Days of Whine and Neurosis

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Effect/Affect

I was thinking about the MBA process the other day, and what it's like before/after graduate school. I think it comes down to the difference between "effect" and "affect." Two words with which an essay auteur is intimately familiar.

From Merriam-Webster:

Effect
Function: transitive verb
1 : to cause to come into being
2 a : to bring about often by surmounting obstacles : ACCOMPLISH b : to put into operation

Affect
1 : to produce an effect upon: as a : to produce a material influence upon or alteration in b : to act upon (as a person or a person's mind or feelings) so as to effect a response

Before earning an MBA most of us will have effected change. We've spent our post-undergrad years "doing" -- we're the men and women on the ground, analyzing, writing, getting our hands dirty, so to speak. Most of us have managed at some level before, but truth be told, we haven't invented policy and direction.

After earning an MBA we will affect change. We'll delegate, for lack of a better word. We'll manage strategy and purpose, and affect the effect. At least, that's the theory. There will likely be some struggle ahead of all of us after graduation, but eventually, we'll get there.

I, for one, have never been so excited about anything in my life. I feel like this is my shot, and I'm going to make something happen.