Business | Education

7 Lessons From My MBA Program You Can Use In Everyday Life

Use logos, pathos, and ethos to help win an argument.

Sean Kernan
6 min readOct 9, 2023

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Unsplash via Hunter’s Race

An MBA teaches you enough to be dangerous in any aspect of running a business. It improves your decision-making and tends to result in a higher income.

I spent two years and $60,000 at the University of Florida, chiseling away at my mine, all while working full-time in finance. I’ve always hated that you forget so much after leaving school. So I maintained a document where I listed the three coolest things I learned after each course. These were my favorite takeaways.

How to logroll a negotiation

Negotiations was one of the hardest classes I took because it pitted us (students) against each other and the outcomes affected our grades.

In one case, I represented Canadian zoos that wanted to borrow pandas from Chinese zoos. It caused a long standoff between me and the other person. We were working out the cost and duration of the panda visits as the Chinese government owns all pandas (this is an actual and recurring real life negotiation faced by zoos).

Statistically, the first person to make an offer in a negotiation tends to do better (they “anchor” their number first). But if you get too greedy, it could embitter the other party and hurt your deal. I watched a recorded negotiation between two classmates where one student refused any deal after the other person’s opening offer was egregiously low and insulting.

If you are going to an extremely important negotiation that could affect your livelihood, do scenario planning beforehand. List out possible things that might happen and how you’ll react. Know your walkaway terms and goal.

Before going, list out things that’ll benefit the other person. Decide what you can easily give them. Try to roll it all into your deal. We call it logrolling: “I can’t offer that much salary but I can let you work from home if you’d like.”

Show concern and care for what they want. The ideal position is for both parties to walk away and feel like they got the deal of the century. It might sound impossible but it really isn’t.

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Sean Kernan

Former financial analyst turned writer. Always on the hunt for a good story. That guy from Quora. Writing out of Tampa, Florida.