Can you even remember what you were planning to be and do at this time last year? Everything has changed. Undoubtedly you have changed, too!!
Our reactions to stress are so individual.
Some people feel uncertainty and they kind of panic — they get an emotional response that makes them feel very activated by it in a way that is not just uncomfortable, but they need it to stop.
Other people may kind of shut down in the face of anxiety.
Still others become almost energized in a way.
If you’re seeing the problems in the world right now and all of it makes you want to curl up under your blankets and hide — no shame in that!
Or, if you’re someone who’s feeling like, “Dang, the world is messed up, we need to CHANGE STUFF!” then maybe you’re feeling even more empowered to start a company through your MBA experience.
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We also encourage you to think about the power inherent with being a founder. If you’re going to start a company, then you’re going to have employees. The conversations we’ve offered around the culture of a school are at least as applicable to whatever you want to do as a leader of a firm yourself in the future.
What about the ethics of technology? Yes there’s surely lots of good that has come from it. What of the harm that can be done?
Most top MBA programs provide opportunity to examine these questions too — but certainly not all of them are that focused explicitly on such questions. If you want to bring change to the world, then understanding these issues will be important and it may be something you need to drive through the curriculum as a change agent in your own right, rather than only being a passive consumer of what the school offers up.
Staying educated and aware about the powers of the techopolies and not getting desensitized to the ever-encroaching surveillance capitalist state is the responsibility of all of us. Mark Hurst at Creative Good is one to follow in this area — see his recent post calling attention to what may have seemed like an innocuous product announcement from Amazon.
This could be an opportune time to be thinking of what the best avenue for you to bring change to the world might be. If you’ve pitched the business school admissions teams on your interest in starting a company through the MBA experience, then it’s likely you have already identified a sphere or sector within which you will ply your skills and build a product or service that adds value. Or, if you’ve been thinking that you want to go into bschool with the intention of exploring all the options, and with the support of the concentrated resources and opportunities to do that, then consider spending this pre-MBA time to learn more about yourself, identify those values that you know you have, and start to consider what you’d want in a partner. Solopreneurs can build businesses, but if you’re really wanting to go big, then most VCs want at least a partnership of two or three founders. There are many, many opinions out there on what makes for a good partner, and there’s also actual research, such as some of what we shared today.
The first step is understanding yourself, doing some strengths and weaknesses assessments, figuring out what you’re good at and what you enjoy, compared to what you’d prefer to gain from a solid partnership from a co-founder — this can be worthwhile to explore, if you’re, like, sitting around twiddling your thumbs waiting for interview invites to come out.