Aubrey Chapnick is an MBA student with a focus on finance and strategy at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business in Vancouver. He previously worked as a consultant at the global leadership development firm Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge and has experience in business development, sales and project management. He also worked this summer as a capital markets rotational intern, focused in mining investment banking and Canadian consumer products/retail equity research. This is his fifth entry for MBA Diary.
It's no surprise that as the world's economy becomes more globalized, business schools are ramping up their efforts to deliver international educational experiences to students. Having completed two such experiences in Japan and the United States, I can attest to the value they have added to my MBA education, and I highly recommend that incoming students seek programs that offer similar opportunities.
Eight of my classmates and I recently travelled to the Yale School of Management in New Haven, Conn., to attend a week-long program as a part of the Global Network for Advanced Management's Global Network Week. Over the course of five days, business school students from around the world converged on various host schools, including Yale, to partake in specialized course work that showcased each host's educational specialty.
In the case of Yale, this was behavioural sciences in economics, finance and marketing.
During our time at Yale, we took classes on decision-making, influence, behavioural finance, negotiation and behavioural economics. We also travelled to New York City for a day to visit IBM's Watson Research Center. It was a very cool experience that combined masterful instruction, great learning and a good amount of fun.
After reflecting on the week, I came to realize that this immersive experience carried an unexpected but important lesson. Traditionally, these global business programs are geared to provide students with the opportunity to expand their exposure to different cultures. which, in theory, should help them better manage the international business environment. Such programs should also open students' minds to new ways of thinking and alternative perspectives that challenge them to approach problems differently.
While these objectives proved true for me during Global Network Week, I also got a lesson in curiosity and humility.
During the week, I had the chance to meet a large number of like-minded people from around the world, whom I never would have been able to cross paths with otherwise. I was able to learn about their cultures, what they value and who they are as individuals. Most importantly, however, through classroom and social conversations, I was continually reminded of how much I didn't know about how the world operates and how my own preconceptions influenced the way I thought about how business is done and how people interact in different parts of the globe.
This realization excited me and pushed me to be more inquisitive, which helped me further realize how much I don't know. A wonderful educational situation to be in.
From my experience, personal and professional growth comes through a curious and humble mindset. For MBA students completing their degrees, this mindset can take you toward better problem-solving processes, team decision-making, creativity and willingness to go above and beyond to achieve the greatest outcomes possible.
It's easy for us to forget about such things, especially as we become more confident in our abilities and more ingrained in our respective day-to-day routines. This is just a reality of being human but, nevertheless, is something no business student or person can take for granted.