I often talk about the fact that MBA programs are essentially sifting through the applicant pool to find people whom post-MBA employers will want to hire. Employers love leaders who take risks, learn from and then brush off failures, and persevere with team spirit and camaraderie. Those people are the ones who time and again lead companies for long-term success. That’s why athletes and even regular folks who play sports often do well in the corporate world. Nick Foles’ post-Super-Bowl comments demonstrate this spirit beautifully.
For those of you who don’t know Foles’ background, he has a lifelong record of perseverance: transferring from Michigan State to University of Arizona, doing well initially with the Eagles but then completing less than 60 percent of his passes and throwing nearly as many interceptions as touchdown passes in 2014. He was traded to St. Louis and benched, traded to Kansas City and played little before being released and then returned to the Eagles as backup to starter Carson Wentz. Anyone lacking perseverance might have decided he didn’t have what it takes to make it in this sport, but Foles’ grit paid off: when Wentz tore his ACL, Foles was thrust into the starting position and brought the Eagles the rest of the way to the Super Bowl, where he became the first player to both throw and catch a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl.
When Super Bowl MVP Foles was interviewed for NBC Sports about this history of setbacks, his comments were exactly what MBA programs like to hear, “I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is a part of life. It’s a part of building character and growing. Without failure, who would you be? I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times. Made mistakes.” He continued, “I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that’s just an opportunity for your character to grow. And that’s just been the message. Simple. If something’s going on in your life and you’re struggling? Embrace it. Because you’re growing.”
So this Philly girl is proud of her Eagles for their win this weekend and especially impressed by Nick Foles. I hope every aspiring MBA applicant reads these words and understands why MBA programs ask about failures now: because they want to see that you embrace the struggle and are growing, that you can persevere in the face of the many obstacles you will face in your lifelong career.Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!