EMBA participants share what they learned about the demanding degree
That’s what it’s about, right? That the former students of an MBA from different cultures and countries, enlighten us on what have been the best experiences of having completed a postgraduate course of that category and requirement.
As we usually do from OUR EDITORIAL STAFF, we have gone out in search of very personal experiences that each of the MBA postgraduates have been asked about in interviews in different media, and that we make a synthesis that allows us to draw conclusions that will serve our readers.
We are not going to give names, but to cite experiences, that personal and professional enrichment that each postgraduate values, highlighting the aspects that have most influenced their life from the moment they decided to take an MBA.
1º) Regarding the support provided by the company, bosses and colleagues
It is clear that the support of employers is always needed. Because this is not just a matter of a boss or a manager of the area in which the candidate works, but of his team and the most direct colleagues, to which we must add the support of the family group. For example, sometimes you have to make the decision to choose a dinner with the family or deliver a project late, but for that there is the team, which can be asked to watch your back.
This is called the 360 conversation, you talk to everyone around that postgraduate candidate who works and studies at the same time and you see that he is making a personal sacrifice. Hence the importance attributed to the nucleus of colleagues as well as family members who directly and indirectly support the arrangement of schedules and tasks of that candidate. Everyone who is involved in any way in supporting the candidate knows full well that we all have times in our lives when things get messy and people can be out of action for a week or two. The 360 approach is having a conversation about time commitments and what it really means.
2º) What was the most important lesson of the course?
There are not a few former MBA postgraduates who point to challenging themselves as one of the most important experiences during the course.
In business, many people live within their comfort zones, but the rewards and development opportunities are enormous when your own “glass ceiling” is broken.
In fact, attending an EMBA at a Business School for all the former students who recount what they experienced, individually comment on a pattern that is repeated, which is that they had always had the goal in their respective lives of pursuing a postgraduate degree in the category of an MBA.
3º) Those who fundamentally wanted to improve their professional skills
When you have always had such a clear objective as joining an MBA program, it is also a common denominator among the experiences pointed out by former postgraduates, that what interested them was the improvement of professional skills in order to obtain a broader perspective of business, including the socioeconomic, legal, geopolitical and regulatory environment, to be able to act in a broader field of action, which can range from consulting to leading departments or areas of organizations that are operating on a global scale.
4º) Programs with applied learning
MBAs use not only theoretical training but the application of knowledge focused on real-world business problems. Through this experience, leadership skills can be developed based on the candidate’s own personal style, in a way that helps him master high-level executive decision-making using his strengths.
5º) Survival tips to balance work and study
It is certainly necessary to make sacrifices and it is a personal choice on how to handle that. In the case of candidates who returned to school after a long season, or who did not study a degree in the same country in which they ended up studying the MBA, experience indicates that they have always had to take time during the first modules to acclimatize and return to study again.
Former MBA postgraduates also point out that something they would have loved to know before starting the course is the preparation that can be done prior to entering the program to have a smoother start as a student.
6) Understand the academic style and the readings
Some of the things that the postgraduates highlight is the effort to understand academic writing and the analysis of all the obligatory references of readings that need to be deepened, but they also point out that the effort required should not be underestimated and that it is necessary to ensure that you have the well-established support or expectations at work, so that mental and emotional health can be managed in a balanced way during this journey. They also say that you have to make sure that families have accepted these curricula and are there to support and support them.
7º) Regarding the choice: Why have you chosen an MBA?
The joint belief of postgraduates is that learning is the most powerful engine we have to grow as professionals and people. There is also a coincidence in that almost all of them point out that for many years they were sure that taking an MBA would become a key piece to increase the experience that many of these postgraduate students had in other fields of knowledge, for example, engineering. And it is evident that those who come from non-economic and business fields such as technical studies of certain engineering specialties, know that the way to grow in leadership is to get into the language, knowledge and experiences that an MBA always offers, because these Professionals know that preparing for the next step, perhaps moving up a notch, requires relevant skills, including leadership, strategic thinking, an innovative mindset, and financial literacy.
It is also clear to postgraduates as an experience, that they cannot do it overnight. That everything takes time, but without a doubt, when they made the decision to pursue an MBA, their professional time (their entire career) will end up receiving a boost that will more than compensate for the effort and especially the time spent to successfully complete a program of this type.
8º) Transformative programs
In the case of students who knew that they would not be able to do it at that time, but that their opportunity would come, the moment they make the decision, even when they decide to move from another country to pursue an MBA, they all say unanimously that It has been the best decision they have made in their short professional life.
Because they also agree that an MBA is a transformative course for the person and the professional behind it. There is also agreement that they have all changed as leaders, becoming more thoughtful, inclusive and understanding the areas of the business where they can influence and have a positive impact.
9º) How studying an MBA has changed work and career
It seems that all the postgraduates have become more self-confident, as well as making an effort to move up in their career and make the most of it. In the case of a postgraduate whose original training came from urban planning, he entered an MBA and ended up understanding the vocabulary to understand the business world and exchange ideas effectively with his clients and business partners.
Taking an MBA makes you appreciate the complexity behind the success of a company, so understanding this reality is essential to scale and expand the range of professional possibilities.
10º) Understand the imperfections and achieve a greater good
Interesting comment from some postgraduates who say that after completing an MBA they were more willing to work with their “imperfections” to achieve a greater good. They also understand the concept of intrapreneurship and how they can support both your desire for advancement and the need for a healthy organization to constantly reinvent itself to stay ahead of the curve.
11º) Strengthening your professional network
Taking an MBA also strengthened in all cases the respective professional networks of postgraduates.
12º) An MBA is a compendium of valuable lessons for life
Some postgraduates report that when they enrolled they initially thought it would be an easy task, given that they had previously studied by completing some kind of degree in business, or marketing and business, or economics. However, all of them soon realized that undertaking an MBA would not be such a simple task, especially in the midst of being responsible for a young family, looking for a job, living on a student budget, and surviving a global pandemic.
For this reason, postgraduates clearly say that you have to learn everything you can from the people around you and that whoever makes the decision to take an MBA will be surprised by the knowledge and experiences that others have to offer.
13º) People from all walks of life, different cultures and different levels of experience and background in the industry
Almost all of them point out that when they started sharing classes with their peers, they were pleasantly surprised by the depth of their knowledge and experience. Hence, everyone wants to make sure they learn as much from their peers as from their teachers. By taking an interest in the lives of each of your classmates, you can learn much more than what is taught in class. It becomes a great learning complement.
It is also a common appreciation that postgraduates make, that you have to be nice to everyone, even if you don’t get along with them. Group work is a must and learning to work well with others while managing conflict is a valuable set of skills to learn. There will always be people you get along with and others you don’t. Treating everyone the same, regardless of whether you get along with them or not, will pay dividends in the long run. The respect you earn from others will often be shown when it matters most, and you never know, your peers might one day become your colleagues or clients.
14º) Not everyone will believe in you, so make sure you believe in yourself
What postgraduates are very clear about is that not everyone will have the same vision you have of yourself, nor will everyone believe in you, so surround yourself with people who encourage you, believe in you and support you.
15º) Learning without doing means nothing
What postgraduates clearly point out is that an MBA makes you understand that learning doesn’t mean anything without doing, so you have to become a doer, not just an active listener.
And as you progress in your career, you realize that many of the things you were learning in class could be immediately applied to your studies. For example, while taking a subject on people management, you realize that you can implement what you were learning in your other subjects in other modules and in group work.
By taking lessons in conflict management strategies and motivational theories, I can help improve group cohesion and performance throughout your career. By applying what you had learned in class, all postgraduates discovered that learning by experience is where you really learn the lessons taught in class.
16º) It is not about working harder but about doing it better
This is often said, we mean working to be better, not just working harder. We refer to task effectiveness.
A large majority of postgraduates indicate that they have been hard workers as a rule, but if there is something they have learned by doing an MBA, it is that working harder does not necessarily guarantee better results. In fact, working harder for many meant spending more time on a task only to be disappointed in the end with the results.
What postgraduates quickly discover is that it is more effective to work to be better than to try to work harder. Many achieved this by talking to their teachers regularly and asking for feedback on what they could have done better on their assignments. The more regularly you do this, with an open mind to constructive criticism, the faster you can apply this feedback and get the results you want.
17º) Do not be afraid to ask for help
In a world of instant gratification, we can often feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness, when actually asking for help is a strength. Postgraduates often found that their classmates who improved the most were those who were using the services and learning resources offered by the school, the coordinators, etc.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with accessing help, especially when it is free as this can give you an advantage when it comes to your studies.
18º) You must ask questions and be inquisitive
Looking back, postgraduates realize that they have always learned more (and more effectively) by asking questions. Asking questions throughout an MBA helps to better understand the content of the subject, to remember more and add value to the classes by giving everyone the opportunity to learn. In the classroom no one else is in control of your education except the student, so you can also make the most of the money you’re paying for your degree by asking questions.
19º) Recognize the efforts of those around you
When it comes to teamwork and leadership, all postgraduates discover that few things can make you more likeable and respected than recognizing the efforts of those around you. Whether it’s a staff member, teacher, or fellow student, helping others feel appreciated for their work often makes them work harder; it gives them a sense of pride in what they have produced and motivates them to do better.
20º) Take the time to relax, recover and live
Life can be challenging, so don’t push yourself too hard. You must take the necessary time that allows you to relax, also recover and of course, revive.
Postgraduates during their respective MBA courses discovered that pushing yourself to the limit can only be sustained for so long but eventually you end up becoming ineffective and unable to carry out your daily life.
That is why there are Business Schools that offer support programs to help students relieve stress, get some peace of mind and enjoy life, but ultimately it depends on the individual decision of each student to participate in them. That starts with the recognition that your experience should be about balance, not over-studying that ultimately only leads to burnout. Whether you go to the gym, attend yoga classes, or play sports, there will always be people (coordinators, teachers, classmates, etc.) willing to offer support and guide you in the help you need to put a little balance in your style. of life.
21º) Staying up all night just gives you bags under your eyes
Studying often means long nights, early mornings, and lack of sleep. Postgraduates sometimes report that they worked on a task for so long that they were there from early morning until late at night, until they were the only people left in the building. Labor obligations added to those of the MBA. For some of the postgraduates, they recognize that situations like these became a turning point in their way of doing things.
22) Student bloggers share their MBA experiences
Participants learn lessons from bootcamps and extreme breakfasts
One of these postgraduate students from an MBA confessed that the fact of practicing sports simultaneously with studying was, of course, very beneficial, although it had also had its drawbacks.
The teacher they had to do a certain physical activity, for him and some classmates had become a drill sergeant. He had them complete three circuits of 10 high-intensity workouts that ended in a “super board” that was, in fact, very painful. He then reminded them that class resumed in 10 minutes. They stripped out of their sodden workout gear and made it to class, and then the lesson followed: sometimes you don’t have much time between responsibilities, but maintaining your body is essential to maintaining your leadership stamina. This wasn’t the lesson plan he expected in his first week, but it was the lesson he needed.
Generally, MBA candidates have little doubt that the MBA experience will be a very positive experience for both the candidate and the people with whom he works. The curriculum rightly prioritizes subjects that matter in business, like finance and driving innovation, but are actually hard to learn. But they especially know that soft skills are important. Books such as Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” have had a very positive effect on many MBA students because they have made them a better person to work with, but this is certainly the kind of material that students need. MBA students should read in their spare time.
Furthermore, managers study MBAs not only for content but also for credibility. People tell me you don’t need to do an MBA, it’s easier to “wing it.” But we live in a credential-based society. MBA graduates, like everyone else, will always be fallible, but hiring managers with those three letters seems less risky.
23º) Tools for online MBA
As students of an online MBA, the environment in which you study and the way you interact with students, professors and opinion leaders is based on technology. Here are some of the basic tools that they find most useful:
– Adobe Acrobat Reader: used to store an electronic version of the course text for each module. This allows material to be read and summarized from anywhere, particularly during “down time” such as commuting to and from work.
– Evernote: This allows you to sync and access all your information anytime, anywhere, on any device.
– Digital conversations: Facebook, LinkedIn and WhatsApp. Being able to discuss and debate topics with students from all over the world is a rich experience.
24) Internship Action Bread
The search for an internship during an MBA is an important experience for many students. It provides the opportunity to work in the jobs and places where they will see themselves in the future. One of the students, during his preparation, took the presentation slides from several career management sessions to develop a “dashboard”, or visual map, with the basics of the process, details of the company, specific roles and areas for further investigation. and preparation.
It had six key blocks: comparison of desired competencies and skills with personal experience; the value and culture of a company, and personal strengths and weaknesses; business-related career goals; Company information; follow-up questions; General notes.
Subsequently, she filled out a board for each position she was applying for. As she progressed in her job search, the document changed and improved.