Current MIM Student, Charles Oben

You know nothing!” How would you feel if a former student says that to you on your first day at IE Business School during the opening ceremony?

An interesting way to start, don’t you think? But what does “you know nothing” mean, as clearly we all knew something otherwise we wouldn’t have been accepted.

It’s about a mindset; to make the most out of your IE experience, behave as if you knew nothing. Then you will truly make the most of all the learning opportunities open to you.

Here’s an example:

During the 2nd week of orientation, my intake had a CV/Careers workshop. I was skeptical about what else I could learn for several reasons: my parents are both HR managers, I’d been to dozens of these workshops while at university, I’ve had my CV checked by lots of managing directors and my CV had gotten me interviews with companies like WPP, L’Oreal & Standard Chartered. So as I said, I was skeptical but tried to keep an open mind.

That’s how I learned about the sweet taste of rejection.

During the workshop, we worked on the ‘elevator pitch’. You know, that 30 seconds you get to sell yourself to whomever in a random encounter. It could be in an elevator for that matter, a plane, at a careers event, basically anywhere. These encounters happen all the time and it’s important to be ready for them.

I thought I was.

I was wrong.

I got rejected by my professor – not once, not twice, but thrice. I didn’t get a business card, I didn’t make a good impression and I missed a very clear opening to bring up the topic of applying to the company. But I learned a lot; hence, the sweet taste of rejection.

I realized I knew nothing. I had never practiced an elevator pitch as I didn’t even realize I needed one. In one session, I learned something no one had taught me during my 4 years at university.

 So, let’s review.

 You know nothing. “Only he, who believes he knows nothing, is ready to learn everything.”

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