Shelf Life.

MBA term 2 opens with a question to myself: What am I doing with my life?

As anyone familiar with MBAs would know, term 2 is all about recruiting.  Most MBA summer internships transform into a job offer after the graduation.  Those pursuing banking and consulting careers are going through an extremely, structured summer internship interview process right now.  Suits adorned with a sleek London Business School name tag are seen walking around the campus every day for various recruiting events.

In the middle of all this, I do not know what to do with my life.  Yet here is a thing: uncertainty = potential.  In my uncertainty lies a world of opportunities I can choose to pursue.  But potential has its shelf life.  Potential is a brief, volatile, metaphorically radioactive state where you change into some other form (hopefully something productive) or you decay away the potential each passing moment you aren’t utilizing it and shaping it to your goal.

The only way I know how to manage this process is to give time and actively seek out those who are currently where I might want to end up at one day.  I am going to reach out to people, hear their stories, learn about the world out there, and see what suits me.  Just because my classmates are cracking case practices, and visiting offices in nice suits does not mean that is the best course of action for me.

My friend sent me this essay written by David Brooks of New York Times.  Brooks talks about resume virtues and eulogy virtues in his essay.  When I read this, I actually gave a little chuckle because my first assignment at MBA was to write my own eulogy.  Not to promote London Business School here, but the school wants us to think about our lives and careers in a more holistic way.  Take a look at this book below, for instance.

Titled “The 100-Year Life,” the book argues that our three life stages of education, work and retirement will blur and converge into a multi-stage longer life.  We are seeking further training and learning.  We want to volunteer and dedicate ourselves to causes while being fully employed.  Companies are starting to offer such arrangements: At Bain, 10% of your time is dedicated to pro bono consulting.  Career paths that our parents took will not work for us today.

There is no conclusion to this blog post, since there is also no conclusion to my January internship explorations right now.  Later this year, I can be anywhere.  I can be doing an exchange program in any part of the world or trying out a role I have never done before.  The world is my oyster.  I feel grateful I have this freedom.  Stay warm, readers.

the-100-year-life

Highest and Hardest Glass Ceiling

The gendered nature of HRC’s campaign loss at this time around is a painful one.

Here I acknowledge that people have complex reasons for going with different candidates, but there exists a gender dimension to the 2016 election results in America.  Many of my friends cried yesterday at work, and between classes.  The mood this week could be a lot better.

HRC was not a “cool” choice among young people, like Obama was in 2008, when the Hope sticker was a cool accessory on college students’ laptop covers.  But with HRC, even when compared side by side with the scandalous disposition of the current president-elect, people still faulted HRC for her personality, not the policy she has been campaigning for or the public issues she brings up with facts and figures.

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This election is a slap in the face.  We mourn, but now we have to move on because there is so much work to do!

To young people in particular, I have as Tim said spent my entire adult life fighting what I believe in. I’ve had successes and setbacks and sometimes painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public, and political careers — you will have successes and setbacks too.

This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.

It is, it is worth it.

And so we need — we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives. And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me: I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.

Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.

And to all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.