Reality Check

Let me start by telling you that Vlerick is lying to you when it says Invest 1 year gain 5. The education here will alter your lives for much longer than that. The degree at the end of the course is definitely valuable but the difference it makes to your life is invaluable. The stress on being technically sound is almost outweighed by the importance placed on developing inner leadership skills.

The Vlerick Development Portfolio tool enforces self-reflection and development. Here’s how it works: Each individual is asked to rate themselves on 21 competencies like problem solving, delivering presentations, networking and so on and so forth. The fact that this is not monitored by the staff or peers gives you the freedom to be honest critics of yourselves. The same questionnaire is then filled by people chosen by you.(people who know you well enough to answer these questions like friends, families, peers, etc.)This again is an anonymous activity such that you wouldn’t know who said what about you. The outcome of all this effort is a report generated by the tool which tells you exactly how you are perceived by the people around you. It reflects the iceberg- the 20% of your personality that you make available to the World around you. Getting to know this early on is crucial ¬†to make choices concerning the ¬†important aspects of your life. Now I know it’s cool to say ” I don’t care what people think about me” but let’s face it, We live in a judgemental society where we are creating impressions in people’s minds even without trying to. This being said, it doesn’t mean you need to put up a charade for others’ benefit. Be yourself but also be Aware of yourself. For example, I discovered that I am perceived to be a fairly good communicator( which I knew already) and constructive criticism was one of my weakest points. Now, this was a shocker because in my head I had managed to camouflage this disability really well. To discover that people noticed this about me was, well let’s just say, unpleasant. As if this discovery wasn’t enough, we actually had small group coaching sessions with a facilitator to help us “get in touch with our inner self”. Now trust me, it isn’t as touchy-feely as it sounds. It’s just a way of accepting who you are and taking actions to make yourself better. It’s very much like your pet thinking ” if I close my eyes, the world wouldn’t see me.” There are always people watching you(not in a creepy way) and it is only wiser to be aware of the impression that you are casting on them.

If you thought Vlerick just stops at showing you a reflection of your image, you are wrong again. They actually insist you choose 3 action points to work on throughout the year( could be further developing your strengths or working on your weaknesses, the former being much easier) and go through the whole questionnaire again to see your development. That, to me, is a very wise way of ensuring that students leave the University with a lot more than a Master’s degree. Of course no one grades you on your improvement but the effort is graded. It matters here that you took your personal development seriously.

At the end of the day, the only person who stands to gain anything from this exercise is You. It will help you while trying to answer the fundamental question ” Who am I?” Do it for yourself, you are worth it!

Best wishes

Bhoomika Arora

Leave a comment