The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is more than just a business degree; it’s an experience. Throughout the MBA, students gain a comprehensive understanding of each of the major business units and how they work together. On top of the knowledge they acquire, they also develop a range of highly relevant skills and attributes through the experience of being an MBA student.
Strategic thinking, refined communication skills and a boost in confidence are some of the most underrated but highly valuable personal outcomes of the MBA. In our 2017 Alumni Insights Survey, 67.3% of graduates reported that the MBA experience improved their strategy development skills, and 64.7% experienced increased self-confidence!
We explore how the MBA has a direct impact on confidence and how that cultivates greater outcomes in your career.
It prompts you to take action
Many students approach the MBA with a career goal in mind, but lacking the experience, qualification or confidence to make it happen. Once they take the first step in the MBA journey and enrol, they may not realise it at the time, but their mindset will shift. The career goal will be the thing that motivates them throughout their studies, and after they finish the degree, the MBA experience will be what drives them to achieve it.
Motivations for the MBA are unique to each student, but some of the common ones are to reach a leadership role, to make a change in the direction of a career, to break out of a career rut or to start a business. For AIB MBA Graduate Ted Cofie, it was the latter. He shared, “I always knew I wanted to start my own company, and the MBA gave me the skills and confidence to do it. Ted needed to understand everything from the ground up, and once he had this understanding and the skills developed from the MBA, he launched his own management consultancy.
Knowledge is powerful in so many ways, but namely because it fuels self-confidence, leaving individuals feeling undoubtedly better equipped to take on challenges and pursue their goals.
It provides the validation many need
Upon graduation, MBA students feel an incredible sense of achievement, with many indicating that the programme helped change their lives. A large share of the AIB alumni network are experienced business professionals who entered the workforce some years ago and have worked their way towards the top. Through practical experience they have gained the skills required, however, they look to the MBA for up-to-date business knowledge and validation in their abilities.
Julie Jardine, AIB MBA Graduate, explained she pursued the MBA to ensure she was remained the top of her game, with the best tools to move forward. “Every subject I walked away with a new skill, a new way of thinking and a renewed belief in myself. It’s not only given me validation in my own abilities and skills, but the confidence to move forward in my career,” she said.
In our careers, that validation and confidence is ourselves is so important for growth. If you believe you can do it, you usually can!
It teaches a strategic perspective that’s applicable in the workplace
As a holistic business degree, the MBA teaches students about all facets of business – from leadership and entrepreneurial skills, to finance and governance. This understanding is what many seek from the outset, as it gives them the ability to gain a more strategic perspective of their organisation and field. As the student becomes comfortable in their ability to think strategically, they become better equipped to approach generally confronting situations such as presentations and challenging conversations with a calm, assured demeanour.
As Ted Cofie puts it, “If somebody is talking to me about operations, strategic management or HR, whatever it may be, I’m able to have a legitimate conversation with them. The MBA provides greater credibility, which has made me more confident in these situations.”
It gives you the confidence to have ‘the’ conversation
Whether it’s a job interview, a sales pitch, or asking your boss for a raise – we often avoid situations that make us uncomfortable. We tend to only put ourselves forward when we are particularly confident in our abilities and knowledge to take on a challenge. The MBA helps overcome some of these hurdles, both through practice and knowledge.
For AIB MBA Graduate Luke Johnson, the MBA helped him to do just that. “My MBA really opened doors for me to go and talk to the CEO, talk to the directors, to ask questions, and to feel confident in the interview process when looking for other work,” he said.
Would you like to feel more confident in your career, whether it be in decision-making, managing staff, pursuing new opportunities or communicating with higher management? The AIB online MBA is a great way to arm yourself with the knowledge to do exactly that, with the majority of students enjoying increased self-confidence after the degree.