In my Online course: “Post MBA: How to get the Most out of your MBA Program”, I share some of the most important experiences, highlights, skills, and what happened after the program. This course is not going to be your typical MBA prep course covering the preparation for a GMAT or boring theory of the course. I remember before stepping foot in my first class there were many questions I had that weren’t answered by school brochure or website. This course should help answer if an MBA program is the right fit for you, is it worth it, and if you’re in one how to get the most out of it.
Many people may think about taking an MBA program at one point in their life and I understand why. It takes a lot of time and money to take one. I did mine in 2011 at Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business in Vancouver, Canada. I’ve had some time while in Vancouver to think about this. If given the chance would I take the MBA again and what did I actually learn? Most of you know of me as the Travel Videographer, but how did I get here. Did the MBA inspire me to become an entrepreneur? Read on.
If I just thought about the academic side of things then it would be depressing. Do I really remember what we were talking about the balance sheets in Financial Accounting? I do remember the first time speaking about a Tim Horton’s Business Strategy in front of a class full of MBA classmates and freezing up. I do remember the MBA games event travelling to Toronto and meeting and competing with MBA students from around Canada in different sports. I do remember the golf lessons we did at UBC that eventually led to me taking more golf lessons with friends from the program. These were some of the highlights of the program that I believe were just as important as what was learned in the classroom. The program at SFU was compressed into a 2-year part-time program. Add in a full-time day job as an IT manager and there was a lot that went through my mind during this period.
What are some things I learned from the MBA
Mind Mapping – I started by doing a “mind map”, a useful concept I picked up from a colleague, but not an actual part of the curriculum. When you are doing an MBA program it’s great to keep an open mind to new ideas from your smart colleagues. This is a simple, but effective technique to visualize and map out your thoughts visually. I actually used this to come up with an idea for an Online Course teaching what I learned from the experience of taking the MBA and what I did after.
Group Work – After being an IT manager at on company for 6 years it was easy to let your job role define who you are as a person. I found out quickly that this meant very little in the program when doing group work. We did a lot of group work and I found that there were a lot of dynamics to deal with like egos, personalities, and what members of our team were bringing to the table. Was I the leader? Who was just coming along for the ride? Was I following leadership? What strengths was I bringing to the table? What weaknesses was I bringing to the table? I developed an adaptive style that I actually learned from a leadership coaching course offer by my former company. Basically I had to keep an awareness of the group dynamics and adapt my role according to the benefit of the team. If we needed leadership I would step in this role. If we had strong leadership I would do my part. Sounds cliché, but its true.
Life skills – I like to think I stepped up my business fashion by taking the business fashion course. I got comfortable wearing fitted and custom business suits and shirts that looked better and was actually cheaper than chain stores like Banana Republic and Club Monaco. In Post MBA I actually share where I get my shirts from that you see in my Videos.
Time Management – When you are working a demanding full-time job, doing a part-time MBA, maintaining your health, cooking, and trying to have some sort of social life you need to take your time management to the next level. Every block of time is accounted and there is little time to waste on Netflix sitting on the couch.
Business Knowledge – So was the most popular answer by my classmates for taking the program. Did I gain business knowledge? Yes by end of the program and final paper I soaked in some good high-level business knowledge. I did apply some of what I learned in Operations management in one of my corporate roles. The Entrepreneurial finance class inspired me to take steps to start thinking about creating my own business.
Public Speaking – You’re going to get plenty of opportunities to speak publicly whether you like it or not. You might as well embrace it. At least you’re not up there along. You are doing it with your group. In the course Post MBA I talk about various strategies I did to improve my public speaking. For example, I took programs like Toastmasters to improve my public speaking skills and ability to improvise.
Strengths & Weaknesses – The MBA program will offer opportunities using popular tests from books like Strength finders to determine your personality and strengths. I think going through the program especially post university with some career experience allows you to see what you’re naturally good at and the weak at.
Would I do my MBA again?
In a short answer yes I would. Was it because I got a good job as a business team lead a year after doing my MBA? Was it because of the business knowledge I got out of the program? It was a combination of things. I found my passion for Travel, Video, and Entrepreneurship during the MBA program in a time when I felt a bit stagnant. It was ultimately the program that helped me discover my entrepreneur side and inspiration to take the steps to start and pursue a business. This led to me living abroad in Taiwan to learn Chinese. This led to me starting my online Video business and living in Thailand and traveling throughout Asia. This led to me going through numerous adventures and experiences that I will always have with me. This led to me discovering a laptop lifestyle and community of Internet Entrepreneurs that were doing similar things to me. It led to me to already living a life without regret. Did I need an MBA to go down this path? Technically no. You don’t need an MBA to become an entrepreneur, but I did discover myself as an entrepreneur and took this path as a result of the program.
Click here if you would like to check out some free lessons and the curriculum for my Online Course Post MBA
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