Now that I’m a few months into life after graduation, I’ve had some time to reflect on my bschool experience. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to have attended a school like Kellogg as it was a truly transformational experience. However, if I had to do it all over again, I would definitely do some things differently. Before mentioning what these things are, I think it’s important to state that some of these areas of improvement are definitely unique to me – an introverted and risk averse Nigerian guy. Now that the safe harbor statement has been shared, here goes:
1. I Wish I Developed Relationships With People Not Like Me: Most of my really good business school friends turned out to be people who recruited for tech-related careers, were part of my section, or were foreign students like me. This sort of makes sense considering that like attracts like right? The downside to it is that there were so many awesome people who didn’t fit into any of these buckets that I’d really have loved to develop a relationship with. I think I was just too caught up with academics, finding a job, and delivering on my other bschool responsibilities to find the time and resources for these other relationships. In other words, I was lazy and it cost me big time.
2. I Wish I Partied More: Parties aren’t my thing and they probably will never be. I prefer quiet casual conversations in quiet settings to loud parties where I can barely hear myself. In addition, there’s usually such a huge demand on your time at bschool that most people (including me) end up doing what’s tried and tested. For me that was avoiding parties and spending time with my friends in quiet, convenient settings. If this is true, why do I wish I partied more at Kellogg? Some of the cool people I wanted to meet actually liked to party (they’re not like me remember?). Also, a wise friend once said that the magic of life usually happens outside your comfort zone. I wish I had stepped out of my anti-party comfort zone more often; who knows what magic I may have found? 🙂
3. I Wish I Took on More Extra-Curricular Responsibilities: Now to be fair, I did take on a decent amount of stuff. I was president of the Africa Business Club, logistics chair for the Kellogg Technology Conference 2014, VP communications for Catholics @ Kellogg, and an admissions committee reader for my entire time at Kellogg. The reason why I feel I could’ve taken on more is that I could fit these responsibilities into my schedule without dropping major balls. In other words, I didn’t figure out my breaking point. Maybe if I did take on more, I may have reached my breaking point. I may also have been forced to learn new time management skills in order to cope. There’s no way to confirm this hypothesis now though because I didn’t experiment.
If there’s one piece of advice I’d give to current or aspiring business school students – given my own personal experience – it would be this: do what you need to do to be successful, but once in a while, try to find the magic that lives outside your comfort zone.