Noelle San Jose '16SM Shares Her Top 8 Tips For Post-MBA Life

October 13, 2016

Noelle San Jose

Noelle tells how her Simmons MBA provided her with the necessary tools to survive (and thrive) in her professional career.

Since completing the Master of Business Administration program at the Simmons School of Management in December, I’ve often looked back at my “key takeaways” that I was frequently asked to write down in the last 10 minutes of class. These takeaways have gone from theoretical “aha” moments in the classroom to real-life survival techniques. Going from full-time student to full-time manager is a transition that I am still reeling from, especially because my position is new to the company. It’s easy to feel impostor syndrome, out of place, and lonely. Luckily though, I have a Simmons MBA, which provided the necessary tools to navigate this transition, harness my power, stay grounded, and make an impact. The following is my “Top 8” for surviving (and thriving) in my post-MBA life.


1. Challenge Yourself

Growth often happens through adversity, vulnerability and change; when we are pushed out of our comfort zones, we are able to further define who we are and what we want out of life.

2. Be Open to Criticism

Like putting yourself in challenging situations, criticism can be difficult to take but can ultimately strengthen your ideas by exposing opportunities for improvement. The faster you can metabolize feedback into actionable change, the easier it’ll be for you to bounce back and move forward. 

3. Create a Coalition of Support

A strong network of supportive allies can make all the difference when we are feeling down or are unsure of our next move; friendships with those who know our strengths, pasts and aspirations can often build us back up when times are tough. 

4. Never Stop Learning

Whether it’s a formal skill, subject matter, slang term, or learning something introspective about yourself, don’t ever be satisfied with the knowledge you have; there’s always room to learn more and gain a different perspective or frame of thinking! 

5. Speak Up

Not only do we need to practice using our voice, we need to appreciate that we are fortunate enough to live and work in a context that it is our right; when you speak up, you aren’t doing it just for yourself, but for so many others that are unable to be where you are. 

6. Take the Time to Reflect

In our busy lives, we rarely take the time to pause and think, but these moments of quiet self-reflection provide so much insight into our emotions, motivations, and fears; acknowledging these things allows us to take ownership of our feelings and bring our whole, true selves into the world. 

7. Do the Right Thing

There will always be people who doubt you, question your deci- sions, and push back; but doing the right thing will justify your decision. 

8. Be Kind to Yourself

Life doesn’t give extra credit taking for on more than you can handle, or sacrificing any part of yourself for others (or for work); we can often be our own worst critic and while it’s one thing to challenge yourself for the sake of growth, it’s another thing to sacrifice your health or happiness in the name of expectations, deadlines, or other people. Be your own advocate and allow yourself to take some time for yourself, to enjoy life, and appreciate who you are. 


Click Here to View the Full Article in the Spring 2016 Issue of Management Magazine.