Your flaws, your potential: the Big Conspiracy


I have waited five days too long to write my next post, and here's what happens. Not only the other bloggers have touched the topics I wanted to address, but also they have expressed more insightful thoughts than what I would have probably done.

Get used to that! It happens every day in class, that's what you should expect from a class of brilliant people - paraphrasing Prof. Don Moore, if you excel in high school, and then you go for the best colleges and are still one of the best, and keep on progressing even further in your career, sooner or later you'll join a group of people in which you are not anymore the best.. come to Haas and see :)

I am starting to realize that the MBA experience is in fact a kind of *conspiracy*. Your classmates, your professors, the career advisors, the campus, and the whole Bay Area are secretly plotting in the dark. They are all working together to get you confused, to make you forget your priorities and certainties, question your value and confidence - to enable you to discover yourself, and become a better decision maker.

Every other email in your inbox is a decision to take. Every reading, every class require you to pick a position. Events, speakers, company visits, social happenings compete to invade your calendar: they breed and overlap, they pretend your attention, they fight for every slot of your time.

The key is knowing who you really are, what your strongest needs and aspirations are, and what your flaws are. I suggest that you follow Chuck's advice and that, after you quit your job in May, during your three months of relaxation, while drinking a cuba libre on a sandy beach in Hawaii (not my case), you start wandering what you want to get from your bschool. I perfectly knew that I wanted to pursue a career in marketing, and that I wanted to learn to play golf. And that I would have paid frequent visits to San Francisco.

IN FACT, I am involved with the High-Tech Club. I am considering starting to play rugby, and I will try to go back to Yosemite or camping around in the woods whenever possible. :) Allow yourself a little flexibility, you will change your depiction of yourself once you are here. But try to have a main idea of who you are and what you want, and work on it, adjust it day after day as you go on learning - just don't forget that Haas is as much a journey of self-exploration as a school of business.

In particular, producing a list of my flaws has helped me a lot. Every situation here looks new and exotic at first, but there is an important constant: myself. Being well aware of my own flaws, and trying to prevent/overcome them, is helping me not to fall in the same old traps. That's where the transformational experience is. Go beyond yourself, mate. Without attitude.

—Paolo Ferro

About The Author