The Introvert’s Guide to Thriving at B-School

I finally got around to a book that’s been on my reading list for a while: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. The book examines how extroversion came to be so highly prized in Western culture and how this tendency may be causing harm to not only introverted individuals but to our society at large.

introverts at business school As I was reading the book—which I highly recommend for extroverts and introverts alike—I kept thinking of the many people I know who were accepted into top MBA programs. Some of these candidates fit the extrovert personality profile to a T: gregarious risk-takers who had no trouble expressing their ideas and selling themselves to the admissions committee. But a surprising number of these successful applicants were clearly introverts, individuals who needed time to think through their ideas before expressing them, who were naturally more reserved and regarded the prospect of a group interview with nothing short of dread.

Students in countless MBA programs will see the truth in this statement. So where does this leave those who are more inwardly focused and need time away from friends and colleagues to recharge their batteries? The good news is that introverts can thrive in extrovert-driven environments—they might just have to work differently to do so…

This article originally appeared on The Wharton Blog Network. Please follow the link to learn a few things for the introverted b-school student to keep in mind.


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