So it’s the first day of the MBA. Wow I was nervous, although it could have been worse. Browsing the web I found a number confirmed Strathclyde MBA’s creating either Facebook pages or LinkedIn pages where we could each communicate and voice our eagerness to start and meet everyone. This is something if you’re a prospective Strathclyde MBA student, you should get involved in creating. This was nice. It showed me that, there were another 50 or so people in the same position as I.
The first two weeks were relaxed and welcoming with the induction, learning manager module (which was an incredible experience) and a number of days introducing us to the Career and Personal Development service that runs throughout the MBA. The facilities were excellent, such as our dedicated lecture theatre, common room and shared café/restaurant (with faculty). Worthy, of its own mention are the dedicated boardrooms that each MBA group (teams of six) have access to. Life savers.
The simplicity of my MBA experience unfortunately ended after these two weeks. The instigator of my new respect for the 100-hour workweek was Dr. George Burt, the MBA Academic Director and his module EIBE*. I’ve been used to working long hours and under intense pressure before, but this was a new level for both. Looking back at it, it was an excellent introduction to the work required to successfully complete an MBA.
My initial impressions of the course drastically changed over the first four weeks. What had started as an excellent introduction to the programme and opportunities ahead, moved into something quite serious. Although I am unsure if intended by the University or even if the other MBA students feel the same (let me know guys!), the intense following weeks were used to surface our weaknesses and stress points. Almost with the air of a psychologist, Dr. Burt pressed and pushed in the precise places that he must have known we would falter on. What came out of this for me, was the realisation of how I acted as a manager, the bias I had in place and a number of other managerial weaknesses I had and needed to work. Even to this day, I am conscious of these weaknesses and attempt at every chance to improve them. After a few days reflection from the demanding two weeks, it was great to look back and think, “I am not only here to develop additional skills and learning, but to also improve who I am as a manager”. Something I had never considered as part of an MBA before.
*EIBE: Exploring the International Business Environment.
The below photograph if I remember correctly was in the second week of EIBE, we were tired but still had the motivation to continue. In my team was (left to right): Gade (Thailand), Myself (UK), Carolina (France), Amit (India), Shashank (India) & Girish (India). We were a great team :-).