‘The five most valuable lessons I learned during my time at Business School’

Throughout 2020, AMBA has asked MBA students and graduates to share the five most valuable lessons they learned during their studies at Business School. Here’s a selection of their ideas

  1. Always remember the real-world is often different to the theory.
  2. Great people are the source of your greatest learnings.
  3. Teamwork is everything.
  4. Fun breeds success. 
  5. Invest in yourself throughout your career. Because you always need to think differently. 
  1. How to harness critical thinking more effectively.
  2. Diverse teams make better decisions.
  3. Data is important in decision making, but it is also an art as well as a science. 
  4. Great leaders come in many different guises.
  5. That you can work full time, run a home and raise a family while studying for your MBA.
  1. Network: the connections are invaluable.
  2. Perspective: the power of balanced teams with different backgrounds, cultures, education and experiences.
  3. Experience: real life experience beats any credential.
  4. Self-reflection: there is no growth in your comfort zone.
  5. Prioritise: follow your passion in the pursuit of purpose.
  1. Paraphrasing Thierry Pauchant, MBA means different things for everyone. For some, Master of Business Administration; for others, MBA: Me Before Anyone; To me, MBA: Meaning Before Anything.
  2. Business is a continual exploration of ways of thinking, not just doing and executing.
  3. Anyone can understand the questions. Not anyone will understand the answers.
  4. Reality is made of information, which is a subjective view of the world.
  5. If we aim to sustain a preferred future, humanism and economics should go together when prioritising strategy. 
  1. People+profits+planet is the right equation for a better world.
  2. Ethics are the most valuable traits for a leader.
  3. EQ is more important than IQ.
  4. Teamwork is about accepting that others can be right.
  5. Thinking globally means adopting the best practices in similar scenarios.
  1. The four most dangerous words in investing are: ‘this time it’s different’.” (Templeton)
  2. Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. (Buffet).
  3. Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get (Kroc).
  4. The prevalence of surprise in the world of business is evidence that uncertainty is more likely to prevail than mathematical probability (Bernstein).
  5. Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it. (Einstein).
  1. Where there is uncertainty there is opportunity, because we live in a VUCA world.
  2. A majority of your education will occur outside of the classroom, so keep an open mind
  3. Patience can be illuminating content you may not understand in the moment can make more sense with time.
  4. You create your own luck, be in the right place at the right time, then be ready.
  5. Who you surround yourself with has a significant impact on your outlook.
  1. Every voice is important and extremely valuable – pay attention.
  2. Good leadership is sometimes in following, taking a back seat may prove vital for being a better human.
  3. Logic is the key but research is the lock. Read, analyse, and synthesise before you conclude. This never fails.
  4. Self reflect the end of the day every day, Improvement will follow, the business will be better as the approach will be better for sure.
  5. Education never ends and MBA is wholesome beginning to a career of choice, an investment that will never go waste no matter what. 
  1. Both experiential learning and academic models work best when actively combined.  
  2. No matter how big the task or unsurmountable the challenge, keep breaking it down and you’ll get there.
  3. Checklists seem able to defend anyone, even the experienced, against failure in many more tasks than we realised (Atul Gawande).
  4. Look out for lessons wherever they may come from, including classmates and colleagues.
  5. I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often (Brian Tracy).
  1. Work on YOUR personal brand as a professional.
  2. Inspire cooperation instead of competence.
  3. Build a long-term relationship and maintain the social network.
  4. Listen more and talk less.
  5. Do not be afraid to fail: say, ‘I am sorry’, rather than ask permission.
  1. Don’t be blinded by bias.
  2. Always listen to everybody, because there might be somebody who comes up with a point of view that all of a sudden becomes the solution to that difficult unsolved problem.
  3. Be willing to work with multidisciplinary teams, even tough if the majors of the members may seem incompatible for the task.
  4. Don’t judge other people’s different ways of thinking. Don’t let Automatic Negative Thoughts take control of your mind, deal with them and let them pass.
  5. In supply chain try to prevent the ‘whip effect’ from happening, if you can. Try to keep the demand as flat as possible. 

We’d like to thank all the AMBA members that shared their insight as part of our MBA Challenge. All the lists above were compiled by MBAs who took up the challenge to share their insight with MBAs of tomorrow and contributed to AMBA’s Covid-19 Relief Fund, which is raising much needed aid to communities affected by the ongoing pandemic. You can find out more and support this great cause here.

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