Saturday, October 5, 2013

Here for good.

Some good news I saw today on one of the world's top-50 under-50 social media; apparently a couple of seniors I knew who completed their program last month had received their final marks and they got a Distinction.  That is so awesome! So happy for them. 

I've been telling my classmates that I want to get a Distinction too, by the way. Yet I'm still pondering, besides doing well in our study, are we doing any good with it?  Is such virtue still being pursued by, not only business schools, business students?
The past couple of weeks we've been working on a group assignment; we chose Tajikistan to have research on.  It's the poorest Central Asian nation.  As I get to know more about the country, I found my own consolation by trusting the people, organizations that work hard in making efforts to eradicate poverty in these places.  No worries, you can call me naive.  *smiley*

An MBA student of McGill recently wrote an article on his quest related to this.  I find myself connecting to his 'not so academic' idealistic. Reading his first hand experience on North Korea and Joburg, I sensed his being genuine to evaluate his motives and then find ways to his own answers, if any, from those trips. 
MBA students are preoccupied with doing well. We pull all-nighters for the highest marks, to land the best internships, to get the biggest salary upon graduation. Rarely do we take enough time to assess the impact of our actions. Yes, working harder may raise our marks but, beyond that, what is it all for? 

Being realistic, poverty may be something that is unknown (mainly because we never experienced it in our lives)  to most of us.  I lost my dad several years ago and he was our breadwinner.  Yet, no, I didn't live with less than $1 per day. Friends, close friends, people whom I call 'best friends' - none of them live such a life.  

I don't mean that all MBAs should fight poverty, but as I toil for doing well in my study, I hope I would bear in mind that there's something more valuable, worth pursuing to my title. 
And I am here, in this quest, for good. -- no, I'm not talking about the tagline of 'that bank' :-) 

We left the project not just as MBAs, but as global citizens, responsible leaders and caring individuals. We left with the satisfaction that our classroom skills are not theoretical. They are not just to improve the equity of a firm’s shareholders, but are useful to those trying to help themselves escape the cycle of poverty and aspire to better lives. We left knowing that doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive. MBA students toil day in, day out to learn concepts and frameworks. But it is only when we are able to see their impact in the world that we begin to extract meaning from our experiences. 

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