5 pitfalls of terrible leadership stories

By: Jack Pelzer

Photo by Eric Santillian, via Wikimedia Commons

Can you give an example of an instance in which you demonstrated outstanding leadership? You better, because every behavioral interview is bound to include some form of this question. Employers LOVE leadership experience (even if they are filling jobs that require blind obedience to a tyrannical middle manager).

So how can you improve your answer to this inevitable prompt? Unfortunately, there aren’t any short cuts. Crafting a compelling leadership narrative is both time-consuming and difficult, but the good news is that it’s pretty easy to avoid telling terrible leadership stories. Just avoid doing these things:

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So you want to be a consultant…

By: Sean Gwaltney

Photo courtesy of Douglas Paul Perkins Own work, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Poets & Quants explores the eye-popping salary potential for new MBA grads pursuing consultant roles in a January 2017 article titled What MBAs Earn at Top Consulting Firms. The allure of a $200K+ compensation package entices prospective MBA admits with aspirations of debt free, jet-setter sexy, problem-solving, solution-oriented careers. Sign me up!

But wait, what does a consultant do again?

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How much for a sandwich? An over-complicated analysis

By: Jack Pelzer

An Excel screenshot courtesy of the author

I was recently forwarded a USA Today article from my mother (which is generally how I get news of the outside world). The piece was entitled “How much for a sandwich? Try $90,000 in lost savings”. Here’s the link:


This story grabbed my attention for a number of reasons. First, as an MBA candidate, I feel it is my duty to verify the present value of future cash flows. Second, I am a connoisseur of fine sandwiches.

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The war for team rooms in Mendoza, part 1

By: Nitesh Srivastava

Team rooms in Mendoza are worth their weight in gold. (Photo courtesy Nitesh Srivastava)

In the Notre Dame MBA program, students have exclusive access to team rooms in the Mendoza building where they can work on group projects together. Given the high demand for these rooms and the relatively low supply, the fight for these rooms often reduces students to their basest instincts. These are their stories.

I needed to work with my friend Bill on a marketing project the other day, but all the team rooms were occupied. “No worries,” I told Bill. “Many of these rooms only have one student in them, in clear violation of the rules. As Notre Dame MBA candidates, we will use our newfound persuasive communication skills to convince them to leave. Follow me.” I opened the door to the closest team room and said hello.  Continue reading “The war for team rooms in Mendoza, part 1”