Hopefully an examined life will help you with your career search… or at least make you feel better about all of those midterms.
-Emily Taylor '08, Associate Director of MBA Education & Communication