Brandeis International Business School

How Brandeis helped me grow as a person

Business school is a great time to set personal goals and get out of your comfort zone

Massan Tita Attiopou, MBA‘21As a new student traveling to the United States for the first time, I arrived at Brandeis International Business School with an open mind.

The next two years were both intense and exciting. I gained valuable knowledge, new friendships and a fresh perspective on the world.

After graduating from the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, I can now proudly say that I achieved both my academic and personal goals — all while having fun. 

Balancing academics and social life

As a student I learned to make progress every day and to work steadily instead of procrastinating until the day before an exam. I concentrated on being adaptable and getting along with fellow students throughout my various team projects. I learned a variety of technical skills needed to launch my career. And in addition to my required MBA coursework, I enrolled in several elective classes based on my personal interests. It was a great experience!

The social life at the International Business School is very busy. There’s always a lot going on! From club meetings to student gatherings and networking events, there are plenty of opportunities to meet students, faculty and staff from across Brandeis University. The student body is so diverse and I made friends with people from many countries and cultures.

Setting personal goals

In addition to earning good grades, I set several goals for myself at the beginning of my first semester. My main goal was to improve my public speaking. I decided to speak up at least once in every class. I also volunteered to make presentations in class whenever possible. At first this was difficult for me because I was shy. But I quickly learned how to gather my ideas and give sensible answers on short notice. Over time I noticed that I was making progress: participating in class was easier and even became enjoyable during my second year.

In addition to public speaking, I also wanted to learn how to seek (and accept) help. To achieve this goal, I never hesitated to ask questions of my teaching assistants and professors. I also got better at this in my personal life by asking friends and family for help.

My third and final goal was to make friends and get involved in student groups. I certainly made many friends and I’m still working to develop and maintain these friendships after graduation. My main regret is not getting as involved with student clubs as I had hoped. There are so many to choose from — this is a great aspect of student life at the International Business School.

Advice for incoming students

My advice for incoming students: while academics are important, it’s also critical to develop soft skills like communication, teamwork, adaptability and leadership. Possess an honest view of your skills and work hard to improve them over time. Business school is a great opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills you need to achieve your career aspirations. But don’t forget that the relationships you build at the International Business School will last a lifetime.

Student Insights features blog posts and videos produced by current students and recent graduates of Brandeis International Business School. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here belong solely to the author.

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