Last week, I was seated at this same desk writing about one of the most important chapters of my life and getting emotional, maybe too much. For those of you who don’t know me, It might seem so easy for me to open up and write about these kind of things but it really isn’t. Writing in here is a challenge on a daily basis as I am showing parts of myself I haven’t allowed many people to see. People usually know me as utterly bubbly, dancing and singing everywhere happily because that is exactly how I wanted to be perceived during the last years. Years ago, you could easily see that I was a highly emotional and oversensitive soul but during the last year this part of me was completely shuttered. Due to that, I must thank you for all the support you all are providing me no matter who you are and how I interact with you.
This was supposed to be the only article I was going to write about my graduation and talking about a way too often exploited word in my academic experience: What were the KEY LEARNINGS of studying in a business school? As I already told you, Business wasn’t what I wanted to study, I had no idea how the corporate world worked, I had no idea what were the courses I was going to take, I was kind of blind. No wonder why I received what ended up being the biggest wake up call of my life. Like: Hey Kiddo, where do you think you are going with this clueless attitude? Dancing in the corridors is fine but you gotta do it with some direction!!!
My attitude could be explained in one thing: if you are going to invest your money, time and 100% of yourself, You better do it in something you are passionate about. How can you convince a 17 year old to be motivated about something she doesn’t like? I already told you why I decided to stay in Business school but 5 years is a long time and that leaves margin to constantly learn. A lot of people might think: Is business school a good investment? Is it worth it? I mean If I want to learn about Marketing I can perfectly do it in an online course! Is it just for the curriculum? For the Jobs opportunities? Yes it gives you a hell of a CV, Yes it opens you the doors to a prestigious career, Yes you network a lot, yes you learn how to build a strategy and understand financial statements. Yes, It is worth it. But in my opinion not because of the reasons I just stated: But because it gives you the strongest base to deal with life with a totally different perspective. A set of superpowers that I don’t think I would have acquired anywhere else. I am sure you are curious on what kind of power I am talking about or not, maybe I am just having too much fun writing this as usual.
Giving 100% of yourself or nothing. You are all in are not in at all. It might sound obvious, I know some are rolling their eyes saying: Well girl, welcome to reality. Everything requires self investment and work to succeed. Yes, that is actually exactly what I would have said before going to university. Until all my efforts were involved in my study, it makes you think: Am I giving up too much of my life for this? Is it really worth it? It’s something I asked myself many times before I actually started to be serious about my studies. And that has taught me to invest 100% of myself in everything that I do and being a perfectionist, work but also blogging, working out and my relationships amongst others. If you do something, do it with your whole heart and give it your best shot. Don’t start ventures to half complete them, that to me is failure. The more you invest yourself in what you do, the better and quicker the outcome will be.
DON’T DOUBT YOURSELF
I know it is hard, we are all human and self-confidence in all senses is hard to achieve. But keep in mind that you are your worst enemy and your biggest ally all at once. What kept hurting me and making me fail was the fact that I didn’t feel as smart as my peers. Most of them had such direction, they knew why they were studying in that school and what they wanted to do in the future. To me everything was new language even though I was surrounded by it since I was born, I just didn’t want to listen. Brat alert again. That takes me again to a sentence I have already said in one of my posts: COMPARISON IS BULLSHIT. Stop looking away and look at yourself in the mirror, you are not going to magically become smarter, skinnier, more beautiful, funnier or whatever you wish you would be. But you have something more beautiful, you are unique in all senses. You have yours strengths and weaknesses, work on them and embrace your difference. Once I accepted that and stopped self-destructing myself because I wasn’t like my peers, I seemed to fit so much more and I basically stopped failing. Because I wasn’t frustrated about something I had no power to change and focused on what I could bring that no one else had the ability to bring. And once you have that mindset, It applies to all the aspects of your life: Love, friendship, family, work, hobbies and the list goes on.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Less is more. Always. Investing myself so much has taught me to step back and prioritize. What is worth investing my time in? What are the things I really enjoy doing during my free time? Who is worth investing my time in? I prefer having five best friends who I fully trust in and give a 100% of myself to, to being surrounded by too many people. I would rather focus my time in doing something I fully enjoy than wasting money and efforts in activities that I don’t like just to please. It has also taught me to go straight to the point, some people might actually say I am too direct and not afraid of speaking my mind which leads me to the next point.
PRESENTATION, NETWORKING AND SELF-CONFIDENCE
Learn to sell yourself, Be confident of your difference. Make it direct, simple and clear: don’t tell endless stories and if you do, make it personal and emotional so your audience don’t fall asleep of boredom. I have met so many people that weren’t first tier of the promotion but that had such an incredible presence they would lighten up a room when they would walk in it. You might think it’s only worth learning for the corporate world but these skills actually are useful to me on a daily basis. I was so shy and ashamed of presenting, I shook at the simple idea to speak in front of an audience. And actually I tried to avoid it during my first year of Business. But the first year actually didn’t require much presentation, starting from second year we had to present CONSTANTLY, like it was a second nature to us. And it comes with a lot of behaviors to adopt: Suit up, Stand up and take care of your posture, don’t read notes, be open and welcoming but most of all, Have fun and take interest in what you are talking about. Either ways, you won’t interest anyone. I used to hate it, until I was so forced to do it on a daily basis that it is actually one of the things I enjoyed the most in the end, I felt in my comfort zone. Same goes to networking, business school force you to constantly work with different people and open up so it is important to work on your presence and how you approach people because most of the times, the first impression is what counts.
TEAM WORK AND EMBRACING DIFFERENT PEOPLE/CULTURES
You want it or not: You are going to have to deal with all kind of people, even people you might not like. It’s part of Business school but also part of working in general. What I have learned is to deal with all kinds of people and put my personal matters aside to focus on the real deal: Work. You have to be professional and that comes with being able to also see the good in people you might not necessarily like, everybody has a potential to exploit and as a team it is essential to let all the members evolve and take it out. In a team, every member has to find their place and add the most value they can. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen most of the times because we tend to have established perception of the people we work with. Start fresh and believe in people as you want them to believe in you. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and listen to what others have to say. Being open-minded is key, it is so important to learn to understand that we are not the same and we all have something different to offer. I can say proudly that many of my peers have helped me and inspired me to do better thanks to their differences. We were like a big family and solidarity was in my opinion what saved most of us in our study.
GATHER, OBSERVE AND ANALYZE
Don’t settle on the first impression, dig deeper and analyze everything around you. I have noticed that I am so much more an analytical person than I used to be. I have a strong intuition and experience has taught me that the best surprises of my life are the people I considered that I would never ever have imagined having by my side. Never say never they say. Think that there is so much that you don’t know about the people that surrounds you and that while most of them will remain unnoticed, some of them could actually start being an important of your life.
MANAGING STRESS AND PRESSURE
During the two first years, I was a constantly stressed fireball. At some point the pressure to succeed and fight failure was so big, I had to reconsider my entire behavior. I wasn’t going to make it with the ” I can’t do this”, ” This is too much for me” attitude and all the what ifs that went with it. I started taking it one step at a time, one course at a day and learned to be more organized and less chaotic. Stress and chaos are too me the enemies of success: once I started being more relaxed and harmonious about the fact I could make it, everything flowed. Now, you could say I am the most relaxed person on earth (aside when retarded people get on my nerves obviously) and that is one of the best skills i have acquired in my life.
DEFINE YOUR OWN CONCEPT OF SUCCESS
Accept yourself the way you are and define your own definition of success. Don’t settle for something that has been established by the school, people or society if that is not how you feel. Follow that intuition of yours and only call success what you feel you need to achieve. Set your own objectives and the final purpose. And that has helped me so much: I know what I wanted after Business school and why I was doing it. That is what gave me motivation to keep going even if it was something I didn’t want to do. My success is that I constantly challenged myself and was able to grow the balls to burst my bubble and write, tell my stories, share content without worrying about how it is not aligned with the person I should be. The prouder and more confident you are about the person you are, the more accepted you will be by the people around you.
Last thing, ENJOY THE RIDE: Know that nothing will last forever and learn how to take the best out of every situation. Enjoy every bit of it and realize how it is contributing to your personal growth. If you are not growing, it is time to move on to your next chapter. Create memories, good and bad ones. What a better way to somehow share your story than feeling these memories as what contributed to the person you are. I know that I have repeated this many times but this is dedicated to all the people that helped me learning, that inspired and challenged me on a daily basis and that will be forever part of my memories. Was it a good investment? Probably the best.
Lots of love always,
Lots of love always,