I read somewhere that in life one has to balance:
- Rewards (financially)
- Passion (do the thing you want to do)
- Time (having it to spend on other things!)
I'm going to have to juggle this throughout the next 2 months and equally throughout my working life post- MBA.
Funding hunt continues (or slows...)- THE REWARDS.
Search for external funding has been difficult, it seems that most of the fellowships and scholarships out there are restricted to US applicants. I'm sure if I searched harder I would find some, but the effort required given the limited time to only yield the eligible few which would probably be too competitive is not really worth a shot. I think I'll just submit my tax return when it arrives and take what fellowship and loan options are offered to me by Stanford.
The search for funding with my current employer has been progressing fairly slowly, no response from the two senior managers who I thought would be interested in helping me out. My search has been scaled back to my division, I am getting some support from my key line managers, but I suppose it's just a matter of people being busy now being the end/beginning of the financial year. In the end the company will probably draft some learning agreement contract which may tie me down too much for my lacking... It begs the question, do I really want to return to the same company!!!?
Career options.. Start thinking now!- PASSION
One thing I have begun doing plenty of is planning for my career post MBA (So I'm not returning then!) I know it sounds early, but from the posts and news articles I've been reading out there, the cream of the crop jobs are hard to obtain, so the earlier the search the better. My main interest is certainly management consulting (MC), either strategy or IT/Technology consulting for the big brand name firms, I think my consulting background in defence consulting will only help in this search over any other traditional MBA careers. For now I've ruled out investment banking- it does not seem to suit me.
The other career interest is non-profit management/entrepreneurship, the most fulfilling job was the time I spent organising the Kilimanjaro Expedition in Tanzania for the 24 odd people from my organisation raising funds for the Kabale School science laboratories on behalf of the Britain-Tanzania Society (BTS), and the continuing work I'm doing for the forthcoming Everest Expedition. What is obvious is that the Stanford MBA experience will prepare to act as a future non-profit board member for BTS Recent advice from the businessweek forum indicates that I can sacrifice my summer internship doing non-profit work without compromising a shot at the top MC firms. The logic being is that MCs are really interested in hiring full time and as long as you ace the case interviews you're fine. Hmmm... Not taking any chances, I've ordered the latest consulting guide books from the states on Amazon so I can investigate this area thoroughly. Am I too eager? Let me re-phrase that; am I too eager to in looking for a job given I'm about to spend over $120k in 2 years!? It's time well spent, while I have the luxury!
My friends... Can I see them all?- TIME
This is a touchy subject for Mbwana. How many of my diverse set of friends across the country and indeed across the world can I visit for the final goodbyes before heading to business school? I've virtually ruled out Japan to visit Linny due to a host of reasons- including funds and work commitments. Tanzania is alright, since I'll be there for about 6 weeks in the summer so I can make trips to Kenya and do the usual Zanzibar trips. The centre of the universe remains London for the marlburians and ex-bristolians which I'll be visiting over the next month. And what about a leaving party? Should I have one in Salisbury, London or in both (2 separate parties). Who will attend? I really don't want to be parading across the country trying to see everyone (like I don't do that anyway!), so I have to be realistic about the effort I'm willing to put in over the next 2 months. I suppose I'll set the two parties in June and see who turns up. There is of course the fact that I'll be passing through the UK in August to collect the rest of my stuff before heading to California. In any case, there have been numerous visit promises over the next 2 years, can people really spare the time to visit me- we'll see about that...