6 Lessons From F.R.I.E.N.D.S Characters For All MBA Aspirants

F.R.I.E.N.D.S – The TV series that has us all laughing hard, no matter how many number of times we have already watched it. The iconic group of six taught us a number of lessons about careers, friendship, love and life. Be it the comical Chandler or the nerdy Ross, each character educated us about various situations in life and how to handle them.

1. Monica Geller:

Monica is the glue that binds the group together (as quoted by Ross). She taught us that it is important to try to perfect everything that is given to you. She is also curious about things she doesn’t know. Remember that episode where she tears down the apartment to find out about a light switch that appears to do nothing? She doesn’t accept defeat easily and works hard to achieve her goals. Isn’t that what MBA aspirants need to practice too?

Also a lot of us face parental pressure and so did Monica. Having a near perfect elder brother ensured that the Geller parents favoured Ross more than her. Yet she managed to sail through it all and become a great chef and an even greater daughter.

2. Joey Tribbiani:

Joey was an actor who struggled throughout the 10 seasons of the show for a decent acting career. But he never lost hope. Be it his character as Drake Ramoray in Days of Our Lives or as Mac in Mac & Cheese, he gave his best. He kept on trying his luck at various acting interviews and auditions. He also received bad reviews for a lot of his performances. In short he kept on failing but he never gave up. He believed that there was light at the end of the tunnel and he got there eventually by getting his name on the Soap Opera Digest crossword puzzle and by getting nominated to the Soapie Award (It is the third highest prestigious award in soap operas!)

MBA aspirants too might fail at various stages, be it entrance exams or B-school interviews. But what is important is to learn from each interview and move on. You will definitely succeed one day.

3. Phoebe Buffay:

Phoebe Buffay (a.k.a Regina Phalange) was the most quirky and bubbly. She wasn’t the richest (or the smartest- remember that time when she thought that her mother was a cat), but she was surely the happiest. It is shown in the show that Phoebe had a difficult time growing up, with her mother committing suicide and her step-dad going to jail while she lived on the streets. Even after she grew up, she didn’t have it easy when she faced financial problems in everyday life and later when her boyfriend left her to go to Minsk. Yet these problems never daunted her. Instead she remained as happy as ever and even tried to bring happiness to the people around with her songs.

As MBA aspirants, we all have a lot of difficulties managing our studies, jobs and the people around us. It is indeed difficult to not get shattered when life throws lemons at you everyday (in the form of entrance scores). But we should try being happy and sail through it all with a cheerful face.

4. Chandler Bing:

The biggest life lesson that Chandler taught us all is that its okay to not know what you want to do in life. He let us know that a little uncertainty in life is alright. Chandler’s high paying job as an executive specialising in ‘Statistical analysis and data reconfiguration’ (Wait! Wasn’t he a transponster?) was something that didn’t interest him and hence he called it quits. Isn’t that exactly why a lot of us want to pursue an MBA? MBA aspirants like me weren’t satisfied with our jobs too and that is why dream of an MBA to change it all.

Also Chandler laughs at his own jokes and we all know how important it is to laugh at oneself.

5. Rachel Green:

Perhaps the most visible transformation and reformation seen in any character would be that of Rachel’s. She moves on from being an ultimate brat who knows zilch about adulthood to being one of the most mature characters. Rachel Green left her fiance and her parents(not to mention their money) to start her life anew and learns something new each day, be it her first day at the laundry or the first time she finds out about paychecks. She has a dream to work in the fashion market and eventually she does find her dream job. (only to leave it for Ross?!)

It is sometimes confusing for aspirants to make decisions. “Should I quit my job?”, “Should I move to this city for an MBA?”, etc. are some common dilemmas faced. But what is important is that you believe in your instincts just like Rachel did.

6. Ross Geller:

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Ross hasn’t educated you in life. “L-O-V-E Love. L is for Life and what is life without Love? O is for Oh Wow! V is ….”. No No No! Its not just this that Ross taught us all.

One thing that almost all the characters on the show taught us is to follow our dreams be it in career or in love. Now for Ross that meant dinosaurs and so he became a palaeontologist and never looked back. He tells us that we need to aim higher to achieve more in our professional careers. Also he gives keynote speeches and presentations (and we all know how important that is in an MBA!).

So the next time you watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S, don’t forget to take notes!

Ereka Cyril

Future MBA grad. XLRI HRM(2019-21)



Shruti Ganesh

This is a really beautiful way of looking at life as such ! Lovely article ! 🙂