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Behavior Economics Finance
Human values in organizations
Discussion of my Career/Life Vision
I have two dreams: first is not to lose what I already have,
second- to receive what I deserve. At first glance they are
too simple, or even primitive, some may complain they reflect
passive style of life, inability to compete, fear of difficulties,
etc. Yes, it’s true, but not at all. I do not want to lose
health or family happiness in career race, but I also do not
want to be a smart gay, who deserves better, looking at others,
making money or career. This make me aggressive and vigorous:
if I see goal and road to it, I do not want recognize obstacles.
How may some problems in MBA courses be obstacles in my career
? Any course was created by human, they were taken by thousands
of students and any knowledge is just a combination of recorded
words and signs. Such simplification is a great tool to understand
life in its all complexity and perfection. This gave me a
tool to create personal mission statement: “To receive what
I deserve and to give back what I can“. This includes everything:
hard work toward obtainable goal, enjoy of everyday life,
care about others. This also includes a proper evaluation
of my abilities and life vision in future.
It is both hard and easy to project own life in years. It’s
hard because only God can do that: just recall recent tragedy
in USA, by centuries living in a peace country, when thousands
of people were killed in planned military operation. Nevertheless,
life planning is easy. Easy, because some assumptions remain
taken-for-granted. These are health and family happiness;
I really hope not to face with the problem of choice between
life and job. The only thing to plan is career: I see myself
as a business analyst or consultant in a leading company like
McKinsey or BCG. I will fulfil different project in different
fields and locations; my career growth will be indicated mainly
with the increasing difficulty of a project and amount of
salary. All other preferences lies somewhere beyond: whether
they are geographic, organizational (type of organization,
its growing ) or personal (work alone or in a team, type of
Am I ready for this career ? Whether my values, inner harmony,
family happiness, recognition, would confront with selected
career path Or maybe, they will help me to clarify necessary
steps in reaching long and short term goals ?
Lets look at my results in Career Orientation Inventory
from “Career anchors” by Edgar H. Schein. Even inexperienced
eye could recognize my career orientation: independence. Three
anchors which match this criteria have very close values:
Autonomy, Entrepreneurial Creativity and Lifestyle. Unfortunately,
I can’t employ the last anchor, because still have to follow
already existing rules; hope that it will be possible in future.
The first and the second, nevertheless, really belong to me.
Some might argue that I have to find unique, one career anchor,
but if all of us would be concerned only with results in theoretical
researches, without taking into consideration real life, these
results will be useless. The most important for me in finding
close career anchors is an opportunity to establish place
for maneuvers: from relatively independent work for a big
company to own business, to lifestyle, may be again to a company.
Best confirmation of this point of view is my past experience:
I started as a scientist, developing own dissertation (A),
later when economic conditions in Ukraine made it difficult
to provide scientific researches, I created own business,
which is still successful (EC); and finally I worked and studied
business at one of the biggest Ukrainian companies. You may
argue: why do not concentrate at one direction ? But I feel
potential to apply more effectively, for example, Entrepreneurial
Creativity, after study in IMC.
Moreover, it may seem questionable, but these career anchors
reflect my personal values too. Independence on a job or working
in own business to a certain degree mean that a person separate
himself from surroundings. I am also separating myself, choosing
very private values: Inner Harmony and Family. Yet to a certain
degree ! I still need society, people, communication, friends,
work in a team, work for charity… I need Recognition.
Lets look through McKinsey’s career leaflet: Problem Solving
Ability, Aspirations, Leadership, are essential qualities,
necessary for potential employee. Can I work for this company
with my career anchors ? I think, I must. This conclusion
seems very simple now, but without serious analysis it would
remain somewhere in the field of abstract ideas. It doesn’t
mean that I would not go by above mentioned way, but knowledge
why your choice is right is sometimes even more important
than the choice itself. By definition of Michael Williams,
in his “Career planning” article, I am at the very important
stage of career path, because I decided to “change beliefs,
assumptions and perceptions about roles, jobs, work itself”
and to make “a crucial move, around the age of 35, which may
have far-reaching consequences for the rate of climb to the
peak , the level of the peak itself and possible subsequent
stages”. This established an additional evidence for correctness
of my direction: to explore new career opportunities with
existing experience, knowledge, skills and proper evaluation
of own values.
Two interviews were conducted during the semester, both
with McKinsey’s employees, first with Bruno Parkinson, Business
Analyst at Paris office and second with Mr. Nikolai Marino,
Partner at company’s Kuala Lumpur office. Because the final
goal was to receive information related to future career,
but not someone’s particular opinion, here’s the outline of
two these interview together.
Bruno Parkinson An engineer by training, Bruno served as CEO
of a midsize construction company before coming on board in
McKinsey's Paris office. Building on his experience with clients
in banking and other industries, Bruno quickly joined the
inner circle of experts in European postmerger management.
He is known for teaming up with McKinsey colleagues around
the world to enhance client service. He has strong analytical
style of thinking and I believe that he prefers task oriented
Because I am first year student, I still can plan education.
Selecting of most marketable specialization requires an outside
1. Which specialization is preferable for the company ? Which
directions of self development to be chosen ? E.g. financial
analysis, web promotion, e-business, engineering, etc.
Answer’s summary. One of the most demanded skills in consulting
firms is SAP programming ability. SAP is a software package
for integrating financial, HR and accounting transactions.
It is also essential to be really good in a certain field.
What I learned. I will combine my experience and engineering
education with financial concentration in IMC: may be it’s
a way to be marketable in two or more fields.
We are studying a team work in MAD classes, how they are
related to life ? I am novice in a company. What could be
my place in a team, what I should be ready for ?
2. Give me examples of a team work both in early and later
stages of Your career, Your roles and participation in a team
Answer’s summary. He does a lot of coordinating and communicating
with both the clients and the rest of the team, and delegates
responsibilities to analysts and less senior consultants.
What I learned Team work is unavoidable part of job. Because
I am individualist, I must learn how to work in collective.
Almost all companies underline importance of creativeness,
leadership, etc. What does it mean in reality ? How can I
evaluate my “brightness” ?
3. Does something except qualification, necessary for a career
in the company ? I mean if a person is a TOP-100 MBA holder,
does it sufficient for Your HRM dept.? Or I should evaluate
Answer’s summary. One must have strong analytical skills.
“Quantitative skills especially are a big asset, as there
is less of a need in consulting for purely qualitative analysis.”
One must like to learn and work hard, and be able to think
fast. Above all, interpersonal skills- especially with clients.
What I learned It’s difficult to demonstrate all above mentioned
abilities to potential employer, so I have to develop the
last one, interpersonal skills: to be able to sell myself.
I have to learn how to persuade employer by resume, CV, in
Looking for advantages in a job market includes also non
academic approaches. Which exactly ?
4. How did You rich that position, should I make specific
contacts with company’s HRM Dept.
Answer’s summary. “It’s even necessary to know name of a
person, who will read you resume.” He got job through on-campus
What I learned I will not make mass resume mailings, but
will concentrate on the area of interests and learn about
particular company, before applying for a job.
Mr. Nikolai Marino, Ph.D. in business administration from
the University of Kiel in Germany, Nikolai has done client
service for McKinsey in Milan, Mumbai, is a member of Kuala
Lumpur office. This person has already reached a significant
success in a career, and his answers are practical and relevant.
World today is really small, and recent graduate has to find
not only right position, but even also “right region”.
5. If I work in Moscow office, would I take part in company’s
international projects ? Give me examples. Tell me about geographic
distribution of company’s activities: most, least important,
profitable or perspective regions; where could I work with
my WSOM degree and education ?
Answer’s summary. Asia is rapidly developing, McKinsey’s
team made a big project in Shanghai and Kuala-Lumpur, but
clients are found everywhere.
What I learned I may work in different parts of the word,
where my skills will be in demand, so the task is to make
All of us have different experience, opinions; what I should
be ready for ?
6. From Your point of view, what was most difficult on different
stages of Your career ? In which fields, e. g.: low professional
level of team members or governmental restrictions ? Give
Answer’s summary. Beginning of career was the most difficult,
when he “consulted to Sperry & Hutchinson Green Stamps
as McKinsey engagement manager.” The owner of company was
not interested in services, but job should be done, otherwise
he wouldn’t receive salary. And he persuaded client. Most
valuable experience: never tell client you need that job,
but client needs that job done by you. Travelling a lot is
What I learned Always be self confident and persuasive,
regardless of situation, do not expect from job permanent
successes and rewards.
Start is always complicated task. How to make it most effective
for me ?
7. What position should I apply first ?
Answer’s summary. Read requirements and weight own abilities.
Companies rarely offer middle management positions right after
What I learned To be ready to work in low position, if it
will lead to future career growth. To look for positions which
match my skills and knowledge.
I know what I want now, but what I would want in years, assuming
that I am already McKinsey’s employee ? Does his desires relate
to my values ?
8. What aspirations do you have for yourself over the next
5 or so years — professionally and personally?
Answer’s summary. “Someday I hope to use what I have learned
to start my own business, perhaps in low-tech manufacturing
or in software or Internet services.”
What I learned Many people dream about own business, working
on multinational company. If I want also to start own company,
it’s simply an indicator of entrepreneurial creativity.
Summary of interviews. I received confirmation that my career
aspiration may be realized, if I’ll make maximum efforts in
self promotion. It means that I already have necessary skills
and will obtain other during education at IMC, but, while
interviewed persons were offered job at campus, I must look
for employment in my own. This search will not be easy, because
my former specialization (engineering and entrepreneurship)
are too narrow and my future concentration (finance, without
work experience) is too weak for a job in a leading consulting
company. The perspective, however is good, because individuals
who see business as a whole, are also in demand.
Discussion of my Strategy to Develop my
The reasons, why I have chosen following abilities: negotiating
and persuasiveness as the most important for achieving my
career goal are simple:
- first of all, they are closely related, therefore developing
one ability, to the certain extent I will develop other.
- It is possible to develop them everyday and be sure about
the reached level. For example: education in business school
is a perfect opportunity to do that, while particular fails
(in negotiating topic of a project, persuading someone in
own point of view) do not influence overall performance. In
real life, however, failing to sign a contract leads to negative
- All my life will depend on these abilities: whether I will
work or talk to children, apply for a new job or discussing
current political situation in country.
- My current levels in negotiating and persuasiveness are
really low and should be improved.
In addition, because of my style of thinking, I can easily
obtain concrete knowledge, evaluate situation and implement
solution, but work with people requires much bigger efforts.
I understand that consulting companies like McKinsey require
ability to manage collective, and this should also be my learning
priority. However, in my experience, group management required
mainly abilities to understand feelings of collective and
direct its effort toward common goal. This can also be interpreted
as skills in negotiating and persuasiveness.
Developing of skills in negotiating and persuasiveness will
be done simultaneously in different directions:
- In everyday communication, discussing social, political,
business cases with classmates. This include artificial stimulation
of negotiating a certain problem and persuading ( or not)
in own point of view, casual conversations at different topics,
even not related to education or business.
- Careful study of situations, where people demonstrated
(or not) ability to negotiate and persuade one another. This
include political news (for example, Israel- Palestinian problem),
business cases, historical precedents.
- Learning from others, looking how they demonstrated these
abilities in everyday life. ( for example, from Mr. Marer,
both in lectures and presentations)
- Receiving feedback from professionals in IMC and elsewhere.
- Predicting situations, where these abilities should be
demonstrated and preparing for them. For example: to persuade
employer in my skills and qualification, I should demonstrate
proficiency not only in basics, but also in company’s business:
its products, financial situation, etc. Information about
partner in negotiations will always increase probability of
success. This strategy is one of the most complicated and
includes development of related skills: in planning, in pattern
recognition, in efficiency orientation, in oral communication,
Generally, I can’t separate development of my high priority
abilities from action steps in reaching career goals, because
they fulfil the same function: moving forward. Of course,
for reaching certain goals I will have to employ quite different
skills, for example, one must complain that for building business
network I need networking skills, empathy; for obtaining proficiency
in finance- system thinking, attention to detail, etc. But
receiving knowledge or qualification, making business are
impossible in total isolation from people, without negotiating.
It means that I will have to develop this skill, regardless
of content of learning plan. It is even more useful in my
learning plan to create opportunity for developing related
skills, (which were mentioned above: networking, attention
to detail, etc., ) while the most important to leave aside,
for separate work. The reason is simple: to see current level,
to understand strategy and to control development. For example,
working at creating own business network, I may also separately
analyze how good was I in negotiating with people, how effective
was my persuasiveness. It is very important to understand
that high priority ability must be developed accordingly to
certain plan or schedule, every day or moment. It means that
I should not to look for opportunities in learning plan to
work at persuasiveness, but I should create these opportunities,
implementing goals and sub-goals. Otherwise it makes no sense.
For example: one may site: “My high priority ability is networking
skill and my sub-goal is creating business network. It’s a
great opportunity in learning plan for self development.”
No, you may fail in both. Why ? How can You create something
real lacking necessary specialty?
I plan also to be elected in Ukrainian Parliament. In this
case it is even impossible to separate process of reaching
this goal from developing abilities in negotiating and persuasiveness.
Learning Strategy for Achieving Goals
According to Learning Style Inventory I prefer Abstract
Conceptualization as a learning mode and my learning style
is Converger. I find these descriptions correct and these
learning styles appropriate for my education in business school.
Somebody may complain that in studies I need to be sensitive
to people’s feelings, commit myself to objectives, organize
information…In general- to develop Accomodator, Diverger,
Assimilator learning styles. Theoretically it’s true, but
in practice, Converger is an excellent style for receiving
a good grade. Unfortunately, life after graduation is expected
to be more complicated. I am going to be a business consultant
and this profession requires complex approach. My great weaknesses
are Reflective Observation and Concrete Experience: styles
which require development of personal and interpersonal skills.
These skills however, are essential in consulting: understanding
client, recognizing problem, being a leader. This means that
in business school I have to focus not only on pure educational
process (attending lectures, making projects, preparing for
exams), but also on improving own learning style, trying to
do it more balanced. This is rather complicated task, because
of the reason mentioned above (Converger is quite good for
academic study), but I understand, that I will have to bring
into company not only my diploma and qualification, but also
ability to learn in different situations and from different
Adaptive Style Inventory shows similar results, indicating
my Abstract Conceptualization’s mode, which is also prevalent
in different learning situations: in acting, deciding, valuing
and thinking. This is both frustrating and stimulating sign
for me. Frustrating, because I really do not act appropriately
in those situations; stimulating, because I understand own
strengths and can build learning style on them. I can learn
to communicate ideas more effectively by associating with
people-oriented individuals, like Divergers; to experiment
actively and take risks,- from Accomodators, etc.
I believe that Convergers are the bests in reaching planned
goal. They are strong in problem-solving, decision making
and deductive reasoning. For establishing concrete action
steps and their gradual implementation these features are
most important. But learning cycle consists not only from
Abstract Conceptualization; working on my goals, I will also
develop learning style. For example, creating business network
requires learning by doing and by listening: carefully observing,
understanding and influencing people. On the other hand, I
will also rely on my strength in learning by thinking, acquiring
new knowledge and specialization in finance. Because my career
goals are rather complex: to reach a reasonable position in
leading consulting company and to obtain political power in
my country, my learning style will be developing together
with completion of certain action steps. While this stage
of my career requires Abstract Conceptualization’s skills,
other stages will require also Concrete Experience, Reflective
Observation and Active Experimentation. This means that I
receive another opportunity to develop learning style from
necessity to reach a concrete goal.
Making final decision about my learning style is similar
to plan goals and sub-goals in 5 years: it is appropriate
today, but should be moved into direction of Active Experimentation
at second year of studies (looking for an internship, job),
into Concrete Experience at the first year of work, Reflective
Observation in five years. This, however does not mean that
I will be changing learning style during all these periods,
I will rather rely on such my strong abilities as logical
thinking, systematic planning, intellectual understanding
of situation in developing particular and appropriate in current
situation learning style. How will I decide whether certain
style fits to certain situation ? Employing Abstract Conceptualization.