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Electives: ‘Follow your energy, pursue the path that interests you’

Having spent most of my life outside of the United States, I came to business school unsure how to pursue the seemingly overwhelming task of picking a direction with my studies and career. Luckily, due to the intimate size of the cohort within Goizueta, I was able to have a one-on-one meeting with Associate Dean Brian Mitchell. His advice was to follow your energy, pursue the path that interests and energizes you.

Initially, I was puzzled as I craved certainty in my guidance. However, I took his word and going forward asked myself “does this fundamentally interest me?” each time I was faced with a choice. This was especially useful when choosing my electives. Instead of trying to think what I “ought to take” or imagining an end-goal portfolio, I pursued courses where the content of the material excited me.

I feared this was a selfish course of action that wouldn’t generate the best educational experience, but that could not have been further from the truth. The excitement I felt for the material catalyzed my efforts and allowed me to immerse myself in topics without draining myself. As a result, I put in considerably more time into my coursework and frequently found myself doing work and analysis outside of required material simply because I was interested.

This personal investment into the material meant that I not only learned a tremendous amount, but also felt a profound confidence in the material that I studied. This pairing of knowledge and confidence proved essential during recruiting where case interviews were designed to push the confidence in your knowledge to the limit. This was especially true in a group case in front of senior executives were the pressure was palpable. Ultimately, I credit Dean Brian and his advice for successfully navigating these tests, and for building both my knowledge and confidence in my abilities.

Max Hemm is a 2019 Full-Time MBA student focused on business analytics and corporate strategy. Originally from Germany but having worked across Eastern Europe and Africa, he loves working with multinational teams on complex projects. A self-confessed nerd, he loves technology and reading.

Article reposted with permission from the Writer.

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