Reflections on graduation

It hasn’t sunk in yet — that I have graduated from MIT Sloan, and that this spells the end of my formal education (probably?). As I reflect on what is likely my last blog post as a Sloan student on this forum, I want to leave prospective Sloanies with observations that have made my time at Sloan truly special.

1. If you continue to focus on what got you this far, you’re wasting an incredible opportunity. I wish I could take credit for this piece of advice but it was Dean Schmittlein who reminded us at our Orientation that our challenge during our two years was to focus on the things that will make us uncomfortable. For some of you that may mean the Finance 2 class, for some of you that may mean working at a start up for your summer internship, or maybe its a coffee date with someone who served in the military, or going to the Yarn on a Wednesday evening instead of doing a problem set. Whatever it is, make sure you actually do things that you wouldn’t have done otherwise.

2. Always prioritize people over things. This applies to most parts of life. Take classes for the faculty, not for the content. Go on trips for the people, not as much for the location. Get to know people as people first, then as your ‘network.’ I have found the most rewarding piece of my MBA experience to be the times spent with my fellow Sloanies and I am confident that this piece of advice applies to most business schools. Combining 1 and 2, spend time with people you wouldn’t have otherwise. Allow yourself to be surprised.

3. Don’t let recruiting take over your life. The popular business school trope of recruiting exists for a reason – its stressful, its time consuming, and make you question your self-worth. But as someone who did spend a good chunk of second year interviewing, one of the only regrets I have about my time at Sloan is that I wish  I hadn’t given up G-lab or other fun trips for recruiting. Of course it is easier to say that in retrospect when you are gainfully employed, and harder to follow when the burden of student loans is real. But try as much as possible to not fall into the black hole that is recruiting in business school.

4. Pay it forward. I have been truly amazed and humbled by the Sloan alums (and fellow classmates) who put in the time and effort to make connections, have coffee chats, write recommendation emails. Continue to pay that forward.

To future Sloanies — welcome and all the very best for two wonderful years that will change you. To my fellow classmates — see you all in the world!

Lakshmi Kannan

Former economic and litigation consultant, first year MBA @ MIT Sloan, interested in technology and operations, podcast fanatic, Econ blogosphere enthusiast, coffee snob.

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1 Comment

  1. Excellent post. Hats off to MIT culture!

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