Leadership in Action @ Simon

By: Ameet Chandak, M.B.A. Candidate 2010

When asking students why they want an M.B.A., the most frequent response is to improve their “leadership qualities and potential.”  How do you achieve this goal with a hectic academic schedule?  The Simon M.B.A. imbibes the leadership spirit in its true sense and provides students with a host of opportunities to shine as leaders.  I am happy and eager to share my experiences with you.

My first encounter with leadership at Simon came when I was elected the Vice President for Corporate Relations with the Consulting, Operations and Technology Association (COTA) student club.  One of the programs that I lead was the planning and management of COTA’s annual corporate tour to Chicago, where we visited 8 companies over 3 days.  My leadership role in this club also helped me connect with distinguished Simon Alumni and observe their leadership styles.

One of my most enriching leadership opportunities at Simon came in my second year when I was selected as a Second-Year M.B.A. Coach.  As a coach, I mentor and guide first year teams by observing them in action, giving feedback on their performance, and at the same time receiving feedback from them on my leadership.  As a Coach, I am involved in regular team meetings with my first-year team, organize team building activities, and work with them to improve their overall performance as a team.  This experience has been very inspiring and bought about confidence in my leadership style.

I have also been able to take up a leadership role in a Job Opportunity and Leadership Team (JOLT) as a team captain.  These teams utilize the strong collaboration spirit between students to streamline the career search for second-year M.B.A. students.  As a team captain, my role is to help my team share job leads and search techniques so that we can all meet our career goals.  This again is an excellent opportunity to build leadership skills and develop the ability to meet different stakeholder needs through a common vision.

The ability to take initiative, lead a team, and make decisions under pressure are skills which any top company would look for in an M.B.A. candidate.  Given the diverse professional and geographic backgrounds we all come from, it becomes extremely important to master these leadership skills during the M.B.A.  The Simon School provides multiple opportunities for each student to shine and emerge as a truly global leader, and I hope you will be able to use these to the fullest.

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