[pullquote]“The secret of getting ahead is getting started”. (Mark Twain)[/pullquote]
Wow! It’s hard to believe that we’ve managed to find our way through semester one of year one of our Executive MBA in DCU Business School.
Three months ago the thoughts of returning to college on a part-time basis was a quite daunting prospect, not only from a work-life balance perspective, which was among the predominant concerns of my fellow MBA classmates, but from an academic point of view, where the very thoughts of “Harvard referencing” sent a shiver down my spine.
Despite the significant consideration that went into applying to commence the programme, the reality is that nothing can prepare you for that first term, when work and college commitments collide, forcing you in the early hours of a Monday evening to question the very reasons you took on the challenge.
A colleague on the course tells a story about how, when he was considering applying, everyone he spoke to including past graduates, spoke in glowing terms about the Executive MBA and recommended without hesitation that he sign-up to the class.
Once enrolled however, the tune changed, where those very same advocates of the course told him that he was beginning a process that may well prove to be the toughest two years of his life!
On both fronts, arguably his advisors got it right. For sure the last 12 weeks of lectures and assignments have tested the staying power, and the Christmas break was like the proverbial calm before the storm, as the January exam schedule loomed large on the horizon and DCU library became almost like a second home for close on three weeks.
But the flip side of these stresses and strains, and quiet clearly why any past graduate would recommend an Executive MBA, has its foundations in the relevance of the modules that we completed during our first semester.
Week on week the professionalism and depth of expert lecturing meant that the theory presented every Thursday evening was almost immediately transferable to the work place first thing Friday morning.
Working in financial services the Accounting for Decision-Making module offered the most relevance from a practical point of view, and provided me with a significant amount of detail on hot topics in business lending and financial ratios. This led to an early morning training session with one of the business teams in North Dublin.
In conjunction with this a number of the assignments were based on delving into past events or assessing current work practices and forced us, both individually and within groups, to apply our learning in the most practical sense. The Organisational Behaviour module opened my eyes to the fact that great leaders aren’t born, but are effectively a continual work in progress who strive to get the best from their people, a simple concept perhaps, but clearly one that is extremely difficult to nail down.
The satisfaction from these submissions (though the process was daunting) lies in the fact that by stretching ourselves to understand a particular event or practice we are in fact responding to what is essentially the underlying current of the Executive MBA; personal development.
So with one semester down and three to go we can approach our second semester in DCU Business School with a little less fear and perhaps a mild sense of calm!
This post was written by Coman Goggins, a first year Executive MBA participant. To download the MBA brochure, fill in your details below:
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