Wednesday, December 3, 2014

10 lessons you'll learn from Me, Inc.

By Dan Dillard & Camille Shawley
First-Year Kelley MBAs

During your first week of class as a Kelley MBA, you'll go through Me, Inc. It's a deep dive into your personal story, to help you understand how your past and current life experiences can connect to the next steps in your career.

You'll create a personal roadmap, complete with your strengths, weaknesses, and personality type.

You'll share a lot of TMI with people you've just met. But you'll come out alive, with a clear direction and set of goals to make things happen.

Here are a few things we learned about the process, as First-Year MBA students in the Me, Inc. program this semester:

Being extroverted and introverted is not an expression of social activity, it’s how one chooses to energize

How’s that for self-awareness?  Knowing how you can energize and take care of yourself is the key to happiness. It’s not a label or definition of your adaptability to social situations. This is important during grad school, when there is always a fear of missing out on some event or function. You need to energize wisely.

Practice consistent confidence

In Me, Inc., you'll explore the professional elements where you need the most help. In this exercise, the single most behavior change sought by most first-year MBA students is self-confidence.  Helpful to know we’re not alone!

The quicker you are honest with yourself and others, the more authentic conversations you can have

Let’s cut to the chase: Be in the moment and share.  We’re only at Kelley for two years, and Me. Inc. only happens once.

Knowing your Keirsey temperament is invaluable

Getting your MBA will prepare you to be a stronger leader at work and in your community.  Learning your personality type (as well as others') and knowing how to play to each other’s strengths and weaknesses will only allow you to be a stronger team player, manager, and leader.

Trust in the process

To finally arrive at Kelley left us feeling we were in the right place at the right time.  During Me Inc., you may find yourself thinking you can do a few exercises or slides faster on your own, rather than with the group or a coach. Just step back and find patience. We are here for a reason. Trust the process.

My classmates are all ridiculously smart and talented, but there is only one of me

We quickly figured out that we had a lot of work to do in order to be equalized with our fellow classmates.  But we could also see where our unique skills were an asset to those around us.

The deeper you dig within, the more you hit the ground running in the Core

There will be times where you'll want to shortcut the process and water down answers to complicated questions. Don't do it! You'd only be cheating yourself the opportunity to look within and set meaningful goals at the onset of the program.

There's no use in pretending to have it all figured out. No one does.

Me. Inc. is a vulnerable time. You're trying to make hundreds of good first impressions minute-by-minute.  It's tempting to try and do that by pretending to be someone you're not.  You're all in the same place for very similar reasons, and the more candid you can be about it, the more authentic the relationships will be as a result.

The more different a person is from you, the more you should get to know them

There are so many unbelievable stories that have pulled you and your classmates to Kelley from all over the world.  Share your story, yes, but more importantly listen to others'.  It's a humbling experience.

There may be no more valuable two weeks in the program, than the first two weeks

As challenging as Me, Inc. is, the program only gets quicker from there. Take advantage of the time to ask difficult questions of yourself and of others.  It's a safe space and you'll never regret the energy you put into it.

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