Optimize, improve, enhance, correct, remedy, boost, enrich, revitalize, these are all words that describe the intention to change or remove something making something better than it was before. Something is better because something makes us feel safe and secure more than before (survival, happiness, excitement, satisfaction).
There is a common misconception that many MBA’s are not as concerned with making something better or even with ethics, or with helping out their community, the planet or people in need, that the concern is monetary.
As an MBA grad you have an enormous opportunity as well as, an obligation to make valuable contributions to those around you. The goal of leaving the world a little bit better than how it was when you first came out of your MBA program should be very important to you
You may not always realize at the time just how much you actually do learn during your MBA. However, you do bring a lot to the ” make something better” table.
For one thing as an MBA, you develop skills on how to best analyze things and to make informed decisions. If you consider all the discipline, the intelligence, the time and the financial investment you have poured into your MBA degree, these are the strengths that will help you to readily make valuable and meaningful contributions.
Another trait that you are likely to develop with your MBA is the desire to think bigger, the ambition to do something that truly matters and the self-confidence to launch yourself into achieving it. Most contributions don’t need to be big, simply make a positive difference in someone else’s life.
Sometimes with an MBA, you may end up working for a bank. Thomas Cooley, dean of NYU Stern School of Business, says “think about how business can be a positive force for social change”. Many of you will go on to become influential industry leaders. This can be a catalyst for you so that when you are in marketing or finance positions, you can see the possibilities of working together with social entrepreneurs, not to mention developing empathy.
And as you are climbing up the corporate ladder, begin to think about your philanthropic résumé. Think about what it would mean to be part of the bank’s charitable foundations. Are you willing to provide some service to the community, perhaps by serving on boards of directors of non-profit organization?
There are people out there who do want to make a difference, and it really just takes everybody getting together and talking. Doing good and making something better should be the silent calling of every MBA.
So be sure to look for opportunities where you can leave your mark. To quote Thomas Jefferson “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.”
I invite you to share your experiences or thoughts, or comments. You can contact me for more information on soft skills/interpersonal skills workshops that can transform employees.