Lessons from my MBA… the kind that are personal and are not taught from a book.

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My MBA taught me that I need an outlet such as writing or communication with someone I trust (often that’s myself or my good friends) to get the best understanding of myself and the situations I’m presented with.

The team-focus in my MBA and all the writing I did for it helped me to see this about myself. I never knew it until my MBA.

It taught me also that I absolutely love reading. I never read for fun until my MBA… it was reading those Harvard Business Review cases that I grew a fond love for reading, ironically. A lot of people laugh at this when I tell them…

They say, “You grew a passion for reading from HBR Articles? – You’re nuts! haha!”

My classes showed me that I am smarter and more reflective than I ever imagined. My self-confidence grew, and I now understand a lot more about myself than I did with my undergraduate degree alone.

I also noticed that I had a lot to contribute to my MBA teams and classes because I typically have ideas and/or input that is different from maybe what everyone else thinks. Or, maybe I am brave enough to say my thoughts whereas others hold in what they feel if it opposes the mainstream thought.

My MBA helped me to find my own voice.

Overall, my MBA helped me dramatically with my own personal growth.

And it’s still and will always be a work-in-progress. This I learned from MBA too… I thought I knew so much more before my MBA.

My MBA humbled me – it let me see the endless things that I didn’t know, and that there’s infinite things to learn in this world.

It was far more than the lessons you learn from a book or being in class. It was a very personal journey.

The Time I was Trying to be and do Everything with Everyone… And Power of Saying “No”.

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It was my junior year of college and I was involved in everything, working a lot, had my first upper level business classes, and decided to live in the freshman dorm hall because it was cheaper. I found I ended up with horrible grades, and I nearly failed one of my classes.

I had a roommate that took over the whole entire room with her never-ending things she had and upstairs neighbors that played music so loud that my dorm room shook. The next semester of my junior year I realized I needed to make some significant changes otherwise I was going to not do so hot in my college career and might go insane!

So, I took away all of the commitments that were serving me no true value or purpose by taking a closer look at what I really wanted and needed. I moved to another dorm room where I had my own room that enforced quiet hours in an upper classmen residence hall.

I could breathe again, and soon my sanity came back.

I realized from all of this that I needed to learn to be more selective with what I did with my time, who I was around, and again that my environment I was in either was demotivating or motivating.

Everything seemed to go to heck that first semester, but it all fell into place again once I made some hard decisions to get back to what I needed.

The High-School Awards Ceremony I never forgot…

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This writing was another reflection exercise I did for one of my MBA Leadership Classes.

This class was so profound for me in my MBA. It helped me to learn sooo much about myself and how my life experiences have affected me and thus in-turn as a leader.

……

It was at an end of the year awards ceremony in high school that I realized I was at the top of my class and I was different.

That year each teacher gave out top three students in their class awards as well as top 10 for each subject. I found out that I was in the top 3 for every one of my classes and top 3 in my entire class. This was in about 9th grade this occurred. I
found that I was 3rd performing in my class at that point.

I didn’t know this until that exact point. I just simply did my work and didn’t care that I was performing well.

It started with a few awards, and then after about 4 trips up to the podium in front of the entire high school I started to realize that this was both eye-opening, but also I felt sad. My classmates soon realized that I was standing up for nearly every award there was given to be a recipient, and they all started guessing that I was going to be called ahead of time. They did this with all of the 3 of us or so that had numerous awards. They seemed upset that we kept getting the awards and they didn’t.

I was picked on afterwards about the awards. They said I didn’t deserve them and that I was just “Miss Smartypants” and that I needed to help them cheat on their homework because I had all of the right answers. Some of the people in my class actually did help them to cheat and they played up the attention while I again got frustrated by everyone and I thought of myself as different for not allowing myself to help my classmates cheat. I offered them the chance for me to teach them, but they didn’t want it. They went to those that would simply give them the answers.

It wasn’t until this awards ceremony and the aftermath that I realized I felt and was different from my classmates in many regards. I went home that night of the awards ceremony with about 10 awards total. I felt sad because I wanted everyone else to be able to feel a sense of achievement and recognition like I had at the ceremony. I felt sad for them that they had to watch me come to the podeum again and again and I felt their pain.

I felt so many emotions for the people out in the crowd watching me again get an award, and what was worse was that to me the awards really didn’t mean anything. To me,
they were paper and I didn’t like the attention that came with getting an award.

I didn’t want everyone to think of me as “Miss Smartypants”.

I wanted them to see past this and look at me as good friend or a caring person.

The Change of Friends in 7th Grade…

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This writing was also a reflection exercise I did for one of my MBA Leadership Classes.

This class was so profound for me in my MBA. It helped me to learn sooo much about myself and how my life experiences have affected me and thus in-turn as a leader.

……

I mostly have been a person to stick with a close set of friends valuing quality over quantity of friendships. When I find someone that I really like to spend time with and talk to, I really hone in a lot of what makes them unique and yet I am able to see their weaknesses.

I had a friend from 3rd grade till 7th grade that was my sole friend. I didn’t see any need to make more friends; she was all I needed for socialization. I did everything with her and I really put a lot of value on our friendship. We were two peas in a pod.

It was great, but over the years as we got older I realized more and more that while she was a great friend she also was discouraging to me and almost held me back from being my best self. I noticed weaknesses in her that I hated over time.

In about the 6th grade, we started to really like the boys…. We would talk about the different men we liked and about our classmates. What I found was that I was actually very brave and curious about everyone while she was shy and talked as though she was afraid of everyone and everything. I was still her friend, but I would suggest we sit with other people at lunch or maybe we could do something that was kind of crazy but could be fun! She resisted. She didn’t want to do anything out of fear for what people would think and she didn’t want to eat lunch with anyone else.

Eventually, I started to feel trapped being her friend even though I clearly could have just went and did the things alone without her. One day it all came to an end, but by my actions. I told her that I was going to eat lunch with my friend I was making in my band class and she was free to come, but I wasn’t going to sit with her anymore and maybe even be her friend. I told her what I thought about her, and she was upset.

We grew apart and I made new friends. Of course, I noticed the same things with my new friends. They were fearful of others and never were curious about other people who they had their negative views of. I wanted to talk to everyone and get to know everyone. I soon felt different and as though my thoughts weren’t appropriate because nobody seemed to be like me.

I showed my bravery and curiosity in other ways though. Sports was one. In sports, I was able to play with multiple of people instead of sticking to the group of friends I was around all of the time. I talked to anyone when I would talk, but I didn’t talk too much in high school. Band was also my outlet. There were in my opinion no social norms in band, I could talk with everyone there about band because we shared that interest. So, I did. I tried to not be distant from anyone in band and I was most myself there than any other place.

Therefore, I found from this experience that I need to feel free and allow my bravery and curiosity to show. I also learned that the environment and again people I’m around has an influence on how I allow myself to be. I find that I cannot be around closed-minded people for too long, otherwise, it internally bothers me or I begin to inhibit their characteristics instead of acting as my true self.

A year ago?… beauty and acceptance

Someone asked me the question recently, “Think back to last year at this time, and tell me what you see?”

A year ago was the end of 2016, and I was one semester away from graduating with my Masters of Business Administration (MBA). I was so excited to be done and ready to begin a new chapter of my life. I felt proud, excited, and relieved to be done with school soon. However, at the same time, my mind was filled with worry. What was this new chapter of my life without formal classes going to be like and what would I do? At that time, I really wanted change… I felt ready to move on and anxious.

Beyond school, at the end of 2016, I was dating the first man after my last long-term relationship who I thought I had great potential with. I was excited and felt so happy. I was very hopeful. A few months forward and it ended, but I am still thankful to have shared those few months of my life with him.

Of course, there is much more I could say… so many emotions and thoughts at this time last year. I’m smiling as I reminisce for a few minutes back to this time.

I don’t want to further analyze, dwell, or live here though for this is the past. I would rather look back and just simply see the beauty. Accept what was in my past without further analyzing.

Life is now, it is not the past. Though, it is beautiful for a few minutes to look back on, isn’t it?

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