Best Lessons From The MBA Class of 2016

University of Virginia's Jean-Marie Menga

University of Virginia’s Jean-Marie Menga

NEVER HESITATE TO ASK

“I have learned to use simple questions that will help effectively identify root causes and quickly arrive at solutions in different situations. This might not seem like the biggest thing one learns from an MBA, but having gone through so many cases in class and learning to manage the rigor of the program, I have learned to maximize my resources by asking questions. We can’t remember every concept that we have learned when faced with a particular problem, so breaking down the problem by asking the right questions helps create a better understanding of the issue and simplifies it. My classmates offer a very diverse range of perspectives that I can draw from as I approach complex issues. We need a lot of information to make the best decisions and I can do that by asking thoughtful questions to myself and others.”  Jean-Marie Menga, University of Virginia, Darden School of Business

“Success comes from being generous enough to teach and humble enough to accept help.” — Devon Weiss, Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

EMBRACE PERSONAL GROWTH

“It takes a very high-pressure, high-talent environment to really see where your strengths lie. I’ve come to learn now that my strongest asset is how quickly I can process information and find links between concepts. It wasn’t a talent I would have listed in my entrance essay, but it’s the core of my new career trajectory.”   Sean Heisler, Cambridge Judge Business School

H Kyle Habenstreit, Indiana University

H. Kyle Hebenstreit, Indiana University

“Surprisingly enough, I learned not to sound like a ‘business person.’ The entertainment industry is very informal and different than traditional corporate environments.  Coming into school, I felt I had a lot of catching up to do, and I tried to overcome self-perceived shortcomings through using ‘business’ vernacular. Only after several interactions with really smart ‘business people’ did I realize that the best and brightest are able to use conversational language, even when describing high-level and complex concepts.”  H. Kyle Hebenstreit, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

“The lessons at Tuck are everywhere, and they come in small and large packages. Most instructive were the instances when I missed the mark somehow. I can still feel the sting of those moments: realizing I was underprepared for a negotiation exercise; sharing unwanted feedback with a classmate; dropping the ball when my study group counted on me. These skills — preparation, tact, follow-through — are much harder to master than many of the textbook skills you learn in the classroom. Thankfully Tuck fosters a community where I’ve always felt safe to stretch while honing these competencies and my authentic leadership style.”  Whitney Flynn, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

“Feedback is a gift. Before school, I would get anxious about performance reviews or discussions that led to critical evaluations. In the last two years, I’ve learned to appreciate and seek out every opportunity to get feedback, as it has helped me grow tremendously.”  Kristin Horvath, University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

 

Comments or questions about this article? Email us.