How do you leave the work world, enter a two-year MBA program, then return to the working world effectively? Emmanuel Fadina, a Consortium member and liaison from Indiana University-Bloomington, describes a workshop he and his fellow Consortium classmates attended to address just that issue.
It seemed like it was just yesterday I said my final goodbyes to work colleagues and took the plunge to return to school full time to get my MBA. Fast forward two years later and my time is almost over—graduation is just around the corner! Moving from the academic world back to the working world requires a different set of skills, expectations and behaviors, especially as MBAs. Being prepared for this transition is vital to our success.
On March 23, Consortium students at the Kelley School of Business took part in the Eddie C. Brown Professional Development Summit, made possible by the generous donation of Mr. Brown, a Kelley Consortium alum, reputable businessman and philanthropist.
The summit featured a series of guest speakers, panelists and facilitators from the Dignitas Agency, who provided insights and guidance to Consortium students on re-entering the workforce and professional readiness. To me, the highlight of the summit was the frank discussions, or “RealTalk,” on topics such as career vision mapping, performing on the job right out of the gate and finding our authentic voice.
“Mapping Your Career Vision”
During this session, we learned what separates high achievers and happy high achievers, with the latter group possessing an indomitable sense of purpose and vision, relationships that create energy, and discipline. Having these traits don’t just naturally occur—they must be intentionally cultivated and worked on, and frankly, even fought for.
We spent time mapping our personal vision statements and really emphasized getting to the “why” and “how” of our efforts, not just “what” we will be doing in our careers. We left this session with a compelling urgency to curate this vision, which will lead to a career of both impact and satisfaction.
“IGNITE…Off the Block”
Using the metaphor of a track-and-field hurdler, we were given a detailed plan on how to “get out of the blocks” fast in our new roles in a step by step and systematic fashion. When we meet new people, almost instantly, an impression about us is crafted and may not change. We were taught how to strategically craft that message.
We were also given tools and advice on becoming more self-aware and savvy in navigating the complex and dynamic world of business politics that will inevitably arise.
“Finding Your Authentic Voice”
This discussion featured the importance of authenticity, and how it is the key to impact and influence on a large scale. We were challenged to know what we stand for and what our leadership style is, as this will prepare us for situations where our values and core will be challenged.
We also discussed dealing with conflict in a nuanced fashion and knowing when to rise, when to avoid and when to shut down. All in all, this session was focused on building courage to be who we are.
This summit was a very personal experience and epitomized the mission of The Consortium. Although I have gotten to know my Consortium classmates very well over the past two years, this was an opportunity for us to share deeper stories about our experiences, to be vulnerable, and to build trust.
Experiences like these truly make me grateful and honored to be a part of The Consortium and committed to serving its mission in my own personal way.
Pictured above: Consortium students and workshop participants Kelly Fryer, Christina Naguiat, Preston Peten and Khandyce Menard. Photo by Anna Teeter of the Kelley School of Business Creative Team.