Except for a few individuals that have, through years of disciplined practice and meditation, mastered the art of taming their minds from wandering, the minds of mere mortals like myself tends to wander without seeking our permission. Here I was on a beautiful Wednesday morning thinking of the workload I have to deal with for the day, coupled with the pressure of books to read in preparation for the upcoming first-semester examination and fast approaching assignments submission deadline from my MBA class. I could hear my mind speak out in the silent room, sarcastically asking a rhetorical question: “Who sent you?” Well, it is the usual question I get from within whenever I am under pressure.
Here I was trying to figure a way around how to objectively handle my current predicament and my mind wanders again “Was the covid lockdown a good thing or bad thing? “ I heard my mind asking. Why does my mind always ask questions that I do not have a simple yes or no answer to? I muttered out loud as though I was speaking to someone else. Thank goodness I was alone in my office, otherwise, I would have had some explanations to do. Well, I went down memory lane and thought through my activities that year and one profound activity was the completion of a Data Science and Business Analytics program virtually over nine months. The course was majorly centered around coding using R-studio software, a programing language I knew nothing about before the commencement of the program, but that is not the gist for today.
My cohort was a sort of boys’ club, the only lady in the class of 21 participants practically joined the program because her husband enrolled her. Unlike most of her male counterparts, she had no prior coding experience in any programing language. It was evident from the first day that she was not going to last very long in the course based on her seemingly fragile disposition and the way struggled to understand the most basic coding principles taught during the first class. Alas! she completed the course and performed even better than some of her chauvinistic peers, whose body language had suggested she had no business being in the class.
How did this tuna fish survive amid sharks? What strategy helped her finish strong, despite her shaky start? The answer to these questions holds the key to whether or not I can also finish strong in the MBA program I am currently running, where I feel very much like a tuna fish amid sharks. I snapped back to reality and immediately called her on phone, Chi-Chi, “how did you do it” I enquired impatiently. The response she gave provided me with the road map I needed to navigate the shark-infested waters of the LBS MBA program. Aside from encouraging me to be prepared to do the hard work, she advised me to leverage the strength of my group mates, ask questions until I gain a full understanding of every new concept introduced, and lastly show genuine care and concern for the wellbeing of my peers.