Priscila Bala ’14

Internship: Barclays

I have a new understanding about how essential teamwork and multiple perspectives are when you're trying to solve complex issues.

My two years at SOM have been very transformative, because they came at a time when I was ready to take the next step. I had been in the workforce for a few years, and I had hit this point where I wanted to refine my skillset. When I think of my next step—whether as an entrepreneur or as a manager in an organization—I want to be able to build something that will last. SOM has made me think beyond just the job that I'm going to have to the bigger idea of leadership.

The coaching we get in the Leadership Development Program—both the professional coaching and the peer coaching—has been phenomenal in helping me tackle questions about where and how I can have the most impact in an organization.

I've also gained a new appreciation for different leadership styles. One experience that helped was the trip I took with classmates to the National Outdoor Leadership School, where we hiked in the Utah desert for eight days. Each day, one person was responsible for leading the group. I was biased in thinking that the way I did things was the way that worked, but this experience broke me out of that completely. I got to see different classmates lead with very different styles and be incredibly effective. I saw how essential teamwork and multiple perspectives are when you're trying to solve complex issues.

The entire integrated curriculum built on this principle by making me more aware of different stakeholder perspectives in business. There are competing interests that, as a business leader, you are going to have to negotiate sooner or later. If you're aware of them early on, you can build them into the decision that you're making. To me, this has been an incredible lesson, reminding me that it's worth exploring an issue through different lenses.

Interviewed on March 20, 2014. 

Priscila Bala
Internship: Barclays