4. Leveraging Your Network
“I learned how to leverage my network genuinely and effectively. Prior to joining Cornell, I held a view that networking was disingenuous, one-sided, and self-serving. I learned in Professor Michelle Duguid’s Managing & Leading in Organizations class that the true value of networking can only be attained when done sincerely and with open reciprocity. I learned to prepare ahead and dig my well before I became thirsty, by building strong ties and relationships now with no expectations. I learned to be open to receiving help and to help others.” – Sam Raimist, Cornell University (Johnson)
5. Recognizing Cultural Biases
“Despite working in an international environment for more than 10 years, I was not aware of my cultural biases as a leader before the MBA program. In Latin America, our leadership style and communication tend to be indirect to avoid conflict and differences. However, safe conflicts are the start of bringing great changes and ideas to society. With the MBA, I have learned to speak with courage and determination in situations where I believe our business should take a different path and prioritize the integrity and values of our teams. As a leader, I also believe in fairness, exposure and credit recognition to colleagues with high business ethics and hard work.” – Mario Andres D’Amato, Duke University (Fuqua)
6. The Importance Of Group Harmony
“In a setting where we are surrounded by type-A go-getters, I learned quickly that there are occasions when group harmony is more important than the grade. I think it is sometimes easy to drown out the voices of some in an effort to reach perfection. Learning to be mindful of the quieter voices who have just as valuable insights and contributions to make to the group effort has paid off at work.
“As an example, the legislative process can be very confusing and unfamiliar territory to someone who is not a professional in the lawmaking industry like a lobbyist or lawmaker. Oftentimes, advocates are everyday folks who are speaking out or for an issue they feel passionately about. Slowing down to ensure that opportunities are given for simple as well as complex questions, and allowing the space for all voices to be heard has helped tense meetings go smoothly, which ultimately helps us reach better solutions.” – Julia Kim, Georgetown University (McDonough)
7. What Got Your Here May Not Get You There
“The biggest lesson that I learned during my MBA was recognising that ‘What got me here, will not get me there.’ The series of actions that I had taken, and the choices that I had made until such time, were unlikely to help me succeed in the second half of my career. I realized that for mid-career students in the executive MBA program like me, the focus on leadership, strategy, brand building and networking is more important than simply delivering a quality work product. While these skills are difficult to learn and employ in the short term, I am consciously working on enhancing these skills, as well as applying it going forward.” – Chinmayee Prasad, London Business School
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