Because you’re worth it… NOW

It is the last week of the first semester and my class are heading into a period filled with the following highlights; a financial accounting exam, finance exam, the start of four new subjects, a Bergfest on Friday evening and the lure of spring break. The smell of freedom, travel and reprieve is a permeable. That being said lets remain true to the nature of the task. Everything that you are warned about prior to enrolling into an MBA; i.e. the distortion of time, rapid rates of learning and unfathomable workloads – it IS all true. In a mere four weeks I have become reasonably comfortable with terminology like ‘credit swaps’ and ‘leveraged asset/debt capital structure.’ Watching videos on the financial crisis’ at 2:00 am and researching the financial statements of household name firms, is what you will do out of interest in your spare time, at 2:00am. The demands of each subject are not diluted by the time frame in which you are required to become an expert in whole subjects. That being said, you will learn; how to learn faster, more collaboratively and under the microscope of time pressure. Module 2 has introduced the newbies (i.e. myself) and refreshed the experts, in our class on the bare bones basics of business finance and it is empowering to have these analytical tools.

So, that was a look into my immediate future, now lets delve into my immediate past. Last week’s highlights included; a glimpse of Berlin’s fabled great summer weather, 2 exams, a Harvard marketing simulation and a full day transitions leadership workshop. We are clear on the workload issue, lets discuss leadership and self development that the MBA package presents. It is easy to get caught up in the grades, even when you promise yourself not to. ESMT is good and managing your lack of commitment to self made promises. Marcel has been gently nudging us toward getting our CV’s manicured. Corporate and faculty mentor meetings are geared toward preventing you from leaving the CV submissions for September. The MBA coaching sessions provide guidance when researching potential future industries. In the year away from the workforce, the MBA gives you a chance to look at the workplace environment as an outsider with insider knowledge. The position demands perspective and self reflection. I have asked myself fundamental questions like “Why do I want a career?” It was a surprisingly challenging question to answer and I found myself more equipped to tackle the question within this removed environment. That being said, you are not wholly segregated from the world of business, lecturer’s ground theory in context, because they are all involved in ongoing current corporate research. I hope I have given you realistic insight into the MBA program at ESMT. Hoping to not sound too sentimental with this last message, I really want to convey the value of the self investment that this program has paid toward my own career and self development.  I encourage you to challenge your comfort zone, and don’t be surprised by the strength of reserves you will muster.