In this time of what seems like endless bad news, I wanted to share with you some good news – in the form of a significant “Teaching Moment” that occurred recently in my Leading Global Collaborations MBA unit.
The students have begun working virtually in their Global Teams, alongside students in six other countries, including the U.S. During class, I asked them how it was going thus far. A number of our students shared that they were really shocked by the degree to which students all over the world have responded with deep emotion (sadness, frustration, anger) to the U.S. election. During their team meetings, it has been the key topic of discussion. Our Aussie students were struggling with how best respond to their peers.
What ensured in our class was a 45-minute impromptu, very candid, discussion of geopolitics, how it affects the workplace, and how global team leaders can best navigate these challenges. I was incredibly proud of the sensitivity, sincerity, and depth of analysis that our students demonstrated. Controversial views were shared respectfully and openly. Ironically, a similar conversation ensued last year just after the Paris bombings when our students were working on teams alongside French students.
Welcome to the UWA MBA Full Time Intensive – “the place where you will all read until your eyes bleed and think until your head hurts. The contained energy inside the Tony Howarth Lecture Theatre stirred as our lecturers delivered these sentiments as anecdotes for the next 12 months. This energy resonated from the 20 MBA students who tried desperately to sit and make sense of everything that was thrust upon them during the first weeks of Session 1. As daunting as this statement sounds – I think I speak for most of us, when I say that we were quite ready to start what looked like a very exciting year ahead.
I arrived 3 days late for the MBA orientation, as a curious traveller not entirely sure what to expect – but ready to star in another chapter of my life’s adventure. I chose to come to the University of Western Australia (UWA) because I wanted to meet individuals who share the same fundamental values as myself – but who, at the same time challenge me with new meaning. I chose to come to UWA because I wanted to test my limits and learn more about my own ambition. So it goes without saying that I was pleasantly comforted when the Dean, Phil Dolan, emphasised the fact that ‘becoming an effective leader is a life long process and progression’ and with that I believe that we must all put ourselves in position of discomfort (in order to succeed)”.
I know, I know…what an MBA ‘did to you’? It’s not what it sounds like, trust me. As I approach the end of my MBA journey at the University of Western Australia (UWA), half way through my second to last unit, I find myself thinking back to when i first began my MBA journey. I recently attended an open house for prospective MBA students where I had to provide insights into what my journey has been like and answer their questions. In doing so, I found myself thinking:
What’s changed? Is this another tick on the old CV or has something else happened as a result of it? Am I still the same person? Finally, was it all worth it?
Here are my key takeaways for anyone considering an MBA. It’s a big purchase (I could have spent the money on a number of other things), so anyone considering it needs to be well informed. This is my experience of it but I encourage you to do your homework (pun) before committing
After nearly 17 years of working in project, engineering and operations management, I decided that I would finally get around to getting that MBA that I had been meaning to undertake for quite some time (My excuse was that it was too difficult having moved through 6 cities in 3 different countries during that time). However, like many people, I was torn between the loss of income doing a 1 year intensive full time program and the length of time (and risk of not completing) a 3 to 4 year part time one. Being the father of two young children (aged 1 and 2 at the time) definitely added to the complexity of the decision.
While there is a lot of literature out there about both, I thought that I’d share some of my insights and experiences of undertaking the MBA Full Time Intensive program here at the University of Western Australia (UWA) for the benefit of others like myself who are trying to decide.
Isn’t life funny? This time last year I would never have imagined that I’d be sitting here writing this today. I was literally on the other side of the world, living in Washington DC, enjoying a muggy summer and reflecting on what was coming next. Now I am back home in Perth and half way through an MBA at the University of Western Australia (UWA).
I was in a unique position as I sat contemplating my next career move; I had personally witnessed the transformational power of an intensive MBA program. I spent two years in Durham, North Carolina as my husband undertook his own MBA program. I saw him and his friends blossom into the next generation of business leaders and develop everlasting bonds with their classmates.