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“They will not spoon feed you,” noted one SBS MBA alumnus on how tough the program would be. These words were uttered during one fine fall afternoon on the day the SBS MBA class of 2013 started its long and arduous grind.

Looking back on the past 3 months, I am now convinced that yes, spoon-feeding will not happen. In fact, it’s more like this: the SBS MBA program takes the aforementioned spoon along with the meal itself, chucks it 300 yards away from you and puts flaming hoops, bushy thorns and shark infested waters in between. The great thing with the batch I’m in, however, is that everyone realizes that we all have this collective goal of making it out alive, which makes the overall inter-personal dynamic very supportive. It is quite common to see colleagues taking time to help each other out, especially in the trickier subjects.

Coming out unscathed through it all is a tricky balancing act; you have to keep your wits while making quick decisions, you had to be able to toe the line between taking charge of a group to get things done and being a contributing member to said group. We also had to learn everything there is to know about a Central European country, come up with four scenarios where the country will be in 15 years and write a well planned/written report on it in less 11 days (Dorain people, back me up here!). It was certainly challenging, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

After the craziness of group and individual assignments, late night study sessions, exam revision and general stress, you can imagine how relieved everyone was when the term finally ended signaling the start of a three-week Christmas break. We partied through the night. I still remember most of it… But I digress.

I chose to fly home to be with my family and friends over the holidays. One particular evening, a friend asked me: “what was the difference I could pinpoint between doing a post-graduate degree and doing a bachelor’s?” I took a while to answer the question, as it hadn’t even occurred to me think about it.  I finally quipped back “The biggest difference between what I did in my undergrads and what I’m doing now and is that being at Strathclyde feels like I never left my work as a Brand and Marketing Supervisor whereas undergraduate felt like being in school.” This is, in my opinion, the greatest strength of the program; the SBS MBA is like a corporate life simulation: strict deadlines, working with team members (some of whom you don’t get along with), working for long hours with little to no rest, all the while enhancing your strengths and weaknesses. The lessons we learned and are about to learn will enhance our business leadership acumen and prepare us for the jungle that’s out there when (if!) we graduate.

Now please excuse me, I have this flaming hoop to jump through, after this, just another 200 yards to go!