Any regrets

Its one of the posts in which I meander around.

Recently, I had the chance to meet three CEOs at a private dinner arranged in my mentor’s home (through Vlerick’s mentorship program). I’m not sure if I will ever be able to, at the same time and in an informal environment, talk to three wonderful families and converse with three successful men who are collective responsible for well over a billion dollars in revenue and over 10000 employees.

skewnessDuring the dinner, I was asked if I had any regrets about the decision to pursue MBA in Vlerick. My reply was an emphatic no! We tend to think that MBA pursuit decisions are based on ROI calculations. Certainly, this is an important part of the equation, but in hindsight… the decision and its variables are more emotional than rational. It is about choosing insecurity over secure job, relocating to a strange place, leaving your (girl) friend(s) and relationship(s), asking help from friends and family and about venturing into the biggest self imposed change of our lives. The expectation about what we want to get out of an MBA year is extremely high because the sacrifices are enormous. And yet, my reply was that this is one of the best decisions of my life irrespective of which kind of job I land into.

Things surely must have gone very well for me. Yes, they have… I have been lucky not just with the school, but also with my home and landlord in Leuven, my friends visiting here, me visiting friends and parties, with networking, my mentor and with the company project and to be honest, even with the Belgian weather lately :)

I wonder why then are few students unhappy with this year, some even utterly bitter. I don’t know the reason; it does not seem to have a correlation to a gender, nationality or prospects in the job market. In every profile, few students are unhappy and few others are delighted with this year. I guess statistically speaking, this kind of distribution is normal for a satisfaction score. It is the skewness that isn’t normal.

The bottom line is that having realistic expectations directly affects a student’s satisfaction and managing expectation well is equally important for the school’s reputation. It’s easier said than done. I just happened to be lucky that the school’s culture was a completely perfect fit to me. I can only imagine that the best way to solve the risk of this inadequate information is to make the best out of the year rather than to waste time thinking about how one wanted this year to be different.


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