Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Back to Basics

I could say that in a perfect world, I would be able to talk about my fabulous job, my post-MBA experience where I was taking steps to become who I have always wanted to become-moving forward in the world…maybe an editor of some global business publication, a strategic advisor for high profile luxury brands, a political consultant…

Truth is, even now, I don't know what my dream job is. Throughout the development of the MBA, I kept believing that something would simply drop into my lap- a new passion, the thing I excelled at- my path.

I knew that an MBA would open up the business world to me and at the same time, somewhere deep down, I hoped that in the process, I would discover a new road- or at the very least, an alternate direction. Perhaps banking, some type of consulting, operations…I don't know. And within my two years as a student at ESADE, and the many, MANY courses I took- I did unearth new interests. However- I did not, in fact, find a new vocation.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done and both Barcelona and the MBA are behind me- it is clear that I walked away with two years of great memories, a diploma and advanced knowledge of the Spanish language. Yet the greatest lesson I learned is that maybe I always knew who I was, what I was good at and what I wanted to do. And what I know how to do- with the knowledge I have gained and the few gifts I encompass-  is to try to share the world around me, through these eyes of mine, with my words. And that? Well, that's the best I can do.

During any experience where groups of people are placed together for extended periods of time- whether it be professional, social or educational environments- each individual brings with them their distinct and oftentimes defining characteristics. In my MBA, every student was identified as something that set them apart, we were assigned roles- and whether these roles were truly representative of who we were or not, we were each labeled as something or another amongst our classmates- from the party planning duo, to Mr. consulting, the “operations ant,” the loudmouth, the most opinionated, the most altruistic, the hardest worker, the hardest partier, and so on and so forth…

My MBA identity was the girl with the blog, the girl who was put on the cover of the brochure, the girl who wrote the ESADE piece for BusinessWeek, the girl who worked on loads of cover letters and resumes for her classmates, the girl who edited the papers, the girl who writes. And I love that. Because I love to write. And part of me believes that had I not done an MBA- I wouldn't have been the girl who writes. It's the “big fish, small pond” syndrome.

An MBA program, any MBA- is filled with left brains- numbers people…logical, sharp, sane minds all capable of something distinctive- analytics, calculations, quants, evaluations, etc… Point is- not many writers are found immersed in an MBA. Had I gone in another direction- done something that came naturally to me, i.e. a masters in literary theory, art history, marketing…or whatever, there would have been plenty of people just like me- individuals who are creative, who can write well, who are illogical, messy, disorganized and overly emotional. I don't think I would have stood out the way I did- I would have had a different identity. What that is? I will never know- but that's not something I care to find out either, because I love my MBA identity. I love that I was “the writer.” And in a way- it validated me. It made it ok for me to not be like everyone else. It made it ok for me to be me.

I think what I am trying to say is that the MBA taught me something I never would have thought to expect or hope for. Beyond knowledge, know-how, beyond experience and wisdom- it showed me that I have never been wrong about my passions…it confirmed that what I have always done is what I do best. And it proved to me that I was right all along. 

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