By James Georgiou, 3/2 MBA Class of 2022
It is hard to believe that it is the summer of 2021. It has been a long, difficult, and rewarding year for me. Some of my closest friends/family battled cancer, mental health issues, and COVID this year. During this time, I was in my first year of the 3/2 MBA Program which came with its own set of challenges and learning experiences. This year has taught me many life lessons (professionally and personally) that I will be forever grateful for, and I would like to share some with you all with the hope that you may take something away from this post.
- Place trust in the teams you work with – While it may seem simple, this was extremely important to my success in graduate school this year. Developing trust with your teammates and being able to lean on each other during crunch time is essential. Working in teams is collaborative, but that does not mean you need to helicopter or shop everything that you did not work on firsthand. I always placed trust in my teammates to deliver quality work and that trust was never misplaced because we had developed an effective professional relationship with one another. We knew what each person was good at and trusted each other to be effective in those areas. This made us an efficient team, we were goal-oriented, collaborative, trusted one another and held everyone accountable.
- Know your strengths and play to them – In a college setting (maybe professionally as well), it is easy to say “I am an accounting major, that’s what my strength is” but how does that differentiate you in a room full of accounting majors? How does that define what makes you essential to a team? Among my fellow Kelley MBA students, I quickly learned what skills I had that were most helpful to my team and spent time with my teammates ironing out what each of us truly brought to the table. This allowed us to almost instantly know how to divvy up projects and have great trust that after we were aligned on the end goal, each individual would produce high-quality work on their own. It is far better to know exactly what you want to contribute to a solution/idea/project than be the person who says, “give me whatever is left over/I can do anything”. Anyone in graduate school (or in the workplace) can get any of the work done, but who can do it best? Who can do it most efficiently? That is what is important and that is where the trust to do your best work comes from.
- Tomorrow is always a day away – This year was the busiest/most stressed I have ever been in my life. I was recruiting for work, in graduate school, and dealing with some of my closest friends/family being sick/in and out of hospitals. During this time, my hobbies took a back seat to everything else that was going on in my life. I think it is an easy out for us to tell ourselves “I am too busy right now; I’ll have time to get to that another day (or month or even year!)” Those who have been closest to me and are sick right now have all told me something similar regarding this, they all say “there are so many things I wanted to do later and never got to” it really puts in place how finite our time here is. You will never “have time” to do the things you are putting off; you must take the time to do them through sacrifice. So, if you have the idea to start a hobby, write a book, etc. get started now and do not keep kicking the can down the road. Putting some of these things first in my own life has allowed me to get through the most difficult time in my life with a smile and eagerness.