How I plan to choose between the many activities at MIT

MBA begins in one month!

Most people will have a goal in mind for their MBA, such as “move to a certain industry” or “learn more on a certain topic”, and such goal is certainly a helpful guide on deciding which activities to pursue. At the same time in many instances it won’t be enough: how to decide between two mutually exclusive courses or events that are both in line with your goal?

To try to minimize regrets on choosing activities in the next two years I think it is useful to define in advance an additional guide to support the decision making process.

Many drivers are possible and are definitely linked to personal preference: someone might choose its activities based on the number of new people that can be met, while someone else may prefer courses that do not start until late morning to get an extra hour of sleep.

I have decided I will select between alternatives by choosing the options that requires a higher active participation: upon reflection I have recognized that I do not learn that much when I just attend or passively participate in something and therefore I am a big supporter of “learning by doing”.

This “additional guide” already helped me in choosing the MBA track: I was both interested in Enterprise Management and Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and both align with my broad goal of “Operations” (from my point of view EM supports that goal in a more “traditional” way, while E&I in a more “intrapreneurial” sense – more information available on http://mitsloan.mit.edu/mba/program-components/mba-tracks/).

By analyzing the exclusive content of the tracks two main differences appear:

  • In the core semester EM has an Action Learning Lab, while E&I has a more traditional course
  • In the Sloan Innovation Period EM has an hackathon, while E&I has the Silicon Valley Study Tour

The E&I Silicon Valley Tour seems very cool and definitely amazing but at the same time it feels to me a more passive experience than both the EM Lab and the hackathon, therefore I enrolled in the EM track as recommended by my “additional guide”.

I am sure that I will receive many super cool pictures during SIP from my E&I friends at the Silicon Valley Tour that will make me think “Did I make the right choice?”, but I am confident that having made the decision to go the EM route using my personal “higher active participation” guide will help me justify my regrets 🙂

Therefore I would recommend everyone to establish in advance a framework to ease their decision making process during the busy MBA experience.

I haven’t experienced the effects of this suggestion yet, but I will continue to use my additional guide to choose between activities: I will keep you posted on its effectiveness!

Alberto Paruta

Operations consultant at BCG Italy, previous industry experience in improving manufacturing processes . Feel free to reach out! 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. Hey Alberto,

    The E&I club traditionally does a small weekend trek out to Silicon Valley in the Fall. I went on it last year and had a great experience. It isn’t as extensive as the Silicon Valley Study Tour (in the spring; I went on that too) but it was still a great experience especially having that exposure so early in my Sloan career. If you can, I’d recommend you going on the E&I club trek and have the best of both worlds for you.

    Ryan

  2. Awesome post friend!

    Structured, and helpful!

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