After each on-campus period of the MAPP 2013/14 program, we were asked to write a journal entry, mostly in order to reflect on important insights from the days before. After the final onsite in May, we were also asked to come up with a list of “eureka moments“, tiny bits of knowledge we would like to pass on to future Mappsters so as to help them to make the best of their experience at Penn.
So here´s my list. Please keep in mind that this is my list. The list of a German trying to balance a full-time management job, several sidelines, plus having a family, with successfully making it through a wonderful but very demanding master´s program that entails regular intercontinental flights. So the list of my beautiful classmates could look entirely different. But I would expect some overlap at least…
- Practice the art of being nonjudgmental. And most likely, it is a good idea to start with yourself.
- Don´t hold back! Animate. Validate. Elevate.
- Commit random acts of kindness.
- Find a “MAPP wife/husband”.*
- When the distance learning work seems to overpower you: Channel your “inner German”. Get Scheiße done.
- Pick your battles.**
- “Use” the assistant instructors. They are most valuable resources. And, very likely, will be good friends.
- Bring chocolates for your classmates frequently.***
- Start a gratitude journal.
- Just in case somebody should say to you at some point in time: “You belong here. You are needed. Trust the process.” Believe him.
*That´s (typically, but not necessarily…) a person of the opposite sex you love almost as much as your actual significant other. Just without the sex thing.
** That´s a sophisticated term for “Why should I really read ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’ when there´s several superb executive summaries on the www?
*** I mean really good ones. German, Suisse, or Belgium brands. Hershey´s fine – but it´s not the real deal.