Mindfulness in the MBA

Cameron Cler, MBA 2020, Core Fellow

In our two-year MBA program, it may seem like we have all the time in the world to achieve the intentions and goals we set forth for our time at Sloan. As we approach the end of the year, the realization sets in that time moves quicker than ever in our environment. Heading into the new year is a great time to create goals that allow you to slow down, establish your wellness practices, and refocus on the areas that matter most to you.

New Semester, New You
Take back your time next semester by carving out space for reflection in your busy schedule. Create blocks at the beginning of the week to plan the week ahead and block space on your calendar for ‘you’ time. These blocks can be spent working out, meditating, catching up with far away friends or reading a book not related to school. When you create open blocks of time, you allow your mind to relax and think more creatively. This time away from school work could provide insights and ideas that can be applied to your class and career goals.

Student Life & Resources
As a student, you have access to many resources and tools that will benefit your wellbeing. Besides the more flexible schedule and extended holiday breaks, accessing these benefits are easy, but not always top of mind.

Check out some of the opportunities that you can find on campus.

● Meditation Apps: As part of their student toolkit, Headspace offers a yearly membership for $9.99, which is less than the normal monthly price. This is a great tool to learn how to meditate or access a quick meditation on the go (like on your train ride or walk to school).
● Classes: At MIT there is a variety of classes focused on personal development, intentional career choices, and leadership styles. Taking the time to focus on the less analytical side of your brain can unlock what motivates you and what work excites you. During Sloan Innovation Period (SIP) in the Spring, a course focused on meditation offers students a 3-day look into silent meditation and a follow up discussion on the power of quieting the mind.
● Health Benefits: Back at school, you have access to more gyms, mental-health benefits, and courses in various wellness modalities. Take these opportunities to try a new sport, explore acupuncture and qi gong, connect with a therapist, or join an introductory class on nutrition or meditation. While many of these are offered on campus, there are ways to use health benefits to access off-campus providers as well.
● Zen or Insight Meditation Center: If developing a mindful meditation practice is on your radar, do some online research to see what centers exist around your home or near school. In Cambridge alone, we have eight centers where you can try a variety of meditation types and see what community is right for you.
● Meditation & Prayer Spaces on Campus: On campus, there are regular opportunities for worship, meditation, prayer, and study. Beautiful spaces have been created as resources for students, faculty, and staff, of all faith traditions and belief systems. Chaplains of various backgrounds provide religious, spiritual, and educational programming, as well as confidential* counseling and crisis support. Find some time to explore the spaces and choose the one that feels most relaxing and grounding for you.
As mindfulness is increasingly integrating into the business world, more clubs and student groups have been popping up in MBA programs. At Sloan, we have a Mindful Leadership Group that focuses on building a community of future business leaders that want to cultivate their own mindfulness practice. They host group meditation sessions and partner with the Leadership Center to offer workshops.

With many options to prioritize your wellbeing, make the new year a time to focus on you. If you find a practice that works for you, share with your classmates as there is never a one-size-fits-all approach to mindfulness. Taking moments to yourself can be the refresher you need to return to school with a clear and curious mind.

By Cameron Cler, MBA '20
Cameron Cler, MBA '20