Keith Ferrazzi, New York Times bestselling author of Never Eat Alone, spoke to Wisconsin MBA students about building professional relationships and the importance of a strong network. The author was a featured speaker in the M. Keith Weikel Leadership Speaker Series which, beginning in 2004, has provided opportunities for Wisconsin MBA students to interact and learn from successful business leaders and alumni.
Ferrazzi spoke at length about his professional experience and the importance of networking, however his approach to goal setting was also fascinating. Outlined in his book, the framework is a great resource for prospective students as they move through the MBA application process.
Step 1- Find Your Passion
By doing a bit of self-reflection and asking probing questions of your strengths, weaknesses, and professional experiences you can hopefully identify your passion. Contemplation is an essential piece of the MBA application that leaks into your essay, recommendations, and interview. The Wisconsin MBA looks for applicants with a passion for the industry they hope to go into, and through identifying this fervor you will have an easier time communicating your goals to the admissions committee.
Step 2- Make Connections
After identifying the steps necessary to successfully apply to an MBA program, pinpoint people who can help you get there. Admissions representatives, current students, and alumni can all be good resources for both information gathering purposes and discussing your interest in the program. After you’ve connected with these individuals make sure to show your gratitude. You’d be surprised how far a handwritten thank you note can go (I keep all the thank you cards I receive in my office).
Step 3- Create a Personal “Board of Advisors”
It’s important to hold yourself accountable, and Ferrazzi mentions that in order to do so you’ll need external vetting. Identify two or three people who will hold the role as both cheerleader and supervisor as you continue through the MBA application process. They will make sure that you keep yourself on track to accomplishing what you’ve started, and encourage you throughout the process.
Applying to the Wisconsin MBA is a goal with a lot of different moving pieces. Being able to utilize Keith Ferrazzi’s goal setting process can certainly help break things down into more manageable pieces that will set you up for success.
For more information about the M. Keith Weikel Leadership Speaker Series event with Keith Ferrazzi, please visit our website.