Kellogg students get inspiration from Seth Godin

I had been looking forward to a Skype interview with Seth Godin at school for many months. It took me a few months before I was sure the technology would work. I promised him a good experience and I definitely felt a bit of the pressure of the promise in the days leading up to it. It all worked well (thank you to KIS – our tech team!) and the interview was a real treat.

I got admitted to B-School! Now what? | MBA Learnings

How can a relocation and a significant life move not be stressful, and instead be a growth opportunity?

This was the question I asked myself when I got my offer of admission for graduate school. I hate relocation. It was going to be a pain. But I needed to figure out a way to make it better. Framing it this way appealed to me because there were likely a few more relocations coming up. This was how I broke it down.

Reflecting on my summer internship | MBA Learnings

I was very curious about the graduate student internship experience. After a few years of work experience as a full-timer, I figured it might be a bit strange to go back with the intern badge. I also wondered what elements of my approach to work would be different after a year in business school.

First up, wearing the intern badge wasn’t strange at all. It helped that we had about 25 other MBA interns as part of our intern class this summer at LinkedIn. In fact, it regularly felt like a place of privilege – we were treated incredibly well, and I regularly felt very fortunate to be given the opportunity to do what I was doing.

My approach to work did feel different. Here are three things that stood out:

Spending my summer starting a business

The best way for work to not feel like work is to own what you do. I think that’s why the best organizations and managers seek to instill a sense of ownership in their employees. The entrepreneurial endeavor takes ownership to the extreme by combining intense personal responsibility with complete impact. Everything that is accomplished depends, in large part, on you.

This summer, I led the launch of an edtech startup, The Graide Network, and discovered that deep sense of ownership for myself, along with many other lessons about business. And I got hooked.

How to live a good life takes center stage during orientation (via Clear Admit)

Before diving into the fray of finance, accounting, operations and marketing, every incoming first-year student at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management first spent an afternoon grappling with the question of how to live a good life.

“What do I value?” “How do I find my personal mission?” “How do I create an action plan to live a life consistent with this mission?” These considerations—not how to cut costs, gain market share or increase profits—were part of a new element introduced this year during Kellogg’s Complete Immersion in Management (CIM) Week, the stretch of days before classes start when incoming students meet each other and the school for the first time.

Warmth and competence | MBA Learnings

We discussed the tension between “warmth and competence” in the first week of classes at school. Academics have used this concept in various ways to show how various cultural/demographic/occupational groups are perceived in various parts of the world. As usual, I’m going to gloss over all that and focus on the implications for you and me.

Controlling queues on the job and in your life | MBA Learnings

I’ve been sharing a run of operations learnings of late as a part of this series. This has been surprising as I never considered myself a fan of the subject. However, thanks to a combination of a professor (Gad Allon, who last week was named Kellogg Professor of the Year) who’s more than managed to pique my interest and a realization that learning to manage business operations isn’t very different from managing life operations, I’ve enjoyed my time studying operations. And today’s topic is managing queues.

Managing queues is particularly interesting as we all experience, and generally dislike, queues.

Searching for ‘The Good Life’ | MBA Learnings

Last month, Professor Cast, Professor Corona, Professor Murnane, Lexie Smith and I launched a three-part workshop series we called “The Good Life” sessions. Our idea was to help our classmates and friends breakdown this life concept into three meaningful questions:

What do I value? (Week 1)
How do I find my personal mission? (Week 2)
How do I create an action plan to live a life consistent with this mission? (Week 3)

A letter to an incoming MBA student | MBA Learnings

Around this time last year, once the realization that I was going back to school sunk in, the immediate question that followed was – how do I get prepared? I was, after all, going to be spending in excess of $200,000 without accounting for the loss of income in the next two years.

This had better be worth it.

My plan of action was to do three things – read books on the topic, check out the blogosphere and speak to as many people as possible. So, I did just that.

I found three resources useful – the “Case Studies and Cocktails” book was pretty hands-on, the famous Stanford letter to incoming students was reassuring and the 108 tips on the MBA Excel blog was very useful from a logistical point of view.

I did, however, feel a few things were sorely missing.

And, on top of that list was a way to “frame” the MBA experience. Great frames help us cut through the noise and understand what matters. And, given we likely have a hundred thousand capable folks jumping into expensive MBA programs all over the world, I found myself wondering if we could do a bit better in preparing them for the journey.

Luckily, I stumbled upon a first version of the “frame” I craved in my first three weeks thanks to two wonderful people – an insightful professor who taught us business analytics and a dear friend. Their insights made all the difference to my experience in the past eight months, and I’d like to share them with you.

As with my essay on internship recruiting, I’d like this to be comprehensive, so this will be long.

I hope it will be worth it.