Sticking with it!

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It’s been ~2 month since I kicked off the ThePowerMBA and this blog post is mostly to announce that I have actually been consistently signing in and viewing the “micro-learnings” and I’m UP. TO. DATE.

There is a type of person reading this thinking … you signed up for a program that requires you to watch 15 minutes of videos a day… and you did that? Congrats I guess?

But hopefully, there’s some people out there (like me), thinking, REMARKABLE — she signed up for it and actually HAS BEEN CONSISTENT for over a month already.

While I’ve always been able to follow through on commitments I make to others (like getting a deck done on time for clients, submitting a paper to a professor), I’ve been less than perfect at following through on commitments I make to myself. Huge pushes such as “I will do yoga EVERY DAY for 6 months until I can do a handstand” will generally fizzle after a few weeks. Similarly, plans to cut out desserts and sweets are generally broken before they even begin. Even this blog… I told myself I would write every Friday and the result has been a little… less frequent. …


My journey to uncover my Personal Legend

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While driving through the stark desert of California and Nevada, when I wasn’t jamming out to Kacey Musgraves, I was listening to the audiobook for “The Alchemist” for the very first time. For those of you who have not yet read this important book, it is a fictional story of a boy in pursuit of ‘treasures’ he witnessed in a dream when he was a shepherd. The story is full of not-so-subtle metaphors for finding the meaning in life, and whatever ‘treasure’ may mean for us. …


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A few weeks ago I should have started my first semester at Berkeley Haas, the MBA program I accepted an offer to attend. Yet instead, I’m currently recovering from a morning of strenuous hikes in the red rocks of Arizona, my sixth night of a coast-to-coast US road trip. So it’s fair to say my plans changed a bit!

Although I knew I should have been thrilled and eager to attend business school as summer drew near and the first semester approached, something didn’t sit right with me from the start (perhaps spending every penny I had carefully saved over the past five years?). Feeling this nagging feeling pushed me to take a step back to re-evaluate my reasons for getting an MBA and the costs associated. I wrote about this at length in my first blog post “Why I won’t be getting an MBA”. Writing this piece (and the encouraging messages I received afterwards) helped me to solidify my decision to rescind my acceptance and lose my deposit. Instead I have chosen an independent sabbatical — leaving my prestigious management consulting job with no plans for “what next”. …


I still remember the intense energy and stress felt all across my college campus when midterms approached. Libraries were packed all through the night, places usually lively with social gatherings were instead sprawled with textbooks and yawning students. I even recall one particularly horrific night my freshman year when the main student cafe actually ran out of coffee at 10pm triggering full on panic.

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While I was stressed with the best of them throughout the day I would always be the first person to duck out of the study sessions and head home to sleep. As I repeatedly explained to my classmates — my brain basically stopped absorbing new information after midnight so sleep seemed like a more productive use of my time. Despite four years of knowing this about me, my friends and classmates would still be surprised at my decision to skip reviewing the last few lectures if my bedtime approached too soon. …


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In my previous life as a consultant between working out, eating, taking calls, and actually doing my work, I would maybe have 1–2 “free” hours that could be used to connect with friends outside of work on weekdays. On the surface this may seem like ample time to reconnect and maintain healthy relationships. However in reality, by the end of 6+ hours of energetic meetings and 10+ hours total of work, I rarely had the energy required for further social interaction. This “free” time was often eaten up just trying to switch off and rest my brain, whether via mind-numbing reality TV, scrolling through recipes on Pinterest, or reading escapist novels. In my daily habits tracker I even included a row that just said “Mom” to make sure I was texting, messaging, or calling with some frequency!!! …


…despite receiving a generous scholarship from a top-10 program

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Berkeley Haas

I spent an entire summer studying rigorously for the GRE. I turned down every social invitation from weekends by the beach, camping at a lake, to boozy picnics and more. I woke up each morning at 6 am to study before starting long days at work. I obsessed, cried, screamed, and begged for help trying to synthesize my “story” and make myself a compelling candidate on paper. I even panicked and hired an admissions consultant for over $1000 to tell me that I was going in the right direction. The bottom line is — I worked really really hard to get into business school. So then why the heck did I just withdraw my acceptance to Berkeley Haas — one of my Round 1 top-choice schools that even offered me a generous scholarship? …

Juliette Levine

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