MBA Graduates Share Their Most Valuable Programme Outcomes
When considering a Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme, prospective students will often look to the curriculum to understand what knowledge the particular programme will offer them. While the curriculum is a great guide for the core subjects, the MBA is so much more than the practical theories that are taught. Most students graduate with a wealth of additional benefits, including new personal qualities, networks and perspectives. We interviewed a number of AIB MBA graduates to discover what they believed to be their top programme outcomes, and have compiled the below list.
1. An increased sense of confidence
In addition to the newfound ability to tackle different challenges, Director of Operations at Crossmark Asia Pacific, Luke Johnson, believes his MBA helped him achieve more as he could confidently approach higher management.
“The MBA really opened doors to go and talk to the CEO, to talk to the directors, and to ask a lot of questions. That in itself gave me more confidence when I was then going to look for other work,” he said.
Many students have the skills and experience, but lack the confidence to put themselves out there. The MBA provides validation that you are an expert in what you do, and gives graduates the confidence to approach opportunities that were previously out of reach.
2. Important problem solving techniques
Throughout your career, it’s likely that you’ll be constantly challenged and required to proactively and creatively problem solve. Vertimax Australia State Manager, Ray Dujela, explained that one of the key skills he took away from the MBA was how to best solve these problems.
“I have been able to learn proven techniques on how to confront challenges, how to come up with solutions, and basically, how to manage any situations that may come up,” he said.
Issues are not avoidable, but with the right skillset and approach, they can be turned into opportunities.
3. An understanding of risk management
ANZ Country Manager, Sarah Murray, believes that one of the most critical outcomes she experienced thanks to the MBA was the ability to foresee risks.
“I think the MBA really helped me understand more about risk, and not just about how to forecast for it, but when to manage it,” she said.
Risks in business are inevitable, but leaders who embrace risk and know how to appropriately manage it will be more likely to succeed.
4. The ability to see things from a holistic perspective
One of the key benefits of the MBA is the holistic business knowledge that it provides students. The curriculum includes everything from finance to leadership, marketing and logistics management. Darren Adams, Senior Director, Digital Accelerator at Philips, believes the MBA has allowed him to approach business from a different perspective.
“Previously, I might have been a lot more single focused, but now I have a much more organisational view and it has made me a lot more successful,” he said.
Darren has been able to step outside his usual function and make recommendations from a whole-of-business perspective. When in a leadership role, this is essential as you need to understand all areas of business in order to make effective decisions.
5. The MBA is more than just letters in front of a name
Ted Cofie, Founder and CEO at Nyaco Management, originally set out to complete the MBA to help open doors. Ted thought that it would give him security and solidify what he was trying to do, but as he progressed through the programme, it quickly became more than just letters in front of his name.
“The MBA taught me concepts. It made me understand that I could have a legitimate conversation with heads of business units, so it was very, very relevant for me after all,” he said.
While the MBA does carry much prestige, it’s important not to overlook the wealth of professional development opportunities that it provides. Each student will enjoy specific benefits relevant to their careers, and more often than not, graduate with even more benefits than first expected.
What do you think?
Many students set out to achieve the MBA for one reason, but end up enjoying an array of professional and personal benefits too. I’m keen to hear from other MBAs – what did you get out of your degree? Comment to join the conversation!
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.