“Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!”
It all starts with orientation week; we come from all parts of the globe and here we are, in formation and ready to jump into the fast lane. There are many expectations, and everyone wants to make it to the podium to kiss the bricks, but we are not quite sure what to expect as the to-do-lists start piling up.
When the green flag drops, we go full speed ahead, trying not to crash in the first few laps. As we accelerate into so many new endeavors: adapting to a new location, looking for an internship, keeping up with assignments, traveling to career fairs, everything is moving at lightning speed, and each decision matters.
As we go lap after lap into the modules, we get more and more familiar with the track.
I've realized you can adjust your car, pull into the pit stop to polish your soft skills, learn how to communicate effectively among different cultures and ultimately contribute to the formation of a true global mindset. At the same time, you can sharpen your analytical skills and make data and business functions relevant for decision-making.
You can try a project or internship to experiment shifting your career. You can become an entrepreneur on campus.
The possibilities are endless.
You have the opportunity to lead student organizations, serve others, study abroad and take business risks in a safe environment. At the Krannert “garage”, there is a pit crew ready to support you: career services, alumni, faculty, peers, student services, and it is up to you to keep close communication, radioing your pit crew for advice.
Everyone wants to finish in first place- getting that dream job offer, excelling at academic pursuits, whatever you defined as success in the beginning. At the stand, you see all of your family, friends, and peers cheering and waiting for that memorable moment when you take your victory lap on graduation day.
However, day after day, you realize you only win when you have your peers and loved ones winning with you. When competition becomes collaboration, you are able to learn together. The experiences, relationships, network, knowledge and friendships are souvenirs you take with you for life. The experience is the true prize.
For me personally, I am leaving school as a better person and a better professional thanks to the transformational experience I had these past few years at Krannert. Ever Grateful, Ever True!
Cheers to my classmates and some wonderful final laps!
Tiago D. Leal
MBA, class of 2016