Real Mindful: Eric Schneider (MBA ’21)

We’re back with more Real Mindful conversations, beginning this month with Eric Schneider, who recently joined the Harvard Business School Class of 2021. Eric is an engineer turned consultant and non-profit founder (free GMAT mentorship?? Yes, please!) who’s now not only pursuing his MBA, but also evaluating and advising startups in his “spare time.”

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Eric Schneider, HBS ’21

Good thing he’s got mindfulness up his sleeve to help him catch his breath now and then, and stay focused on the task at hand, one present moment at a time.

Take a listen below to learn more about Eric and how he’s been working with mindfulness to achieve big goals, and help others – including his new MBA classmates – do the same.


Real Mindful: Evan Trimble (MBA ’18)


Evan Trimble is in the middle of a lot of things. Like some of you, he’s currently in the middle of closing out the semester – his third one as an MBA student at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He’s in the middle of lining up his plans for winter break, organizing his life after graduation in May, and preparing to marry his fiancée.  He’s also a leader on campus who offers guided meditation sessions weekly and is working with school leadership to gain approval for a new student club, and all the resources and support (and red tape cutting) such an effort requires.


In other words, he’s really busy. He’s got a lot on his mind. He could be intensely stressed about any one of these things, let alone having all of them in his life at once – and sometimes, he probably is. However, he’s got some powerful strategies up his sleeve for managing those moments. Best thing about Evan? He’s doing everything in his power to make sure those strategies aren’t secret.  Read More

Real Mindful: Catherine Aranda (MBA ’18)

Ricardo Almeida ©

Last week, we celebrated MindfulMBA’s second birthday, and I promised you some new things would be in store around here in year three. We’re only a week in, and I couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to “Real Mindful,” a new feature that will connect you – and me! – to cool people doing interesting things in impressive places. They’re amazing in many ways, but, they’re also real people out there in the business school space who are using mindfulness and stress management to survive, and thrive.

Or, at the very least, that’s the intention, right? ;-)

Catherine Aranda

Catherine Aranda, Darden MBA ’18

For our inaugural post in the “Real Mindful” series, I’m delighted to introduce you to Catherine Aranda, a member of the Class of 2018 at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

Catherine knows the challenges of balancing stress management with the competing – and often contrary – priorities of rigorous classes, career planning, campus leadership, and a social life, including a long-term but also long-distance relationship. She grew up in El Paso, Texas, but came to Darden after many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s an accomplished musician, proud auntie, and by the time her second year at Darden had barely started, she had already been awarded for her distinguished service to the campus community.

As you’ll hear, she’ll be the first to tell you she isn’t perfect, though. Which is fine by me, because perfect, you know, actually doesn’t exist.

Singing at Darden

Catherine performing at Darden

Despite having all this on her plate already, Catherine’s passion for well-being motivated her to become the driving student force behind “Resilience Week,” the first-ever awareness week for issues pertaining to mental health and wellness at Darden, happening next week from October 23 – 27.


Catherine and her mom, Marylou

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to our conversation (below), including the roots of her passion for well-being in her personal story, and some of her tips for keeping it up despite the frantic pace of MBA student life.

The struggle for balance is definitely still real, but fortunately, so is Catherine. I know you’re going to love getting to know her!

Know someone working with mindfulness on campus or in the workplace? Let me know, and they could be our next “Real Mindful” feature!

Header photo credit: Antonio