Journey to My MBA and Beyond
Having finished my MBA, I close the chapter of one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. However, before I go any further, I must thank my beautiful wife and child for their love and support while I studied the better part of the 1st year of my daughter’s life. Willingly choosing to undertake a Masters while working full time and with my first child well and truly on the way, I thought I might have been mad ( I thought it was my wife who supposed to have pregnancy brain!). Looking back at that initial moment of panic, wondering what the hell I got myself into, I realise just how far I have come and how much I have grown. Reflection is one of the most valuable tools we can use to develop ourselves, and reflecting on my journey I understand the significance of what I have achieved and take stock of my experiences. While that piece of parchment is an achievement, it is the combination of; my experiences, knowledge, the friendships and networking that I value the most. Getting out of my comfort zone and getting stuck into study meant I truly learnt how valuable my time was and forced me to take my time management skills to another level.
My decision to elect AIB as my preferred destination was a combination of some factors, one of which was not the Work-Applied Learning model. The concept seemed foreign and unrealistic. However after my first subject, I was not only able to get an understanding of this knowledge, but I was able to put it into use and deliver an improved performance thus making an immediate impact on myself and my work. The value of utilising the knowledge I was gaining through work-applied learning, it reinforced that knowledge and I saw a visible improvement in performance. Distance learning can be a daunting and lonely experience but already being out of my comfort zone I dived straight into organising virtual study groups and the collaboration with my peers was a highlight of my learning experiences. I began to understand just how powerful some tools I had taken for granted such as Skype, GoToMeeting, Dropbox, Google Drive among others are when leveraged correctly. Not only did I forge great bonds of friendship, we were able to share out knowledge and understanding, but as a group, we were able to all teach each other, and by sharing our experiences, we were able to take our understanding to another level. The virtual study groups not only translated to what I am confident was better grades but also a better understanding of this new found knowledge.
Having a supportive employer was helpful when it came to studying further. By challenging me to utilise my study, I was actively utilising new knowledge and evolving the way in which I viewed and approached my work. As all good things must come to an end, my employer is ready to slow down and head to retirement, and I am ready and eager for the next opportunity and its set of challenges to come my way.
This article was written by Nelan Dias, AIB MBA Graduate, following the completion of his degree. The article was originally published on LinkedIn.