It has become common knowledge that one of the most important aspects of an MBA is networking. Moreover, we frequently hear about the so-called “soft skills” that are developed during an MBA program. However, what we do not hear often is how exactly that works out. Having said that, I would like shed a light on FS Career Services’ Career Development Programme, which is customised to MBA students´ professional needs. Focusing on career counselling, corporate connections and personal development, I believe it played a crucial role in my journey, especially the KODE Coaching sessions.
The KODE Coaching consists of two 90-minute confidential sessions. The first session happens right at the beginning of the program, when your competence profile is assessed based on a very simple questionnaire that you are required to fill out beforehand. I must admit I was shocked by the accuracy of the initial assessment! Not only is it able to map your individual competences under normal and difficult work and life conditions, but it is also able to predict certain behaviors and attitudes that you would present under such situations. Now this is where the reflection starts!
After leaving my first KODE session and talking to some of the peers, I realized I was not the only one who thought I had full knowledge of my character and feelings, when clearly, I did not! It occurred to me that most people go through life with this mindset. Yet KODE put me in the path to introspection and self-awareness development.
The following session takes place in the second semester and it builds up on the discoveries from session one, as well as a developmental plan that was then laid out by your coach. By that time, you will have had roughly six months to reflect, take the necessary actions, and experience some results. This final session is, therefore, an opportunity for you to review your progress and cement your greater level of self-awareness. You will be surprised with how far you will have come.
Soft skills are personal attributes that enable us to interact adequately and harmoniously with other people. In order to develop them, we need a thorough understanding of such attributes, which only comes with an elevated level of self-awareness. This is exactly the role of the KODE coaching. Once you accomplish that, it is natural that your networking abilities will follow and you will be able to do it more effectively. On a side note, it is important to keep in mind that these are the skills that will truly help you climb the corporate ladder.
Developing self-awareness and improving my soft skills have been my biggest takeaways from the MBA, which makes the KODE Coaching one of its highlights. KODE enabled me to have a deeper understanding of myself, which is fundamental as you try to get to know people and build trustworthy relationships. And the beauty of it is that it is applicable to every sphere of your life. Furthermore, when combined with other activities offered by the Career Development Programme – i.e. negotiation and presentation skills workshops, interview trainings, executive talks, and networking events with major corporations – it gives you the chance to apply your newly-developed skills and see the results.
I encourage everyone to make the most out of the Career Development Programme. It is a unique opportunity for self-development while enabling a smoother transition back into the workforce.