For me, First Year was about technical skills and technique. Second Year has been all about perspective. In my Hot Topics in Marketing class, we’re treated each class with an alums who return to speak about their business challenges and successes. Most recently we’ve heard from the CEO of Sprinkles Cupcakes (swoonably yum!) and the President for Asian Operations of Eli Lilly Japan. Hearing them speak and having the chance to ask questions is amazing. Someone always asks the guest speakers what their most useful Darden courses were, and without fail, every one cites Ethics and Leadership. Even though I don’t think I’ll work in financial services again (never say never), I do often consider what it means to be an MBA in the post-TARP world. As the financial industry and markets re-form around new regulatory and economic conditions, and many of my classmates commit to jobs in banking, I’m grateful we’re in a program that takes Ethics so seriously. Two of my other classes focus on global perspectives – Global Leadership and International Corporate Finance. Learning about currency markets, culture-crossing and globe-spanning conglomerates makes me definitely want to work outside the U.S. at some point in my career, which was never on my radar pre-Darden. So exciting!
It’s not all serious, though. MBA-think/perspective is becoming surprisingly automatic in my personal life, too. I realized it while playing Scrabble and wondering about what my average value per letter was and how to increase it by playing the least amount of letters for the most points. I decided to eat more vegetables, and then became terrified at the thought of accrual vegetable accounting. Humans are supposed to get at least 4-5 servings of vegetables a day. What if your unmet servings accrued over into the next day? So if I skip 2 today, that means I have to get 7 tomorrow? That’s terrifying, since my lifetime of being under-quota on veggies would mean I’d have to get hundreds of daily servings. HUNDREDS! Clearly, MBA perspective can wreak havoc on one’s personal life, not to mention grocery bill.