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What I’ve Really Learned in Business School

As I draw close to the end of my time here at Krannert (graduation is four months away but who’s really counting?) I have often reflected upon my time here trying to make sense of the last two years.  I can tell that I’m a dramatically different person than the naïve kid who first came to West Lafayette in August 2012. I came to school realizing that I would learn numerous core business topics like finance, operations, marketing and even human resources. Despite researching schools for over a year, I had no idea what I would really learn in Business School.

  • Leadership – Every B-school wants its students to develop into better leaders. Krannert is no different and I would argue that Krannert encourages and drives its students to become better global leaders from day 1 on campus. Krannert has given me the skills and experience to be a leader amongst my peers and colleagues.
  • Fearlessness - B-school is all about putting yourself “out there”. To fully capture all of the great experiences in B-school, each student has to have a certain degree of fearlessness. Fearlessness means having the confidence to debate opinions with classmates who are some of the best and brightest students from across the globe. Fearlessness is seeing a study abroad opportunity across the globe and going for it, despite not ever leaving the U.S. Fearlessness is the courage to keep talking to recruiters, even after previous failed attempts.
  • Time Management – Most people go into B-school thinking they are good time managers. We have successfully managed busy lives up to this point so why should B-school be any different? Well, it is different. Between classes, group meetings, clubs, recruiting, and other campus events, there is simply not enough time to do everything. Everyone, no matter how organized they may be, must find ways to prioritize their time in order to maximize their experience.
  • Myself – B-school has revealed so much about my own character. B-school tests students in many ways from academically, professionally, and perhaps even ethically. Every decision we make from the classes we take, to the jobs we apply for, to the colleagues we associate with reflects upon us in a positive or negative way. In dealing with demanding classes, strict deadlines, and competitive peers, I have learned how I handle adversity and how I can more effectively manage stress.

While accounting, marketing, finance, etc. are all key components of an MBA program, we as MBA students aren’t really here to learn those educational concepts. What I’ve been able to take away from school is so much more than NPV, debits and credits, and Little’s Law. While I’ll need to incorporate that knowledge sometime in my life, I’m thankful that I’ve been able to learn skills and traits which will last me much longer.

Thanks for reading, and as always,


Mark Shelton
Krannert MBA 2014