I’ve spent much of my time at business school feeling stupid. And, if not stupid, certainly inexperienced and behind the curve. I almost never tease out the right answer in accounting, marketing or operations – there’s always some factor I didn’t consider. And decision analysis (think spreadsheets, risk analysis and lots of graphs) frequently leaves me bewildered.
As my momma always said, there will always be somebody better than you and somebody worse than you.
Right now I’m surrounded by a lot of “better than.”
Whether I find this frustrating is a topic for another day (I don’t, surprisingly). But it was a nice change to walk into a class that I knew cold.
It is a class about storytelling and communication, the two skills I’ve spent the last 14 years honing. For the first time, b-school was speaking my language. I can tell you about stakes, finding the inherent drama, focusing your story on one theme and grabbing and engaging your audience. I can tell a good story even after three glasses of wine and some minor surgery.
It felt so nice and warm and fuzzy to know what I was talking about, to be the expert for once. After taking all kinds of help from my quantitatively gifted classmates, I could finally give something back. This, I thought, must be how the CPAs feel every day in accounting class.
But while it was comforting it also … kind of boring. I wonder if this is how the CPAs feel every day in accounting class too. That was a surprise.
I’ll admit I’ve been a teeny bit jealous of those mysterious people who seem as if they came to business school with all the answers. The ones who just get it all, the ones who make you think, “I am totally unemployable and undesirable to any company.”
But after sitting in a class where I felt like I had all the answers, I realized I wouldn’t want to be one of those super stars. How depressed would I be if I were paying $100K+ for an education that didn’t challenge me? That’s one very expensive, two-year networking event.