If ‘chance favors the prepared mind,’ as Louis Pasteur famously said, then Anna Selser believes success favors it too. Wanting to move from a career as a sales engineer into marketing, she found in Goizueta a community ready to invest solidly in her success.
"My main goal for attending business school was to effectively switch careers into brand management," says Anna. "In my excitement to start school I started applying to brand camps. I had no idea what the MBA interview process was like, how to approach case questions, or how to effectively communicate STAR stories. Needless to say, I bombed my first interview. Once I began working with the CMC I had the opportunity to attend webinars, schedule mock interviews with alumni, practice casing with second years, and to completely revamp my resume. I went from being completely lost to having 5 internship offers before even beginning school."
Anna wanted a business school environment where she could foster close relationships with her classmates and professors, and take classes that positioned her for her next career move. In these — and many other ways — Goizueta fit the bill. The intimate size of the program made it easy for Anna to get involved in multiple extracurricular clubs and engage meaningfully with her fellow students.
She says, "Before even stepping on campus, I felt as though I was part of the Goizueta community. I feel like each classmate has had some amazing experience before arriving to school and the willingness of everyone to share their stories and learn from each other is incredibly unique."
As she successfully completed her two years at Goizueta, Anna benefited from the Delta Leadership Coaching Fellows Program, a unique peer-to-peer experience that provides the opportunity to strengthen leadership skills further during team and one-on-one peer-coaching sessions, while receiving constructive feedback from a professional executive coach.
The executive coaching brought Anna to a new level as a leader. "It definitely helped me frame conversations about performance in a way that was about development, not criticism," she says. In turn, Anna was able to foster more openness and trust with her mentees.
Feedback, how to offer and receive it, is a core feature of the program. “As a leader,” Anna observes, “you want your team to share feedback with you. If you don’t receive it positively, you lose crucial insight into how your team — and, ultimately, business — is performing. Feedback is not judgment; it is a learning opportunity.”
Working with her team of first-year students, some of what was expected of Anna initially seemed counterintuitive. “As MBAs, we are taught to solve problems and be assertive. As a coach, however, I was more effective leading my team through questions as opposed to declaring solutions,” Anna notes.
One of the deep insights that Anna took away had to do with finding her own voice: “I don’t need to be the loudest person, or the person with the best idea, or the person who talks the most to have the most impact. Being a sounding board and guiding others can often create a greater lasting effect.”