As a kid, I looked forward to summer for many reasons: no school, unlimited Popsicles, and best of all, the local library's summer reading program. Yep, I couldn't wait to get my list of books to read so I could diligently pore over each one. The prize for completing the list? A coupon for a free kid-sized cone at Baskin-Robbins.
As an adult, I've continued to use books to prepare myself for life's transitions. Before I deployed to Iraq, I read We Were Soldiers Once...And Young. When I found out I would be assigned to West Point, I read The Long Gray Line. My transition to UCLA Anderson is no different, so I have prepared a pre-MBA summer reading list to share with you.
1. Case Studies and Cocktails by Carrie Shuchart and Chris Ryan. Status: Complete. This hefty volume combines a very practical guide to MBA student life (what to wear, how to choose a roommate, even how to prepare your partner for the MBA experience) with an overview of all the topics you'll study during the first year. I met Carrie Shuchart at the Forte Foundation Conference in June; she is a fabulous author and speaker who really knows her stuff.
2. Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School by Philip Delves Broughton. Status: Completed. The author, a 2006 HBS graduate, chronicles the ups and downs of his journey through his MBA program. His narrative style and description of his fellow students and classes reminded me of Scott Turow's One L, considered a "must-read" for incoming law students.
3. More Than Money by Mark Albion. Status: In Progress. Laden with thought-provoking questions, this book challenges MBA students to re-define success in pursuit of personal fulfillment and a service-based career.
4. The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. Status: In Progress. I purchased this for my Kindle before the Parker Career Management Center put this out as required reading for all incoming students. This recently-published book advocates using an entrepreneurial mindset to manage your career, even if you're not planning to be an entrepreneur.
5. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Status: Completed; plan to re-read. The author outlines a code of personal conduct based on Toltec traditions. Having read this two years ago, I believe the guidance in this book will prove useful during the next two years.
6. 50 Shades of Corporate Grey by Anonymous. Status: Okay, just kidding. But I do believe a steamy beach read about MBA students could be a runaway best-seller.
Do you have any suggestions for the list? Please share in the comments below!
-Ann Ching, '14
Follow me on Twitter: @annibbler