Knitting & Politics

My summer grad-level course in data analytics & reporting is well under way, but after this week’s session, it is growing more clear to me that the course (at least for now) won’t be demanding an excessive amount of my time. The class, taking place in a computer lab, includes a few individuals that struggled mightily with a standard pivot table and VLOOKUP formulas. I suppose such expectations are to no surprise with a class demographic that ranged from what looked like someone who could still be a freshman in college to a woman knitting in the back row. Seriously.. she was knitting a quilt in class.

My plan is to ace this class with a big fat red ‘A’ to help demonstrate to the admissions committees that not only am I able to handle grad-level quantitative coursework, but that I am wholeheartedly committed to this process and recognize one of my weaknesses (a low UGPA). It also demonstrates a personal interest of mine in the marketing industry, that of which I have little to no professional working experience in.

With no re-take of the GMAT in sight, I still find myself with at least a few free hours a week on top of the full-time job and the minimal homework from this course. It’s during these moments where I wish that the business schools would publish their essay questions so that I can get the creative juices flowing and begin writing and brainstorming freely. But in reality, waiting for the questions to be released is just a convenient excuse; there really is nothing stopping me from tackling the inevitable introspective questions such as the “why an MBA now?”, “what are your short-term and long-term post-MBA goals?” and prepping for the career progression story that is likely to come up in an interview. (Woops! Interviews? I’m getting ahead of myself…)

One question that I admit to want to encounter is the, “Describe a conflict or problem you have faced in the workplace, and describe what steps you took to resolve it.” Reason being (unfortunately) is that I am currently involved in a rare care of office politics at the moment… but what’s already markedly different from my behavior today as opposed to my behavior a year ago is that I am approaching this situation from the perspective of a leader. Have I considered all of the conflicted parties’ perspectivesPerhaps the best solution isn’t necessarily the shortest path from A to B but the longer route requiring a higher level of patienceHow do I optimally balance work efficiency with team morale? In short, I’ve identified a pretty gaping hole in the efficiency of my team’s structure, but the changes that I am proposing may step on an important person’s toes. It’s not a situation I am familiar with but hope to be able to handle professionally and logically.

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