From a Different Perspective

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Image courtesy of Worakit Sirijinda -

Image courtesy of Worakit Sirijinda –

I remember coming across the review for Philip Delves Broughton‘s book, Ahead of the Curve. I was living in Manhattan and relishing reading the business section’s latest book reviews. Broughton’s book garnered lavish praise.

It was 2008, and Broughton’s book had just come out. He’d chosen to write about his experience as an MBA student at HBS. Coming to HBS from the world of journalism, he often felt like an outsider.

I’d always wanted to earn an MBA. I can’t explain why, but I did. When I read this review, something clicked. I figured if Broughton could do it, so could I. Somehow, at that moment, I knew the decision had been made. I wouldn’t rest until I’d gone to B school.

First, though, I had to read Broughton’s book.

A few years later, I went to MIT to earn my MBA in their Sloan Fellows program. It was everything I hoped it would be . . . and more. I loved it.

Was I an outsider coming from the education space? You bet. No doubt. It was hard. Let’s just say it was a very humbling experience, one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Last week, I got curious. I wondered what it would be like to read Broughton’s book again, now that I’ve gone through what he wrote about. It’s been kinda fun to read his book from this angle, the angle of having gone through it, too, albeit at a different school.

It’s great reading about the company cases he describes and recalling reading and analyzing them as part of my experience, too. All the classroom dynamics. Brings it all back.

What did I love about my experience at MIT? The people I met. The perspective and mindset(s) I gained. The exposure to some of the most incredible thinkers and doers from around the world. The lifelong connections forged with teammates after working for hours on end to solve problems, build systems, work through simulations, and gut cases.

I just wrote Philip Delves Brougton a note thanking him for writing this book. It’s given me the chance to relive the experience and to take some pride in having accomplished this goal.


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  1. mrdardy on December 17, 2013 at 9:05 pm


    It’s been great reading your thoughts again. You’ve had a busy week on the blog! So cool that you took the time to write that note. It’s a reminder of some important ones I have to write myself. Two more days of work, then a respite where I can attend to other important issues.

  2. Gayle on December 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Jim, I’m loving reading your blog, too! I’ve felt a strong need to write this week. Don’t know why. Glad to have the space to do it.

    Yeah. Felt great to write that note. His book and the timing of it had a big impact on me. I remember exactly how it felt to read that review and make that internal commitment.

    Hang in there! I hope you and your family have a fantastic break. I’m really enjoying keeping in touch and sharing thoughts and ideas. So good to hear from you!