Fast Forward – Building your future at MIT

On the edge, that’s how I feel when starting the second year of my MBA at MIT Sloan.

One year behind, one year ahead, and realizing how incredible and unique this experience is. I feel the urge of making the most of every minute. I feel more confident about my skillset and my ability to partner with very different people to achieve ambitious goals. I feel eager to know what the future holds for me, for all of us Sloanies. That’s right, I feel I am part of a family, a fully committed, highly energetic, intensely focused, yet a happily crazy one.

I kicked off this second year as a pilot, reliving the orientation experience and reflecting on my first worries when starting the MBA journey. Will I be good enough? What if I don’t know what I want to do? Do these people like me? Why am I feeling so overwhelmed and lost at times? How can I explore, yet focus, AND stay balanced? I had so many questions on my potential, my ability to contribute, and about this exhilarating yet sometimes scary environment. My first year has been an incredible learning opportunity, in three different ways:

> I learned about myself. The MBA gives you the unique opportunity to pause and to focus on your present. I believe it’s important to reflect back on your previous experiences and to understand why and how you did/said/thought. It is crucial to listen to feedback, take it into account, and then decide how to build off it. I feel this past year was hard on my ego, encouraging to my potential, and necessary for my future.

> I learned about skills key to thrive in the 21st century: design thinking, analytics, talent dynamics, creativity, storytelling,.. And of course was able to build a stronger business toolkit that I’ll be able to leverage and adapt according to the challenges ahead. More importantly, I learned how these skills can come together successfully in teams. The power of teams blew my mind and I discovered how to trust, interact, and generate a bigger impact through smart collaboration.

> I learned about the world and how the changes we make at our individual scale clearly can influence the big picture, if we are strong and inspired enough. Systemic positive change is something we all care about, more or less intensely – we all know I’m on the passionate side of things by now -, and that’s why we’ll make it happen: because we care.

So today, rich of hitting big walls, of leaning on amazing peers, of searching inside myself for abilities and ideas, I’m ready to think and build the future. I’m still scared though, but MIT has allowed my senses of purpose and belonging to grow and push me further.

My only advice would be: you are your best investment!  

Your time, your smarts, your energy are (un)limited resources you can count on, yet you need to make, not the right, but the best choices for you and your future. Life is bigger than school right?!

That’s why this year I’m focusing on what I am truly passionate about: PEOPLE.

I am convinced that this is and will be both the biggest opportunity and challenge of the digital era. Having that focus allows me to leverage quicker and better the amazing MIT resources: independent studies, research centers, amazing Media Lab classes, faculty and students, clubs, TAship… I juggle with these different commitments to move fast forward and launch both myself on the job market, and a brand new initiative at MIT: the Future of People. www.thefutureofpeople.org.

The Future of People stands at the forefront of the on-going Renaissance 2.0. This newly formed initiative explores how science and technology are impacting the future of the human body, mind, and society and therefore what it means for you and your career. By questioning the making of our future, by giving more unconventional talents a voice, by emphasizing the importance of looping in populations in the digital era, the Future of People proposes an alternative for potentials to stand out of the box.

I’ll leave you with this: Great leaders have one thing in common, the ability to envision the future, so they can make it happen. 

Let’s have a great year!

Future of People - Recruiting Poster

Lea Peersman Pujol

Léa is a “thinkepreneur” passionate by the future of education, people empowerment and the strategic management of human potential in the 21st century. She aims at developing innovative solutions to the talent gap by combining technology, business and policy. Léa has been working in the educational sector for the past 7 years both in venture philanthropy and in higher education. She also launched two NGOs that lead her to work closely with the French Minister of Education and Economy to design innovative policies for closing the achievement gap. During the summer of 2014, she traveled solo around the world to investigate the future of work and learning. Today, Léa is an MBA candidate at MIT Sloan and an MPA candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is actively involved in the Leadership & Human Capital Club and the Design Club. She started the Sloan Salons - small high quality dinners to discuss important topics - and is currently preparing the first conference on the "Future of People".

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1 Comment

  1. Lea, thank you for your insightful comment. It does really help, especially for a foreign student. How do you manage to handle so many different things?

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