Mentorship Runs Deep

Lt. Kirk in Lahaina

Without a doubt, the greatest part of my career as a Submarine Officer was being a mentor to my peers and subordinates.  Submarining is an inherently complicated profession: the process to ‘qualify’ and earn the coveted dolphin insignia is a pursuit that takes most officers and enlisted sailors greater than a year to accomplish.  The systems are complicated, the culture is difficult to navigate, and the other pressures and stresses of the job take their toll on one’s ability to comprehend and retain vital information.  Passing on my hard learned  lessons to juniors was the most rewarding part of the job, and where I feel as though I was able to drive lasting impact.

Sloan was a whole new world.  The classroom was not in danger of sinking, my professors were not yelling at me, and the engineering systems in E62 were never in danger of melting down. I felt grossly out of place and as though I was surely the admissions mistake that President Reif had guaranteed did not exist at our orientation.  But all around me I quickly found many levels of support: a core team that respected the differences in our backgrounds and was always willing to teach me the intricacies of Excel modelling; a cohort that challenged the way I viewed cultural diversity and taught me to take a harder look at the most pressing issues in the morning’s Wall Street Journal; and a staff that never let me feel out of place and laid the groundwork that I will use for the rest of my professional life. My first semester could not have been more positive nor impactful. As cliche as it sounds for a school to boast that “our people make us unique,” this holds for MIT Sloan; the people who make up the Sloan community are wonderful individuals, and an even stronger team.

Now that I am settled into my second semester, I am honored to be an officer of the MIT Sloan Veterans Association and share with prospective students my transition story, mentorship and passion for the people that comprise Sloan community. MIT Sloan is truly a special place, and I hope that all active duty and veteran military members considering a top MBA program will join us on April 16th to learn more about #MyMITSloan.  The link to register can be found here.


Brian Kirk

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