“What you want to do with your life?” This was a question that we were asked in 2006 by my ex-boss, who also happens to lead a workshop – “Perspective”, a three day program to unearth our purpose in life. Yes - ”Life”. We were asked to create one-sentence mission statements and then shout it out to other participants. They were the judge and decided if the statement was authentic. The audience was brutal.
On average, they rejected the mission statement, at least 10 times. We had to modify the statement, or internalize the feeling and shout it out again, until our authentic self was revealed. For a lucky few, the exercise lasted 1 hour and for others it stretched to 3-5 hours. It was exhausting but had a lasting impact on what I wanted to do with my life. When I remember that exercise, the one thing that strikes me was that there were no guidelines on what to say or even what to aspire. My personal brand was up to me with infinite possibilities.
There were no right answers.
When someone chooses to do an MBA, personal brand is defined by the limited job functions, industries and short-term goals. It’s a top down approach of fitting your ambition with the personal brand. What it results are thousands of wasted hours on Business School Research, MBA Application Essays and GMAT preparation – all to fit the mold of the ‘perfect applicant’. And guess what - a top down approach fails 99% of the time. AdCom is bored out of their mind reading about another applicant nurturing a dream to be part of McKinsey. They want to be inspired by your life story and personal brand.
You might argue that the competition is high and your authentic self is the lazy, sports addict with a job. No! That is your lazy self. We all have one. What inspires you to pursue work without categorizing it as ‘work’?. “I have one but that is just a hobby”, you might say. It is not. That is your ‘authentic self’. Dig deeper and reflect on the emotions that you feel when that self is on a roll. An MBA will not magically transform you into a superstar. It will neither transform you if you are not aware of your authentic-self and what it wants. Without a clearly defined personal brand, an MBA would be just a 2-year break from full-time employment. You don’t want that with a $175,000 investment.
Here are the first action steps:
1) Accept the Authentic Self: Accept who you are – the raw emotions, the ludicrous ambitions and the unique thought process.
2) Note your Negative Emotions: Whenever we search for the authentic-self, the doubting self will start the inner dialogue about the authenticity of the task or even the result. Don’t beat it out. Note it down in a piece of paper.
3) Acknowledge the Negative Emotions: Read the inner dialogue aloud and acknowledge the negative emotions. Even the world’s best athletes have negative ‘inner dialogues’. They don’t hide it. They acknowledge them, head on.
4) Positive Emotions: Beat each negative emotion with more than two positive emotions.
Negative 1: “I don’t know what to achieve with an MBA”
Positive 1: “I will discover my true values, goals, purpose, and ambitions”.
Positive 2: “I will create a clear mission statement for MBA Admissions”
Create the positive internal dialogues until negative emotions fades out.
You have crossed the first hurdle!
2019 MBA Research Guide - Choose your MBA
F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide will teach you how to select MBA programs through a bottom-up approach.
Articulating your Post-MBA Goals and Career Path is the FIRST step. Which program will give you that hike in Salary, Switch in Career, Change in Location or Job Satisfaction?
We cover them all through our extensive analysis.
+ How to Choose the Best MBA Program: Factors to Consider
Define Post-MBA Goals
Pick your Path: Generalize or Specialize
Use Moral Algebra Method
Use Multi-Attribute Utility Theory
Understand the Top 5 Risks
Measure MBA Career Service Team's Effectiveness
Use Bookending to Calculate MBA Admission Chance
Use Net Present Value to Calculate MBA Return on Investment
Don't Fall for the Mere Exposure Effect
Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour
Comprehensive MBA Research Guide: Includes Top MBA Programs by 19 Specializations:
+ General Management
+ Operations Management
+ Supply Chain Management
+ Luxury Management
+ Information Systems
+ Hospitality Management
+ Leadership Development
+ Military &
+ Top MBA Program Ranking
Top 20 MBA Programs - Tuition Fee (2018)
Top 31 MBA Programs in United States – Total Cost & Salary (2017)
Top 60 MBA – GMAT and GPA (Average & Median)
Top 20 European MBA Programs - Tuition Fee, Total Cost & Salary
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Based on Actual Salary Increase)
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Short-term return on investment)
Top 20 Affordable European MBA Programs
Top 10 MBA in UK – Salary & Fee (2018)
Top MBA Destinations Based on Happiness Index
Top MBA Destinations based on Innovation Index
Top 10 MBA Job Markets based on Cost of living and Purchasing Power
Top MBA Destination: By Economy
+Comparisons - Top MBA Programs
Wharton vs. Columbia MBA (2018)
MIT vs. Stanford MBA (2017)
Haas vs. Ross MBA (2018)
Kellogg vs Ross MBA
Booth vs Wharton MBA
MIT Sloan vs Tuck MBA
IMD vs. INSEAD MBA (2017)
IIMA vs. ISB (2017)
+ MBA in France (2018)
Top Industries in France
Top MBA Programs in France
+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK
Top MBA Programs in the UK
Scholarships in the UK