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I was fortunate enough to be in the James Naughtie’s interview with the First Minister Alex Salmond the other night at the Mitchell Library theatre.  As an Asian, an international MBA student of a business school dubbed as Scotland’s best, to be physically present in Scotland and be in this part of the year to witness its journey to the referendum, I call this an honor.

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It was a full house and being unfamiliar with the British/Scottish politics, I quickly find Naughtie is a skillful, witty interviewer and how he handled his audience and interviewee very well.  Salmond on the other side was able to answer calmly sharp questions addressed to him, with the same ability of giving witty responses.

Opportunity value: the MBA and what you become out of it

As an adult exercising our ability to making choices happens all the time, not just as a political right, but down to our daily lives; and in this case as an MBA student.

The second term commenced a couple of weeks ago.  The Financial and Management Accounting (FMA) module was just over and we are now doing the Comparative Corporate Governance (CCG).   

One of the basic accounting terms on costs that relates to the behavior of costs and their relevance to making decisions concerning the future is the opportunity cost.  For this sort of decision making, past costs (historic costs) are irrelevant as we should concern on the future opportunity costs and future outlay costs.

I believe I am not going to say anything new here, on applying this high-school economics concept: to look for the opportunity value in every decision we make — be it a big decision or small, financial or non-financial decision — in our lives.
Decision of an MBA study definitely a brave move, it’s more than just about paying the cost of course fees; trade-offs such as foregone salaries and missed time in the workforce are the most considered opportunity costs of not taking an MBA.

If you’re one of those who decided to take the plunge, cost of course fees is now a sunk cost, it’s irrelevant as your focus is now on the long-term opportunities of being in the study and how I find this decision-making principle is always applicable all the way through:

1.   An employers’ prized degree, MBA is used as a career enhancement by many chief executives of leading global companies these days.  

In today’s extreme competitive job market, as a valuable and sought after degree, MBA brings you the opportunity to top leadership roles like them. However, don’t take it as a one-way ticket to the top.  Look at the other add-value qualities and choose to get them.

2.  I think the basic notion is that everyone wants to improve themselves. It could be in anything.  But, like an athlete, improvements require trainings.  A lot of them. 

More than an academic qualification, an MBA study provides soft-skills that are beneficial for future leaders.  We religiously train ourselves in these that we may become leaders who work equally well in leading or as part of a team, who tactfully handle pressures put on our shoulder while emotionally intelligent in understanding others and in our own self-assessment.

Long-term opportunities: for a better you
When we choose to invest in one opportunity, basically we have to walk away from the other. To vote in the upcoming referendum (this is a huge one) might be part of your status as a citizen and you would know better what the fundamental points you base your choice on.  If you are currently in the MBA study and continuously making decision to improve yourself — instead of focusing on the sunk cost, focus on the long-term opportunities.

The best is yet to come.