3 New Skills Sloan Taught Me

I am grateful to many things that Sloan has given me, but one thing I particularly value is the flexibility of the program. Besides the myriad of courses available here, we are also free to register for classes in the main campus, cross-register to other institutions such as Harvard, or take advantage of the instructional programs offered at MIT Recreation.  Our senior associate dean, Jake Cohen, once said in class that being at Sloan is very much like being at a candy store – you are spoiled for choice, but you have only one little bag, so you’ve got to pick and choose.

In the last ten months, I have seized the opportunity to pick up new skills at Sloan. In particular, there are three things, not directly finance-related, I am glad to have learnt.

  1. Negotiation

The thought of having to influence someone’s decision by convincing, bargaining, or compromising has always been daunting to me. I am so glad to have registered for “Power and Negotiation” at Sloan for Spring 2017.

The course aims at helping us become better negotiators by providing precious practical opportunities to practise. Every week, we are partnered up in class to tackle various cases, where different students play a different role in the negotiation. The class has helped built my confidence, and certainly given me a new lens in analyzing human dynamics and behavior. I am now a lot more comfortable in expressing, asserting, and discussing my thoughts in a material way.

  1. Data Mining

An MIT experience would not be complete without meddling with some data analytics or cutting-edge technology.

Prior to undertaking a course in Data Mining, statistics was, to me, very much a book exercise. Taking this course taught me key techniques – such as principal component analysis, k-nearest neighbor analysis, and bootstrap forest – to extract business insights from a sea of data. Data mining was no longer a foreign, abstract concept, but now a useful tool that I can apply to my future work.

  1. Massage

Who doesn’t love a good massage? Through the MIT Rec Sports, I signed up for a six-week massage class where I learnt about the basics of Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, foot massage, and their associated muscular/anatomical effects.

We are partnered up with another student during class, with whom we performed and received massage from. Scheduled on Thursday evening, this is my final class each week, and I simply cannot think of a better way to end my week.

Two more weeks to finals!

Jia Lok Lee

Jia Lok constantly aspires to tread on his youthful idealism balanced with pragmatism. He seeks to lead a fruitful life of impact, and believes that it is in giving that one receives. Outside of work, Jia Lok is an avid singer and a travel enthusiast. Having been to more than 20 countries in the last 3 years, he concludes that while he enjoys soaking in local cultures and being amazed by impressive landscapes, it is food that makes him the happiest. ♠



  1. Data mining all the way! Helped us develop http://grantstarters.com. Two weeks to finals!

  2. Thanks for sharing the key skills you have acquired at Sloan.
    It is a great way to get a valuable insight to the program.

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