5 Minutes with MBA Graduate Luke Johnson
Speaking with graduate Luke Johnson recently, he shared with us how the MBA gave him the confidence and drive to apply for and gain a national position in his field. Luke explains why that confidence was so important and how the MBA experience has revived his thirst for knowledge and learning.
Why did you decide to study an MBA?
I’d been considering doing an MBA for quite some time. My original bachelor’s degree was in mathematics, not in business, so I felt I needed some well-rounded business knowledge. I was looking to take another step in my career, and I thought the MBA would be a bit of a catapult for that.
Did the MBA help you take on new opportunities in your career?
Yes, primarily through the confidence I gained. Having an MBA certainly helped me throughout the interview process. The work that I was doing in assignments I was able to apply in the company I was working for then. It opened doors for me 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 applying for my current role.
I had a lot of business experience, but without any formal training or validation with theory, you still are a bit unsure. Whereas now, I’ll sit in a meeting and I know I’ve researched something on corporate governance, for example, and I’ll be able to contribute to the conversation, and just get involved at higher level about how businesses are run.
Tell us a bit about your new role and company.
I am the Director of Operations at Crossmark, and we do in-store merchandising in the big retailers nationally. My role is really about executing opportunities for the clients, so it’s a mix between some strategy and operations. I get to provide leadership to the team and help them solve some day-to-day issues, lead the strategy and drive some change with new initiatives. I’m still new to the role, but absolutely loving it.
How do you see the degree helping you in the future?
I’ve really got a thirst for knowledge again now. I probably was treading water a little bit professionally, so the MBA gave me that confidence to look to see what’s out there. Now I think I’m going to get involved in some industry groups or some other practice development. It’s really re-ignited a bit of a passion for learning. I was just probably a little bit stale, so it’s good to get that hunger back.
Would you recommend the AIB MBA to others?
I’d recommend the AIB MBA to others because of the flexibility in study hours and also the applicability to your job. If you can really take the assignments and apply them in your work, you’ll get so much more out of it. You start to think about each subject as it approaches, what you will focus the assignment on and what is happening in the area in your workplace. You get into a real rhythm with that, so I’d recommend that routine as well—knowing when the exams are and when the assignments are. That rhythm helps you get through it.
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This article has been constructed by Megan Baker from an AIB interview. The very best has been done to accurately reflect the thoughts and opinions of the participant.