The Key to Success: A Balanced Diet



Photo by Yoojin Koh

In business school, we’re pulled in many directions. We attempt to juggle academics, networking and recruiting while maintaining some semblance of a social life.

Amid all the stress, it’s easy to fall into bad habits, like noshing on fast food, indulging in alcohol and energy drinks, and skipping out on exercise, says Zhaoping Li, M.D., a professor of clinical nutrition at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.

No damage done, right? Wrong. Carbohydrates and starch have been shown to curb mental alertness and trigger drowsiness. That means we should be steering clear of pastries, juices and sodas during exams.

Another negative outcome is that when we skimp on protein, our bodies begin to break down muscle tissue, which is what helps us burn fat. Poor nutrition can also lead to deficiencies in Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and folic acid, resulting in a variety of health issues.

The frightening news is that these effects can be permanent. New research indicates that nutrition is a cumulative process; damage caused to your digestive system by fast food can be repaired by proper nutrition, but only if the unhealthy habits don’t persist.

The takeaway: Don’t take a two-year break from nutrition. Even your post-M.B.A. salary won’t be worth it if you’re not in good health.

Sure, we’re all feeling overextended with deadlines, informational interviews and resume drops – but remember to break the cycle and take some time for yourself.

Your mind and body will thank you for it later.


Let’s Talk About Stress: Lessons from Jonathan Guerrero (MBA ’15)


Jonathan Guerrero

Jonathan Guerrero

On any given day, you’re probably fielding dozens of emails, finishing your economics homework or meeting with your learning team to put the final touches on a marketing project.

Stressful, right? But managing your stress level is critical to staying healthy. Studies show that stress can contribute to a wide range of health problems, like anxiety and depression in the short-term and a greater susceptibility to catching the common cold.

So what’s an M.B.A. student to do?

As impossible as it may sound, the secret to managing stress may be to avoid multitasking, according to Jonathan Guerrero (MBA ’15). When he first moved to Los Angeles, Guerrero says he developed “crazy road rage.” He was doing too much at once in the car: navigating traffic, making phone calls, checking e-mail, listening to music. “My family and friends were telling me I had changed,” he says. “I was angry.”

Then, before coming to Anderson, Guerrero spent a week with a renowned Zen Buddhist monk named Thich Nhat Hanh at a monastery in Pine Bush, N.Y. A peace and human rights activist, Nhat Hanh has dedicated his life to helping people to be passionately present in the here and now. Guerrero’s takeaway from the retreat with Nhat Hanh was simple: he needed to stop multi-tasking.


Photo by Yoojin Koh

It’s worked. Now, when Guerrero drives, he focuses solely on the road. “I don’t try to be anywhere else,” he says, adding that he even turns off the radio sometimes.

“It sounds silly at first,” he says, but being present is easier said than done. It takes mindfulness and awareness to stick to the task at hand. “You can’t do two things at the same time effectively,” he says.