By Mitchell J. Hill
When I was asked to write about my experience in the MBA program at DePaul, what first came to mind was to write about my reaction to the academic challenge that DePaul offered. However, what I think will be more relatable is the experience of my emotional journey through the MBA program. What I have been successful with as an adult is the ability to utilize the emotions I experience. Too often, I have feared the experience of feeling anxious that may accompany a hard task. My journey through the MBA program has taught me not to shy away from said emotions, but to embrace them. I strongly believe that if you’re feeling anxious, or afraid at work or school, then that means you care – that means your passion is aligned with your focus. Because why else would you feel so strongly about work or school, if you didn’t care?
A little backstory about myself – I had a brain tumor when I was two years old. I have had three brain surgeries and 43 MRIs to-date. Experiencing all of this has left me with lifelong trauma that has taken me 19 years to recognize, and eight years of therapy to contain. That said, I feel as though I am in a unique position to have a credible stance on living life to its fullest. What my time at DePaul has taught me is the ability to embrace emotions, not fear them. Being able to accept the fact that there may be some days that won’t go according to plan—that’s okay. The ability to recognize that if I’m feeling anxious, that that’s not a result of something I’m incapable of, or something I’m doing wrong, rather – it’s a reminder that I’m living and experiencing the emotions in life: not fearing them.
So, how does all of this relate to school, you ask? What a great question: You’re all reading this as new graduates, meaning you’ve accomplished a very impressive task. You should appreciate the journey that you’ve been on with tackling this accolade, rather than thinking “okay… what’s next.” It’s easy to view life from a lens of what you should accomplish next, which I do think has some merit to it – I mean, that’s where one’s drive comes from, right? What’s the next challenge? How am I going to better myself?
All I ask, however – from someone who is just starting to learn how to appreciate emotions and celebrate wins, – – is to slow down. Recognize the accomplishment you’ve just made by obtaining your first, maybe second, maybe multiple degrees, and bask in the satisfaction that comes with that accomplishment.
It’s taken me 27 years to learn how to be happy. My advice is to learn how to appreciate your accomplishments, appreciate your emotions. That’s what I think true success is. And that is the biggest takeaway I have gotten from my time at DePaul. Thank you and go Blue Demons.
Mitchell J. Hill received his Bachelor of Science in business communications with minors in psychology and journalism from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He went on to work in business development for a boutique digital agency at Shift7 Digital. After a three-year stint at Shift7, Mitchell left in January of 2022 to pursue his MBA at DePaul full-time. Mitchell since has relocated to Seattle Washington and is completing his Corporate Management Trainee program with a concentration on business development and sales with Hyatt Corporation. Mitchell has some experience with philanthropy as well having created a fundraiser to redecorate MRI rooms so they are more comforting for children. Along with the help of some partners, this project has led to the redecoration of 5 MRI rooms at Lurie Children’s Hospital in downtown Chicago.