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5 People You Need In Your Corner

While Dirty Dancing fans may not put “Baby” in the corner (because no one does), there are some people you need in your corner for success. At the core of all of these relationships is trust. Find out who you should put in your corner, and why.

Sep 6, 2023
  • Student Tips
5 People You Need In Your Corner

Nothing worth doing is easy—getting your MBA, studying, job-searching, working, relationships, starting a family—and while success partly depends on your initiative, it also depends on the people on whom you rely the most. There are lots of people out there from which you can choose. An overwhelming number, really, on whom you could depend. In this global landscape with literally billions of people at your fingertips, we think you should have these five people in your corner. People you trust. People who are rooting for you.

1. Mentor

Respect. Encourage. Guide. Everyone needs someone who has more experience and knows more than you do. Your mentor is your go-to person in your professional field: when you have a question, when you want to discuss an experience you had—positive or negative, and when you need guidance on making a decision. You need to be able to ask honest questions and get real feedback, and always feel encouraged and empowered. A good mentor will steer you in the right direction. Consider professors and alumni from your academic program whom you respect, or colleagues, department leaders, and supervisors where you work. Be willing to listen—and grow.


2. Ruthless Truth Teller, AKA Bubble Burster (BB)

Integrity. Truth. You need to be able to hear the truth from someone, even if it hurts. Even if you don’t like it. Think of that friend, parent, or sibling who will tell you their honest opinion when you ask for it, not judge you for it, and still love you. Whining about your “underpaid with an MBA” status? Your BB may just tell you that you need to “pay your dues” a bit longer. Listen to your BB and weigh what he or she says with the other folks in your corner. Your BB may just be your “Best Buddy”—the one from whom you’re willing to hear the cold, hard truth.

Creative business couple hands up doing high five outdoor -  Cheerful hipsters holding pc laptop and gesturing in a city park - Concept of teamwork and fun together at sunset light with vintage filter

3. Fun Friend

All work and no play… well, you know how it goes. Whether it’s chill-axing over pizza and movies, or cutting a rug at the hottest club in town, you need someone you can hang out with—who’s not going to judge you, who won’t talk behind your back, and most of all—someone with whom you can have a good old time. Not looking your best? Doesn’t matter. Watching the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy in one sitting? Awesome. Telling stupid jokes all night? Perfect. Dancing like it’s 1999? Even better. Going for a midnight stroll? Fabulous. Eating raw cookie dough while doing all of the above? Bliss.

Positive friends holding darts

4. Someone outside your field

Shop talk gets old and it’s not going to solve your problems. Take your blinders off and talk to that friend who has nothing to do with work or school. Maybe even do some “Fun Friend” activities with them (see #3). Play a board game. Talk about that new restaurant you tried last week, the last book you read, the last movie you saw, a place you want to visit, your upcoming family reunion. Find someone with whom you can talk about non-work related things. It’s all about perspective—and pushing your comfort zone. Don’t get stuck. Get out and do stuff!

Group of Cheerleaders in the Field

5. Energizer Friend

Recharge. Empower. Reinvigorate. Overcome. “Rah-rah, go you!” This person listens well, commiserates, and then challenges—pushes you to do better than you think you possibly can. Your Energizer Friend is your Growth Mindset Guru. Stuck in a rut? Think you can’t do it? Feeling blah? Call your Energizer Friend. Get to it. You can do it.

Reach for that brass ring, push yourself and remember that balance is the key. The world is big—and getting bigger, better, faster all the time. Keep these five people in your corner and you will experience success, ask great questions, have a good time, and most importantly—enjoy the company of some fantastic people.

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