When I decided to leave a full-time job in Public Health to obtain my Master’s degree in Marketing, I thought I might be a little crazy. I knew that studying at a business school would be entirely different from any other experience I’ve had in my professional career. I knew that many of the other students would be coming from more business-oriented backgrounds, and I would have a lot of catching up to do. I also knew that my goal of securing a job in healthcare marketing might be a difficult one to achieve. But I enrolled anyways, and I’m so glad I did.
What I knew coming into the MS Marketing program were the names of the courses and program initiatives. What I didn’t know was how that which had the greatest impact on me was not any specific class, curriculum or career development program—it was the people. The people I have had the privilege to meet at Krannert have absolutely changed my life. From these wonderful people I learned 3 very important lessons:
1.Talking about our strengths is important.
From the first time I stood up in front of my class and gave my elevator pitch, I have experienced nothing but support and encouragement from professors, staff, and fellow students in learning to talk about my strengths. There’s a fine art in learning how to talk about yourself in a way that benefits others. When we talk about our strengths we can build more productive teams and enjoy our tasks more. From mock interviews to team meetings, I’ve had plenty of practice in articulating what I can contribute to a team. The people I met at Krannert gave me feedback in how to understand and express my strengths.
2. We can learn from others’ experiences.
Krannert attracts graduate students from all over the world, from a variety of different backgrounds. I may not have grown up in China, worked as an engineer, studied abroad in Germany, or worked for a non-profit in Thailand, but I have been privileged to spend time with the students and staff who have. This time has taught me more about the industries and businesses of the world. Whether it be attending formal events where I get to try food from different countries, hearing about a professor’s passion and research, or coffee runs with fellow students, Krannert has given me the opportunity to get to know people with unique and amazing experiences.
3. No one career path is right for everyone.
Along with having different backgrounds, the people I’ve met at Krannert have many different passions, aspirations, and goals. Even though we may be taking the same classes, the students I have met will each take the things we’ve learned and apply them in a slightly different way. Two professors may take the same concept and teach us to apply it differently in unique business situations. One student may want to own her own business, another might want to work for a Fortune-500 company. Others may not have a distinct plan yet, but may still be exploring their passions.
One of the things that has impressed me the most is that though we have different backgrounds and different future goals, we can learn and grow together, collaborate on teams, and help each other in our career development process. I am a different person from who I was when I enrolled in Krannert. Rawls is a beautiful building, the curriculum is full and attractive, the resources are great and plentiful, but none of these compare to the aspirational people you meet at Krannert.
Jenna Strahm, MS in Marketing