Mindfulness and Personal Leadership

ejohnsonby: Eric Johnson, Director of Graduate Career Services
Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Mindfulness is a powerful tool for personal leadership. With practice, you can use its techniques to become a better leader—of others and of yourself.

Much like yoga, mindfulness has been both warped and misused over the last few years as it’s become a pop culture staple. That said, in its true form it’s still a powerful tool for personal leadership and a key to overcoming five of the most common ways life can sabotage us. (Or really, we can sabotage ourselves!) I intend to share with you some mindful practices which I use in the hopes that you find at least one of these applicable in your life. A couple of quick notes:

  1. I’m going to use the term “consciousness” instead of “mindfulness” going forward, as I believe it’s a better representation of the practices here – my goal is to become acutely aware of how I’m managing the present moment so I can better manage a given situation.
  2. I’d like to ask you to maintain a “beginner’s mind” as you go through these tips. Shunryu Suzuki, a founding father of Zen in America, wrote that only through the withholding of biases and judgement can we maximize our learning from each other.
  3. The power of consciousness and personal leadership is in the practice – not in the message. If you want to get the most out of this, make a commitment to spend a few minutes every day making something here a staple in your daily routine.

It’s my experience that practicing consciousness of the present moment helps with five of life’s bigger challenges: inability to focus, making decisions, managing emotions, handling conflict, and improving attitudes. Here are my thoughts on how to do it.

Improving Focus
Ever find your mind wandering – maybe at work after you’ve been sitting for a while, or after you get home following a long day. Conscious awareness can help return you to productivity.

The majority of Americans report that they “zone out” upwards of a dozen times a day when they should be engaged in other activities – and many spend as much as 4 hours a day just scanning social media out of distraction. The good news is that conscious awareness can help with this.

Here are a few ways to get focused and to regain your attention the next time you “zone out”:

  • First, you have to notice that you’re zoning out – and you have to accept that it’s okay. It happens. The good news is that you are aware and that you want to improve.
  • Next, take a “purposeful pause” or do a “stretching meditation.” A purposeful pause is something I learned from Janice Marturano’s book, Finding the Space to Lead. It’s a simple concept: stop whatever you’re doing, sit back, fold your hands in your lap, close your eyes, and start to breathe deeply. As much as possible just focus on your breath – it helps to count to five as you breathe in, and then again as you breathe out. Do this for about 2 minutes, and you’ll find both a boost in energy and an ability to regain your focus.
  • Another option is to do a “stretching meditation” – which is one of my favorite practices. Here you just need to step back from your activity and stand up. Close your eyes and start to breathe deeply, also counting to five on the ins and outs of your breath. After the second exhale you can start working your arms into the practice – as you breathe in slowly raise your arms over your head, and as you breathe out slowly lower them back to your sides. Do this for about 2 minutes, and you will feel a similar energy boost and rejuvenation for the task at hand.

A common misconception about meditation is that it only works if you sit for 30 minutes with your eyes closed. On the contrary – you can become more conscious and present in as little as 90 seconds of focused breathing. So the next time you find your mind wandering – get up, stretch and breathe!

Making Decisions
Do you struggle with making decisions? Conscious awareness can bring you clarity and the confidence to act.

Ever face a decision that you didn’t want to make? It could be something as simple as where to go for dinner or something important like which job offer to accept. The importance of the decision is not the point – the point is that all of us face moments where we aren’t sure what to do and yet need to be decisive. Here’s a practice of conscious awareness that I use in situations like this:

  • First, find a space where you can be reflective and avoid distractions. You have the answer inside of you – you just need to hear what your mind and body are saying.
  • I love the simple exercise of writing here. Take about 7 minutes and write as much as you can in response to the following questions:
    • Which of my options summons more energy in my body?
    • Where do I feel excitement?
    • What values are important to me? How does each option honor or fulfill these values?
    • What’s the worst that can happen with each option? What’s the best?
    • What do I feel is calling me forward in the direction I want to go?
  • After you finish writing for 7 minutes read what you put down. Then sit back, close your eyes, and breathe deep for 7 minutes. Reflect on each option and notice what happens with your heart rate and with your muscle tension as you go through your answers. Specifically notice where positive energy arises in your body and mind as you reflect.

An old boss of mine used to say that, “a lack of clarity will cost us dearly.” He was so right. Consciousness gives us time to reflect on our options, identify our reasons, and to find clarity in our choices. After this exercise you will better know what decision you want to make, along with the reasons to do so.

Managing Emotions
Do you control your emotions or do they control you? Learn to manage your responses and become a better leader.

Ever reacted to a situation and then regretted later how you handled it? Do you get frustrated easily and “boil over” frequently? The great neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl used to say, “between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” The questions for you are: how big is your space, and how do you mind it? The next time you feel this way:

  • Notice when you begin to get frustrated or angry. No matter how long it takes your reactor to go from 0 to nuclear there is a point at which the dial starts turning – you need to both notice that it’s happening and accept that you have responsibility for stopping it from boiling over.
  • Mind the space. You’ve now experienced the stimulus, so it’s time to create a space. In this moment you need to step away – whatever that means for you – and be alone. It’s time to breathe.
  • Take a breath – while you’re breathing in count to 5. As you breathe out, count to 5. Do this 4-5 times. As you calm down, notice that you have a choice on how to respond to your stimulus. Ask yourself what impact you want your actions to have, and what role your emotions play in the solution you want. In this space you have a choice – respond in a way that will give you freedom and not regret.

I’m not telling you that you always have to be positive or happy. Negative emotion is both normal and necessary – the power here is making sure that your emotions work with your behavior and not against it. You don’t want to do anything you’ll regret – nor do you want your emotions to be counter-productive. You can control your response – and when you do, you will grow as a leader.

Handling Conflict
You can’t get along with everybody. You can use compassion to make your interactions more positive and productive.

We all have our “nemesis” – somebody who is difficult to work with and who brings out the worst in us. You may even find yourself in frequent arguments with this person if they’re not somebody you can just avoid. It’s okay – this is normal. We all have different personalities, values, incentives, and motivators – sometimes we’re just not set up to get along all of the time. What’s not always okay is how we deal with it.

Here’s how to use conscious compassion to handle conflict:

  • Think about somebody with whom you have trouble getting along. It could be a co-worker or friend, as it’s not important if it’s personal or professional. As you choose, notice the sensations that arise in your body. Don’t judge yourself – just notice.
  • Next, close your eyes and start breathing deeply. Breathe in to a count of 5 and out with a count of 5. As you do, you can start practicing compassion. Remind yourself that this person is somebody’s child, somebody’s partner, maybe somebody’s parent. There are people who love this person and who depend on this person. At their core, this person is just trying to do their best for somebody in their life. Nobody enjoys being seen negatively.
  • Finally, as you continue to breathe, come up with 1-2 positive thoughts about this person. Examples might be, “This person is a good parent,” or, “This person is deserving of friends.”

I’m not suggesting you have to find a way to be friends with everybody. You don’t. But you do have to find a way to be around people you don’t always like. You get to choose how you handle that, and I believe you’ll find that his practice of conscious compassion can not only help you better deal with difficult people, but actually begin seeing them in a better light.

Improving Attitude
When you’re in a bad mood, it’s up to you to get out of it. Use this technique to change your attitude and your outlook.

Have you ever found yourself in a bad mood, and not been sure why? Or maybe you just haven’t felt “right” but you’re not sure what’s going on? I have – all of the time! It’s actually one of the more common reasons why I meditate. In fact, one of my favorite philosophers – David Foster Wallace – talked about this in a commencement speech he gave called, “This is Water”. The basic premise is that we get to choose what we think about and how we respond to things. Conscious awareness is a tool that can help us with this.

My friend Mark Power, who is a Buddhist chaplain and an executive coach, has a great model called, “Identify, Interrupt, and Inspire” which I use in these moments.

  • When you notice that you’re in a funk, find a spot to sit down, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. In the first few moments try to identify the sensation – what emotions are you feeling and what do you notice in your body. Scan yourself from head to toe and try to name the sensations if you can.
  • As you continue to breathe deeply, try to identify where this is coming from. Ask yourself what’s causing tension or sadness? What is coming to mind for you? What thoughts are the first to show up? Question why this is so. See if you can put your finger on the thing that’s bothering you. Once you know you can interrupt the wondering that’s going on and begin to work with the sensation.
  • As you identify the stimulus, begin to explore how you’d like to feel about this, or what you need to do about it. It’s okay if you don’t have answers – you can also just sit with the feeling for a while and see if something shifts for you as you reflect on it. As you find the inspiration to choose how you want to feel you can begin to shape your attitude.

A study once showed that it takes about 90 seconds of sitting with a feeling before it begins to shift and improve in both the mind and the body. The key is that it has to be deep and reflective focusing on the sensations before they can move. The process of Identify-Interrupt-Inspire allows me to break the cycle and help the mood shift with my intentions. I believe it can work for you, too.

I hope that you find at least one of these practices helpful as you deal with life’s inner challenges. I’d love to hear other practices that work for you, so please feel free to share them with me at ericjohn@indiana.edu.

A Day in the Life of an MBA Recruiter

KFoxby: Karen Fox, University and Recruiting Partnerships, Vanguard Human Resources

It’s close to 6am.

The sun is not quite up, but I’m greeted by an anxious dog and a mischievous cat. It’s as if they know know how to tell time. Who needs an alarm clock?  We take care of business.  First a quick walk, some morning chow and then the day begins.

Breakfast for me is a must, two bowls of cereal and a dessert.  Yes, dessert.  Who doesn’t have dessert with their breakfast? Next, it’s time to get my two teenagers out the door and off to school. After dropping them off I come back and check some email, both personal and work.  I want to make sure there is nothing hot that needs immediate attention.

After that I get a quick run in. If time is on my side and all is going well, I can do 4 or 5 miles.  If I’m rushed, I’m thrilled to get 3 miles in. When I get home, it’s time for  a quick shower, I pull my hair back, find a dress to suit the day and off I go!

As soon as I hit my desk after about an hour commute in the car and a catch up on the news of the day (thanks satellite radio), I have a quick huddle with my team and then head to meetings. My day is usually a blend of interactions – in-person management meetings, touch points with internal clients and conference calls with schools or organizational partners. On this particular day, my first meeting is a team calibration with senior leaders in Talent Acquisition. Our agenda consists of an update on team member transitions, enhancement to our new applicant tracking system and a read out on recruiting analytics. It’s a great session with leaders who are aligned across divisions and helps to ensure we are all connected and collaborating together.

After that, my next meeting is with an internal campus resource who “champions” MBA recruiting at one of our target schools. I need to inform him of our updated strategy, new marketing materials and adjusted recruiting approach for the season.  After that, I head to a special initiatives meetings. This year I’m the divisional Relationship Manager for the “Vanguard Gives Back” campaign, which is an organizational charitable giving program that raises funds for those in need.  Usually around 2 or 3 p.m., I forget that I didn’t eat lunch and remember that I ran earlier in the morning so I indulge in a soft pretzel and/or tastykake and a piece of fruit at my desk. (Can you tell I’m from Philly? Lunch of champions!)

Later in the afternoon, I jump on a vendor call. We are exploring technology that will completely automate our university recruiting process, which means no more paper collection at campus events. I can’t wait!  More time savings and cost efficiencies.

My last meeting for the day is a summit planning meeting. I’m leading efforts around a Talent Acquisition Learning and Engagement Summit for 2017.  It’s been exciting work so far – lots of brainstorming around program content, key speakers and other team building ideas. Once 4 p.m. comes around,  I’m headed to class.  I teach a Professional Development Strategies class at Temple University. If I’m not headed to class, it’s usually an evening reception of networking with a school or other partner or a sporting event for my kids.

After a fun-filled day of work and activities, I look forward to getting home (typically around 8 p.m.) to be greeted by my furry friends, the dog and the cat. (Oh…by the way their names are Stella and George ,and I forgot to mention the kids names are Abigail and Walter – I have to work on putting them and the husband before the animals.)

When I get home I’m usually ravenous, so I eat much too late in the day. I guess everything somehow balances itself out. While eating we have family time, but it’s not traditional. All of us are grabbing something different to eat or snack on. We hang out in the kitchen checking email and tying up loose ends from the day while we talk about our special and sometimes frustrating moments. Believe me, if I asked the kids to do “family time” it wouldn’t happen, so what I’m talking about kind of happens organically. It’s my favorite time of the day.  The kids share so much, but it’s not forced. They are just doing their thing – homework, email, texting, etc., with no table rules and no required dining etiquette.

After we get everything out, my husband heads to work (yes, the graveyard shift), and we all race to our beds to rest and get ready for the next day – not before walking Stella one last time of course.  Admittedly, I lay in bed checking more email and scoping social media – definitely a no no, but I’m proud to say no TV for me.   I don’t really like it and I feel like I waste precious time.  So that’s it.  I wouldn’t just call this a typical day, I’d call it a near perfect day!

The Need for Collaboration

WTsungBy Wendy Tsung, Associate Dean MBA Career Services, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School

A few months ago I had the pleasure of representing MBA CSEA at the AACSB Co-Lab: Connecting Business Schools with Practice conference in Atlanta. The conference was hosted by Erika James, Dean of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, board member of AACSB, a.k.a. my boss. This topic was chosen because AACSB membership, made up of mostly deans and program directors of business schools, believes that there is an increasing need for collaboration with the business community. Schools from as far away as Australia, India, and Thailand were present at this conference to discuss the need for better and more relevant collaboration, sharing best practices on successful partnerships in research, in the classroom, and on co-curricular activities to advance the goals of education and business.

The companies and business schools at the conference would all like more engagement and collaboration but believe that there are substantial barriers to accomplishing this. Companies want quick, relevant research that can inform or guide their decision making and have a bottom line impact. Researchers want deep, long-term studies on a focused and narrow research area that can be published in leading research journals. These goals and approaches are rarely aligned. While there are ways to engage companies in student experiential learning activities, broader faculty and corporate collaboration may be out of reach until business schools begin to change how the criteria used for faculty tenure evaluation, the faculty compensation structure, and how rankings publications evaluate the reputation of schools using publications in leading journals. Another challenge that was identified was finding the right person within the corporation and the school to contact and respond to these efforts for collaboration.

While many hurdles were surfaced regarding collaboration on knowledge creation and research, much more progress has been made in the classroom and on co-curricular activities. The corporate representatives shared the need for schools to develop not just the technical, hard or required skills but also the soft or differentiating skills around communication, curiosity, and adaptive thinking. These skills can be best practiced through experiential projects and engagement with solving current, corporate problems.

Of course, the members of the MBA CSEA already know the value of collaboration with businesses and live it on a daily basis. In fact, many of the deans and program administrators recognized that the career services office has many of the relationships with companies that the school can build on to expand their collaboration efforts. Career services already foster relationships with students and businesses to help each other realize their goals. There is an opportunity for career services to work in close partnership with other parts of our schools to build relationships and expand our collaboration efforts with companies for the entire school.

 

Farewell and Thank you to MBA CSEA President

MBACSEA-Day2-217As Damian Zikakis, Director of Career Services at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, concludes his second term as President of the MBA CSEA Board of Directors, we wanted to take this time to thank him and reflect on his service and contributions.

Damian has seen the organization through many changes, growing pains and milestones, including…

  • Record attendance at our International conferences in Asia and Europe and continued growth at our Global Conference
  • Brand new Regional Forums in cities such as London and San Francisco
  • Ongoing webinars that pushed the envelope in both size and scope
  • A Vendor Standards Compliance Program to ensure our members that technology providers are producing Standards-compliant reports
  • A new partnership with AACSB to expand and enhance employment data collection and research
  • Expansion of staffing resources with the addition of our Administrative Assistant and Standards Consultant
  • Increased knowledge and thought leadership across the industry

This kind of growth requires a strong leader and continuous focus on results. Below are just a few reflections some of the board members have about Damian:

“Damian, as President of the MBA CSEA board you have been a great conciliator. I never saw you losing your composure during our discussions and you always found a way to steer our group towards a constructive solution. I am really glad that you will continue working with us!”

“Damian has been amazing to work with.  He’s fun to hang out with, great to talk things through with when there are issues and he’s always willing to help.  He will be missed as President.”

“Damian is a natural leader who puts a great deal of thought and effort into the decisions he makes. He always encourages us to consider all perspectives and stakeholders before taking action. He has been a pleasure to work with.”

DZikakisbowtie“The best dressed president who rocks a bow tie!”

Damian, we appreciate everything you have done for the organization and look forward to your continued service. And, keep rockin’ the bow tie!

 

How MBA CSEA got me more money, more time and more staff. (Or: In my day, we didn’t have AUP.)

MBACSEA-Day2-180by: Jamie Belinne, Assistant Dean, Rockwell Career Center
C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston

MBA CSEA President and Founder Jamie Belinne reflects on MBA CSEA’s roots and how far we’ve come.

When I first got into MBA career services back in the early 90s, it was a fairly small, but growing community of frustrated and overworked professionals whose lives were dominated by unrealistic expectations from Deans, unreasonable survey questions from the media, and giant MBA recruiting budgets.  So you’re probably thinking, “not much has changed except the recruiting budgets.”  But you’re wrong.

Have you ever said to your kids, “When I was your age, I had to go to the library and check microfiche, so don’t complain about your wifi problems.”?   That’s how I feel when people complain about the challenges of MBA career services today.

Let me tell you about walking to school uphill both ways (with bricks tied to our feet for warmth) prior to MBA CSEA …

When I first got to UT-Austin in 1992, they handed me a team of two people, one of whom was a faculty spouse placement with no work experience and the other was a full-time actor/yoga instructor.  We served 900 full-time MBAs and 300 campus recruiters.  Oh, and we were doing resume drops manually with weekly FedEx shipments of resumes to employers.  The entire process was manual.  (Yay!  Lots of late night bonding time for the team!)  Every rankings media outlet asked different questions about our outcomes, and we never knew what they would ask, so most of the time the data they wanted didn’t even exist.  So for many schools, (not mine, of course, right?) the Dean or Communications Director would just . . . make something up!  <gasp!>  And the invented number became your new baseline to beat in future data collections.  (Yay!  Manual data collection, too!!)  And if the real number wasn’t as good as the invented number the following year, and if coincidentally your school dropped a place or two in the rankings, then guess what position was blamed?  That’s right.  Career center directors around the country were constantly being fired as sacrificial lambs to the media rankings gods just prior to satisfaction surveys being sent to graduating classes.  (“Yes, we know our school was imperfect, but it was clearly career services’ fault, so we fired them all and fixed the problem.  Remember that when you complete your satisfaction surveys that help us in the rankings!”)

The first few gatherings of career center directors in the early days before MBA CSEA reminded me of what it must have been like during the advent of a new religion being formed.  The 30 or so schools in the Top 20 (you know who you are), had annual meetings, but for most schools, it was unofficial meetings in dark corners at NACE, AACSB or GMAC to compare notes and provide emotional support.  We were all like-minded, but we needed to carry our messages of consistency, transparency, professionalism, ethics and accountability to the masses (or at least to the Deans and the rankings).  NACE turned us away, because they didn’t see a real need for what we were doing.  (Seriously, it was so much like “No room at the Inn” that I just have to go back to my new religion analogy.)

Fortunately, both GMAC and AACSB saw value in what we wanted to accomplish, and they were wonderful partners in helping us organize, focus and then promote our message to their members and the world (or at least the media).  They even helped us host our first few conferences and hired the consultant that walked us through the incorporation process.  We wouldn’t be where we are now without the support both groups provided us in the early days.

Fast forward more than 20 years and it’s a brand new profession, whether or not you realize it.  It may seem extreme to say that MBA CSEA has done for MBA career services and recruitment what the internet has done for my kids’ homework, but I’m sticking to that story.  The Standards for reporting and the AUP process have given me the legitimacy and authority to have more autonomy and resources to collect and analyze our employment data completely and accurately.  Nobody messes with my numbers, because now somebody is (finally) paying attention to how schools all do this.

The CSEA benchmarking reports have allowed me to grow my staff levels and my budgets, because I can show HR and the Provost’s Office how our staffing and spending compares to other schools.  But most importantly, we’re no longer having secret meetings in dark corners of other groups’ events.  We are a recognized and respected profession with three annual conferences around the world and a strong organization to support us.  How cool is that?  When I talk to the founders of the group, we’re all thrilled, and somewhat amazed, that this has come as far as it has.

I used to spend hours agonizing and researching how to help students who wanted to work in specific areas of the world where I had no experience or expertise.  Now I can e-mail a member from that region to ask for their advice – and they’re happy to share their ideas with me!  I love that when a department chair surprises me with a new degree program to support (that never happens, right?), I can call up friends around the country to see how they’re marketing and placing that degree program at their schools.  (Or sometimes I can just sit on the phone with them and cry or laugh, depending on how far I’ve fallen into complete hysteria.)  Best of all, the organization provides not only a great resource for recruiting new leaders in my organization, but also an ideal way to train my new hires.  And all of this is while we’re networking with employers and career services professionals to learn best practices that make my life easier and my efforts more effective.  And I haven’t even mentioned the networking benefits of karaoke!

By the way, nobody ever asked me to hire a yoga instructor to do MBA career counseling again, because they take the work we do way too seriously now.*  So, thanks to MBA CSEA, we all lived happily ever after (except for the recruiting budgets, which would still be nice to have back at their 1990s levels).

*(Note to yoga instructors: I’m not disrespecting you.  I’m a former aerobics instructor (Yay 1980s!).  But seriously, that was the only paid work experience the guy had.)

Not enough time to deliver your MBA career curriculum? Low student attendance at workshops? Use a Slingshot!

Isabella PinucciBy: Isabella Pinucci, SDA Bocconi School of Management

This is one of the reasons I have been crossing the Atlantic every June for the past three years to attend the MBA CSEA Global Conference: to be inspired by the creativity and resourcefulness of fellow career service practitioners.

This great session delivered by Julia Zupko of the Yale School of Management impressed all attendees, who left their business cards to receive additional info about the ‘Slingshot’ project.  With 650 full-time MBA students, Julia and her team have been experiencing lately some “pain points” in their career curriculum delivery: time and facilities constraints, decreasing attendance, lack of confirmation/ measurement of effective learning. Sounds familiar? (Yes, I feel that pain too!)

And here is their Slingshot solution: a hybrid career curriculum. Julia realized that students prefer on-demand learning tools they can access 24/7, plus some interactive live sessions with career experts where they can apply and customize what they learned to their individual situation.

The Yale team created a series of videos which illustrate the fundamentals of career management, from CV’s and cover letters to competency-based interviews. The videos are entirely home made but look absolutely professional, featuring students, professors, recruiters and career advisors as actors and speakers. At the end of each video module, students take a test to check their learning, and when successful they can attend a live lab. This way students have all the flexibility they need to master the curriculum, and career advisors get to spend more quality time with them.

That was a big project – it took 7 months for the team to complete it – but I bet it was worth the effort. It would be interesting to measure the results a couple of years down the line. Brilliant, innovative and inspirational. Brava Julia!

The Effect of the Brexit on Career Services

LBerkowitzby: Lara Berkowitz, Executive Director – Career Centre, London Business School

I thought 2007/2008 might be the defining moment in my career services career, but now I am helming a career services ship through the Brexit storm. Although the word uncertainty can send a frisson of nervous energy through any Director, what is happening in the UK at the moment is also a strangely exhilarating front row seat to history.

At the moment, the situation here is really a moving feast with just one week elapsing since the epic vote. Uncertainty creates short-term shocks, but it is much too early to know what the real impact will be.  There is this odd period at the moment where absolutely nothing has changed in reality yet behavioural economics have taken over and there is complete uncertainty. Next come the negotiations. Still no certain change. It is only at the point negotiations end and decisions are made – which could be more than 2 years from now – that certainty will return. As career services professionals, that is daunting but exciting, and forces us to practice what we preach to students trying to navigate a VUCA world.

The 2-year countdown may not even start until we get some political stability – as I write this Boris Johnson has just pulled out of the Prime Minister race! Feels like House of Cards come to life. So for now, we are focused on keeping students engaged and resilient while trying to get as much accurate market intelligence as we can.

From the employer side there is very little, if any, formal statement at the moment. Thankfully there are no reports of rescinded offers, although some late ad hoc recruitment processes (on top of an already robust year) have been put on hold. It is possible we won’t have any further concrete information until September as we start to see how the Autumn recruitment calendar is building and what is happening with offers for summer interns.

Frankly, I think most employers were genuinely shocked. As of June 30, a rolling poll of organisations conducted by the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Professional Development) showed that 56.38% of 1,880 respondents answered “Not at all – it took us by surprise” to the question: “How prepared was your organisation for the “leave” decision in the UK’s EU Referendum”. Only 10.11% were “very prepared with a contingency plan in place” while 33.51% had just “discussed possible implications.”

On the student side, we are proud to have a truly multi-cultural community with 92% international students on the MBA. There are no immediate changes to the immigration status of current and prospective EU students, and while this issue will take some time to resolve, I am hopeful that the ability to maintain the rich diversity of the UK’s higher ed institutions and workforce will be at the top of the list of negotiations. As for those students still seeking employment, we are focused on standard advice regarding career transitions during times of uncertainty – stay in the moment, be proactive, be flexible.

So it truly is too early to tell and thankfully there have been no knee-jerk reactions yet from employers or students. As a School, we just celebrated our 50th anniversary and are feeling especially agile, having adapted to and thrived on many political, social and economic changes over these last 50 years.