Careers Week 2017 for our Full-Time MBA class has come and gone. Our hosts from the Careers & Professional Services Team provided us with an opportunity to enjoy an ‘academic-free’ week of Autumnal weather before the cold arrives (Winter Is Coming!). The week’s agenda offered a plateful of career-focused lessons, workshops, and case studies, aimed to help us focus our career aspirations. These are the three highlights that I took away from the week:

Is Entrepreneurship right for you?

We had the privilege of spending a full day with three experienced entrepreneurs, including the Founder and Director of London-based room sharing platform roomfortea, Milena Bottero. Milena was inspiring. She walked us through the entrepreneurial process of starting a small business, including “the good, the bad, and the ugly” aspects of entrepreneurship. It was her encouragement near the end of the day that stood out to me when she emphatically stated “do not listen to people who are constantly telling you that you can’t do it.” Spending time with successful small business owners is one of the best ways to learn whether or not entrepreneurship is right for you.

Teamwork is the name of the game.

We spent the final two days of the week competing in a class-wide case competition where we were placed into teams of six. In our teams we were asked to work together through multiple mock interviews and executive presentations through a hectic sequence of meetings and deliverables. All of us quickly learned that delegation and time management were our allies, and this activity served as an excellent stress-test. It highlighted that teamwork can’t be taught in a classroom, it must be honed and practiced throughout a career, so seek out opportunities that develop your collaborative skills.

All of us have blind-spots

At the end of the week we received focused individual feedback on our performance. All of us can strive for continual improvement in our lives, but rarely are we in an environment where the feedback we receive isn’t linked to our pay or promotion prospects. This year we are operating within a safe space, and this presents an opportunity for us to receive constructive feedback on our performance. None of us are perfect, so don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.

Andrew DeBake is a student in our Full-Time MBA 2017-18 class.

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