Today was an interesting day. One of those that makes me so grateful for not having a routine at work.
It started with a 1 hour, turned into 3, with my boss, the other managers (my teammates) and his executive career coach. It was more of a therapy session geared towards discussing his strengths and weaknesses and how we could help him realize his leadership potential. I felt so torn between being honest and being smart in giving my input while keeping the boss happy. Thank God for biz school management classes and other cheap psychology knowledge which allowed me to come up with the constructive feedback with something along the lines of “I really appreciate your energy and enthusiasm, and since it is contagious to our team dynamics, the flip side is that when you are in a bad mood, it affects our mood as well, so this is a development point”. Argo: “please don’t take your shit out on us…etc”. Thankfully the meeting was in Portuguese, which helped me keep my mouth shut and not say anything I may regret after.
I think I’m going to look into this career coach business. Seems like a good cash cow..
The next activity of my day was a presentation to a group of 50 part-time MBA students from the midwest. I was a bit worried since it was my first time to make an hour long presentation for a large audience. Especially about something I don’t know too well (ie the entire business strategy of my company). But once again, I exceeded my own expectations and delivered the presentation almost flawlessly and even got laughs from the audience. Luckily, the students didn’t ask too many questions and were partially sleepy or hungover (or both). Boss was once again happy.
My third activity involved me mentoring my analyst and empowering him to do his job better and take initiative. That one is still work in progress but have been enjoying this exercise in psychology quite a lot.
Grobby is evolving indeed. Good times!
In the two years of MBA experience all I’ve heard about from classmates, professors and alumni was that these are the two most amazing years of my life and I should enjoy while I can. So of course, by the time I was about to graduate, I’ve developed extreme phobias about the world out there and started waiting for doom’s day (i.e. the first day of work). But in fact, ever since I graduated, things have gotten way better. I spent 4 months travelling, relaxing and reflecting about myself and my life. I finally took a break from an overstimulating, high-pressure environment, the sense of inadequacy (given that I was not getting 50 job offers, nor getting involved in 20 different clubs, while helping the local community or lunching a new business), the binge drinking and all other MBA vices.
As a disillusioned employee of corporate America, I’ve had very low expectations of my ability to contribute to any high level purpose of any company, nor any expectations of ever using the MBA theories of advanced strategy, that I figured only CEO of companies ever use. Protecting myself from disappointment allowed me to be pleasantly surprised and thus excited, to actually find out that all of my assumptions were false. Every single day since my arrival on the new job, I’ve been applying the lessons learned in my MBA education and my prior to MBA experience. It has been so rewarding that I’ve developed a complex of self-importance, that I’ve been trying to suppress for the sake of achieving my personal development goal of being a humble person. It has been really interesting to make the transition from an analyst to a manager and I am still surprised to see when people actually ask for my opinion and listen to my guidance instead of sending me to process some excel spreadsheet. One of the most rewarding things have been inspiring people around me to get excited about my project and their potential contribution to it. There are many interesting things to look forward to in this strange process of career building. Me like.
Strangely enough, today I’ve received two different messages from recruiters in different countries, in two different industries, asking me to send them my CV. In this month, when the first payment on my huge MBA debt is due, I’m finally starting to believe that perhaps I had made the right investment.
On my last day in the USA, I had to write something to reflect upon the last couple of years.
My departure was preceded by a perfect visit to Philadelphia. As I was approaching the city center in a cab, I was looking at the cute streets dressed in Fall colors and remember walking down those streets, visiting friend’s houses or attending small group dinners, hanging out at my favorite coffee shop, or returning from crazy parties. Those were the days.
It was also wonderful to get reunited with some friends from the year below me and catch up about their summers. Very quickly, however, I realized that although I miss the people and the good times, I really am so thrilled that my MBA is over! No more recruiting, cover letters, case write-ups, class participation, or debt accumulation (I feel a poem coming to life..).
Adult life starts tomorrow. I’m packed and ready to go..
To be continued in the southern hemisphere.