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Intern
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Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 33
Schools: Stanford '14
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Stanford’s Future of Media Conference [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2018, 14:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Stanford’s Future of Media Conference
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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Intern
Intern
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Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 33
Schools: Stanford '14
Reviews Badge
Product Management for Startups = People Management [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 13:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Product Management for Startups = People Management
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I’ve held several product management roles in very diverse settings over the past four years. I led the development of an influencer marketing platform for a European adtech company, managed two very different Stanford-based startup teams (one primarily designer-led in ed-tech space and another engineer-led in the healthcare sector) and worked with the UK government, a large charity and an impact investor to design and launch an incubator for public services in the UK.
In each of these roles, no matter how different the actual work, teams, and outcomes we were working towards, what worked- in terms of allowing us to align on a vision, undertake deep need-finding exercises, build prototypes, work together effectively and ensure that we released our product on time- was always the same.
These are my key lessons:
Keep the product roadmap as simple as possible + get buy-in early
Your product will keep evolving: you will never get it to be perfect. Your role is to build a common vision across very different teams, keep things moving, align teams, solve problems and get buy-in.
To do all those things, all day, everyday, you need to keep the product and process as simple as possible. Particularly when each team you work with has its own vocabulary, culture and norms. Ensure all your stakeholders agree on what the bare minimum viable product looks like- and that this version is genuinely usable. You can dress it up later.
Manage towards outcomes: build trust
Your role isn’t to tell people what to do: it’s to facilitate your teams. Create a set of project team norms and values for each product that you work on, that are continuously reinforced. Be friends with the people you work with. Take your teams out for dinner and drinks, get to know them personally. Get their buy in. Understand what excites them, stops them, or frustrates them. Protect them and remove obstacles. Don’t control the process. Give people the freedom to create. Inspire and motivate them. Then leave them to it.
Over-communicate: it’s not obvious to everyone
Getting buy in across teams is not easy. Your role is to be the trusted confidante. You should be the first one to know if something is going wrong; or if a deadline is going to slip. Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them; and why. Deliver bad news upfront and early. Stay direct. Ask for and give feedback regularly.
User perspective + empathy: it doesn’t matter what you think
User design is always much complicated than it seems on the surface. You will never get it right. It can always be better. Don’t get dragged down a rabbit hole. Don’t get distracted by the way things look. There are no right answers. Continuously put yourself in the user’s shoes and design for them. Make sure the experience is simple, easy + intuitive- if not delightful.
Move fast: decision-making & measurement
You can collect as much data while you’re developing a product.In the end, you’re going to have to make some calls that are unscientific: based on your gut, instinct and qualitative feedback. Act quickly and decisively. You role is to say no, cut out the bullshit and keep going.
BUT make sure that you’re continuously refining your KPIs- and that you invest in defining what data you want to collect from your users upfront before you release each iteration of your product. You want to balance releasing a version of your product with being able to test whether it is actually ‘working’- and feel free to get a little creative in defining what ‘working’ means.
Prioritisation: say no
You’re not going to be able to put out every fire, or keep every stakeholder (the design, engineering, client and senior management teams) happy at all times. Balance the urgent v/s the important: don’t lose sight of what you’re end goal is. It’s okay to say no, as long as as a team, you’re still heading where you want to go.
Stay authentic: do what works for you
Genuine leadership is an exercise in influence: understanding what motivates people, getting people with very different perspectives and backgrounds to align on a single vision, and work together, and then carrying your team across the finish line. Use your own style to make it work.
Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 33
Schools: Stanford '14
Reviews Badge
Product Management + Startups = People Management [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 16:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: Product Management + Startups = People Management
Image
I’ve held several product management roles in diverse settings over the past four years. I led the development of an influencer marketing platform for a European adtech company, co-founded and managed two very different Stanford-based startup teams (one primarily designer-led in the ed-tech space and another engineer-led in the healthcare sector) and worked with the UK government, a large charity and an impact investor to design and launch an incubator for public services in the UK.
In each of these roles, no matter how different the actual work, teams and outcomes we were working towards, what ‘worked’- in terms of allowing us to align on a vision, undertake deep need-finding exercises, build prototypes, work together effectively and ensure that we released our product on time- was always the same.
These are my key lessons:
Keep the product roadmap as simple as possible + get buy-in early
Your product will keep evolving: you will never get it to be perfect. Your role is to build a common vision across different teams, keep things moving, align teams, solve problems and get buy-in.
To do all those things, all day, everyday, you need to keep the product and process as simple as possible. Particularly when each team you work with has its own vocabulary, culture and norms. Ensure all your stakeholders agree on what the bare minimum viable product looks like- and that this version is genuinely usable. You can dress it up later.
Manage towards outcomes: build trust
Your role isn’t to tell people what to do: it’s to facilitate your teams. Create a set of project team norms and values for each product that you work on, that are continuously reinforced. Be friends with the people you work with. Take your teams out for dinner and drinks, get to know them personally. Get their buy in. Understand what excites them, stops them, or frustrates them. Protect them and remove obstacles. Don’t control the process. Give people the freedom to create. Inspire and motivate them. Then leave them to it.
Over-communicate: it’s never obvious
Getting buy in across teams is not easy. Your role is to be the trusted confidante. You should be the first one to know if something is going wrong; or if a deadline is going to slip. Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them; and why. Deliver bad news upfront and early. Stay direct. Ask for and give feedback regularly.
User perspective + empathy: it doesn’t matter what you think
User design is always much complicated than it seems on the surface. You will never get it right. It can always be better. Don’t get dragged down a rabbit hole, or get distracted by the way things look. There are no right answers. Continuously put yourself in the user’s shoes- by actually asking them what they need/want + also observing how they interact with the product- and then design the product specifically for whichever segment you’re initially targeting. Make sure the experience is simple, easy + intuitive- if not delightful.
Move fast: decision-making & measurement
Run the tests. Let the data speak first. But while you can always collect more data while you’re developing a product, in the end, you’re going to have to make some calls that are unscientific: based on your gut, instinct and qualitative feedback. Act quickly and decisively. You role is to say no, cut out the bullshit and keep going.
On the other hand, sure that you’re continuously refining your KPIs- and that you invest in defining what data you want to collect from your users early on, and revise this before you release each iteration of your product. You want to balance releasing a version of your product with being able to test whether it is actually ‘working’. Also, feel free to get (a little) creative in defining what ‘working’ means.
Prioritisation: say no
You’re not going to be able to put out every fire, or keep every stakeholder (the design, engineering, client and senior management teams) happy at all times. Balance the urgent v/s the important: don’t lose sight of what you’re end goal is. It’s okay to say no, as long as as a team, you’re still heading where you want to go.
Stay authentic: do what works for you
Real leadership is an exercise in influence: understanding what motivates people, getting people with very different perspectives and backgrounds to align on a single vision, and work together, and then carrying your team across the finish line. Use your own style to make it work.
Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 33
Schools: Stanford '14
Reviews Badge
What No One Tells You Product Management [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 18:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: What No One Tells You Product Management
What No One Tells You About Product ManagementImage
Product management + startups = people managementI’ve held several product management roles in diverse settings over the past four years. I led the development of an influencer marketing platform for a European adtech company, co-founded and managed two very different Stanford-based startup teams (one primarily designer-led in the ed-tech space and another engineer-led in the healthcare sector) and worked with the UK government, a large charity and an impact investor to design and launch an incubator for public services in the UK.
In each of these roles, no matter how different the actual work, teams and outcomes we were working towards, what ‘worked’- in terms of allowing us to align on a vision, undertake deep need-finding exercises, build prototypes, work together effectively and ensure that we released our product on time- was always the same.
These are my key lessons:
Keep the product roadmap as simple as possible + get buy-in early
Your product will keep evolving: you will never get it to be perfect. Your role is to build a common vision across different teams, keep things moving, align teams, solve problems and get buy-in.
To do all those things, all day, everyday, you need to keep the product and process as simple as possible. Particularly when each team you work with has its own vocabulary, culture and norms. Ensure all your stakeholders agree on what the bare minimum viable product looks like- and that this version is genuinely usable. You can dress it up later.
Manage towards outcomes: build trust
Your role isn’t to tell people what to do: it’s to facilitate your teams. Create a set of project team norms and values for each product that you work on, that are continuously reinforced. Be friends with the people you work with. Take your teams out for dinner and drinks, get to know them personally. Get their buy in. Understand what excites them, stops them, or frustrates them. Protect them and remove obstacles. Don’t control the process. Give people the freedom to create. Inspire and motivate them. Then leave them to it.
Over-communicate: it’s never obvious
Getting buy in across teams is not easy. Your role is to be the trusted confidante. You should be the first one to know if something is going wrong; or if a deadline is going to slip. Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them; and why. Deliver bad news upfront and early. Stay direct. Ask for and give feedback regularly.
User perspective + empathy: it doesn’t matter what you think
User design is always much complicated than it seems on the surface. You will never get it right. It can always be better. Don’t get dragged down a rabbit hole, or get distracted by the way things look. There are no right answers. Continuously put yourself in the user’s shoes- by actually asking them what they need/want + also observing how they interact with the product- and then design the product specifically for whichever segment you’re initially targeting. Make sure the experience is simple, easy + intuitive- if not delightful.
Move fast: decision-making & measurement
Run the tests. Let the data speak first. But while you can always collect more data while you’re developing a product, in the end, you’re going to have to make some calls that are unscientific: based on your gut, instinct and qualitative feedback. Act quickly and decisively. You role is to say no, cut out the bullshit and keep going.
On the other hand, sure that you’re continuously refining your KPIs- and that you invest in defining what data you want to collect from your users early on, and revise this before you release each iteration of your product. You want to balance releasing a version of your product with being able to test whether it is actually ‘working’. Also, feel free to get (a little) creative in defining what ‘working’ means.
Prioritisation: say no
You’re not going to be able to put out every fire, or keep every stakeholder (the design, engineering, client and senior management teams) happy at all times. Balance the urgent v/s the important: don’t lose sight of what you’re end goal is. It’s okay to say no, as long as as a team, you’re still heading where you want to go.
Stay authentic: do what works for you
Real leadership is an exercise in influence: understanding what motivates people, getting people with very different perspectives and backgrounds to align on a single vision, and work together, and then carrying your team across the finish line. Use your own style to make it work.
Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 33
Schools: Stanford '14
Reviews Badge
What No One Tells You About Being a Product Manager [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 19:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: What No One Tells You About Being a Product Manager
Image
Product management + startups = people managementI’ve held several product management roles in diverse settings over the past four years. I led the development of an influencer marketing platform for a European adtech company, co-founded and managed two very different Stanford-based startup teams (one primarily designer-led in the ed-tech space and another engineer-led in the healthcare sector) and worked with the UK government, a large charity, a global infrastructure company and an impact investor to design and launch an incubator for public services in the UK.
In each of these roles, no matter how different the actual work, teams and outcomes we were working towards, what ‘worked’- in terms of allowing us to align on a vision, undertake deep need-finding exercises, build prototypes, work together effectively and ensure that we released our product on time- was always the same.
These are my key lessons:
Keep the product roadmap as simple as possible + get buy-in early
Your product will keep evolving: you will never get it to be perfect. Your role is to build a common vision across different teams, keep things moving, align teams, solve problems and get buy-in.
To do all those things, all day, everyday, you need to keep the product and process as simple as possible. Particularly when each team you work with has its own vocabulary, culture and norms. Ensure all your stakeholders agree on what the bare minimum viable product looks like- and that this version is genuinely usable. You can dress it up later.
Manage towards outcomes: build trust
Your role isn’t to tell people what to do: it’s to facilitate your teams. Create a set of project team norms and values for each product that you work on, that are continuously reinforced. Be friends with the people you work with. Take your teams out for dinner and drinks, get to know them personally. Get their buy in. Understand what excites them, stops them, or frustrates them. Protect them and remove obstacles. Don’t control the process. Give people the freedom to create. Inspire and motivate them. Then leave them to it.
Over-communicate: it’s never obvious
Getting buy in across teams is not easy. Your role is to be the trusted confidante. You should be the first one to know if something is going wrong; or if a deadline is going to slip. Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them; and why. Deliver bad news upfront and early. Stay direct. Ask for and give feedback regularly.
User perspective + empathy: it doesn’t matter what you think
User design is always much complicated than it seems on the surface. You will never get it right. It can always be better. Don’t get dragged down a rabbit hole, or get distracted by the way things look. There are no right answers. Continuously put yourself in the user’s shoes- by actually asking them what they need/want + also observing how they interact with the product- and then design the product specifically for whichever segment you’re initially targeting. Make sure the experience is simple, easy + intuitive- if not delightful.
Move fast: decision-making & measurement
Run the tests. Let the data speak first. But while you can always collect more data while you’re developing a product, in the end, you’re going to have to make some calls that are unscientific: based on your gut, instinct and qualitative feedback. Act quickly and decisively. You role is to say no, cut out the bullshit and keep going.
On the other hand, sure that you’re continuously refining your KPIs- and that you invest in defining what data you want to collect from your users early on, and revise this before you release each iteration of your product. You want to balance releasing a version of your product with being able to test whether it is actually ‘working’. Also, feel free to get (a little) creative in defining what ‘working’ means.
Prioritisation: say no
You’re not going to be able to put out every fire, or keep every stakeholder (the design, engineering, client and senior management teams) happy at all times. Balance the urgent v/s the important: don’t lose sight of what you’re end goal is. It’s okay to say no, as long as as a team, you’re still heading where you want to go.
Stay authentic: do what works for you
Real leadership is an exercise in influence: understanding what motivates people, getting people with very different perspectives and backgrounds to align on a single vision, and work together, and then carrying your team across the finish line. Use your own style to make it work.
Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 33
Schools: Stanford '14
Reviews Badge
What No One Tells You About Being a Product Manager [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2018, 06:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: What No One Tells You About Being a Product Manager
Image
Product management + startups = people managementI’ve held several diverse product management roles* over the past four years. In each of these roles, no matter how different the actual work, teams and outcomes we were working towards, what ‘worked’- in terms of allowing us to align on a vision, undertake deep need-finding exercises, build prototypes, work together effectively and ensure that we released our product on time- was always the same.
These are my key lessons:
Keep the product roadmap as simple as possible + get buy-in early
Your product will keep evolving: you will never get it to be perfect. Your role is to build a common vision across different teams, keep things moving, align teams, solve problems and get buy-in.
To do all those things, all day, everyday, you need to keep the product and process as simple as possible. Particularly when each team you work with has its own vocabulary, culture and norms. Ensure all your stakeholders agree on what the bare minimum viable product looks like- and that this version is genuinely usable. You can dress it up later.
Manage towards outcomes: build trust
Your role isn’t to tell people what to do: it’s to facilitate your teams. Create a set of project team norms and values for each product that you work on, that are continuously reinforced. Be friends with the people you work with. Take your teams out for dinner and drinks, get to know them personally. Get their buy in. Understand what excites them, stops them, or frustrates them. Protect them and remove obstacles. Don’t control the process. Give people the freedom to create. Inspire and motivate them. Then leave them to it.
Over-communicate: it’s never obvious
Getting buy in across teams is not easy. Your role is to be the trusted confidante. You should be the first one to know if something is going wrong; or if a deadline is going to slip. Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them; and why. Deliver bad news upfront and early. Stay direct. Ask for and give feedback regularly.
User perspective + empathy: it doesn’t matter what you think
User design is always much complicated than it seems on the surface. You will never get it right. It can always be better. Don’t get dragged down a rabbit hole, or get distracted by the way things look. There are no right answers. Continuously put yourself in the user’s shoes- by actually asking them what they need/want + also observing how they interact with the product- and then design the product specifically for whichever segment you’re initially targeting. Make sure the experience is simple, easy + intuitive- if not delightful.
Move fast: decision-making & measurement
Run the tests. Let the data speak first. But while you can always collect more data while you’re developing a product, in the end, you’re going to have to make some calls that are unscientific: based on your gut, instinct and qualitative feedback. Act quickly and decisively. You role is to say no, cut out the bullshit and keep going.
On the other hand, sure that you’re continuously refining your KPIs- and that you invest in defining what data you want to collect from your users early on, and revise this before you release each iteration of your product. You want to balance releasing a version of your product with being able to test whether it is actually ‘working’. Also, feel free to get (a little) creative in defining what ‘working’ means.
Prioritisation: say no
You’re not going to be able to put out every fire, or keep every stakeholder (the design, engineering, client and senior management teams) happy at all times. Balance the urgent v/s the important: don’t lose sight of what you’re end goal is. It’s okay to say no, as long as as a team, you’re still heading where you want to go.
Stay authentic: do what works for you
Real leadership is an exercise in influence: understanding what motivates people, getting people with very different perspectives and backgrounds to align on a single vision, and work together, and then carrying your team across the finish line. Use your own style to make it work.

*I led the development of an influencer marketing platform for a European adtech company, managed two very different Stanford-based startup teams (one primarily designer-led in the ed-tech space and another engineer-led in the healthcare sector) and worked with the UK government, a large charity and an impact investor to design and launch an incubator for public services in the UK.
Image
What No One Tells You About Being a Product Manager was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Intern
Intern
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Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 33
Schools: Stanford '14
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What I Learned as a Second Year Stanford MBA Student [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2018, 19:01
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: What I Learned as a Second Year Stanford MBA Student
Image
Doing an MBA is like drinking from a firehouse. You will have more opportunities- in terms of internships, jobs, classes, friendships and travel- come your way than you can imagine. The two years are a gift. But learning what options to ignore, and what to chase, is an art.
I’m incredibly grateful to have had the chance to study at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. I’ve learned more in the past 18 months, professionally and personally, than I thought was possible. These are my key takeaways on making the most of the MBA program.
Focus: pick a topic, sector, person, question
Build a brand- or rebrand professionally- particularly if you’re looking to change geographies, functions or industries. Use that lens to choose your classes, internships and club leadership experience. Once you’re known as the ‘fill in the blank’ person, you’ll start getting opportunities passed your way, without you having to do any of the ground work. Don’t underestimate how amazingly thoughtful + well connected your classmates are.
Get some real-life work experience on the side
It’s hard to truly absorb everything you’re learning, no matter how phenomenal the classes or speakers, until you try and apply it yourself. I wouldn’t have gotten half as much as I did from the program, if I hadn’t worked on startups and done a second internship. Not only does this allow you to develop practical skills: this is an entirely risk-free time. You can be as experimental as you want with your side projects. I had the chance to work on two wildly different startups, with two wildly different teams*, and loved having the chance to learn from both.
Don’t forget the professors
Invest in your coursework: this is your chance to build a relationship with some stellar thought leaders. Take your professors out for coffee or lunch: if you can, do a research project or write a paper with them. This gives you the incredible ability to to call up or meet whoever you want, in order to answer a question of your choosing. Doing an independent study on the rapidly evolving digital media landscape in India with Stanford’s ex-Dean was one of my most professionally meaningful experiences at the GSB.
See yourself from a distance
You will be given the chance to reflect, ask yourself what you truly want to do with your life, and develop self-awareness, through your classes, workshops and classmates. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Ask your peers for feedback regularly: they can often see your strengths and weaknesses more clearly than you can.
I had the chance to deliver a TALK (a GSB institution, where every week, a classmate delivers a highly personal 30 minute reflection of the key events that have shaped them, to hundreds of other classmates). It was incredibly difficult to write and deliver, and painful at times, but the event will undoubtedly be one of the first things I will remember ten years down the line. This community will perhaps be the most supportive + collaborative one that you will ever experience. Let yourself fall: you will be caught.
Organise a trek, conference or trip
I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to organise a trip or conference, given all the administrative hassle associated with the process, until I Co-Chaired Stanford’s Future of Media Conference this year. The logistics were definitely as painful as I’d expected, but the upside, in terms of the lessons I learned around teamwork, branding, facilitation and operations was so much greater.
Travel, host dinners and go out
Make room for spontaneity, and to truly have fun. You don’t have to plan every day. Your classmates are the biggest gift of these two years. They will change the way you see the world, and yourself. You’ve no doubt heard already heard that you will make friends that will last lifetime. This is true. But don’t forget to take an interest, and be generous + kind to the people you don’t know too. Build the community you want to be a part of.
Don’t follow the herd
Ultimately, each one of your classmates will have a unique experience, based on the choices they make. You can’t escape FOMO, but stay true to yourself. Spend your time the way you want to. Invest in what you consider meaningful. No one has the answer, because there isn’t one.
Image
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Intern
Intern
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Joined: 27 Sep 2015
Posts: 33
Schools: Stanford '14
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You Can’t Go Home [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2018, 17:02
FROM Bschooladmit20 - Current Student: You Can’t Go Home
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You’re excited to move back to your home country, after living abroad for ten years. You’re enthusiastic about the potential to bring back new ideas, about the professional opportunities. You’re always stunned by how quickly your country is changing, in terms of consumption patterns and tastes when you visit. There’s so much left to be done and built.
But you’re also scared. Everything seems to stay the same, but you feel less at home every time you go back. You know you’ve changed. You make an effort to sound and look like your old self- and you do admittedly regress around your parents.
But you look at the world differently now. You value space and independence in a way that you didn’t know was possible, when you were growing up. You can’t help being bothered by the disregard people seem to have of boundaries. They seem so comfortable asking intimate details of your personal life, commenting on your appearance and life choices.
Why does no one seem to value time or space here? Maybe it’s because they’ve never experienced it themselves.You’re not being used to told what to do, who to meet or what to wear. When you talk about your professional ambitions, you’re asked who will take care of the house and/or your husband. Have you traveled back in time?
You’re often dismayed at how women are viewed in conversations- but they don’t seem to be upset themselves. The constant gender segregation at dinner tables, the fact that women are expected to go into the kitchen and serve the men at parties, when the men don’t lift a finger or acknowledge the effort, makes you angry. You’re almost beginning to miss the hidden, subtle sexism you’re used to facing.
You’re not here to solely support others. You intend to live life your life on your own terms. You consider speaking up. You share your thoughts with some of the women back home. But they can’t understand why you’re getting indignant on their behalf. They don’t want the choices you want them to have.
You know there is no right way to live. You tell yourself you don’t care what the community will think, but you’re watching and judging them too. Are you any better? You don’t want them to hold you to their standards, but you’re holding them to yours.
Not every decision or act is intended to be an act of rebellion. But maybe it needs to be.
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You Can’t Go Home   [#permalink] 24 Mar 2018, 17:02

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