It’s been more than three months since I arrived in Dublin to pursue my MBA at Smurfit. The year at the business school is supposed to be nothing short of transformational, as countless others have testified before. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t take a year – I can already tell you that I have transformed holistically from the person I was three months back.
The MBA is a degree in business leadership. It has two important points of growth – educational (the theoretical aspects of business) and personal (the daily aspect of leadership). For me, that meant a solid grounding in core finance and accounting aspects that I was particularly uncomfortable with and an understanding of the practicalities surrounding marketing and strategy. Perhaps more importantly, it also meant a good hard look at myself and understanding how my particular personality can shine through and become a better leader. Smurfit provides a lot of tools and resources to help us look at ourselves and illustrates how we can become phenomenal leaders while keeping most of our personalities intact. Largely this is down to the LDP programme, the diversity of the cohort and the excellent strategy of putting students in diverse study groups.
During this “transformation”, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that you need to have fun. Our intake embody the spirit of work hard, party harder (perhaps this is obvious seeing that the course is in Dublin). The MBA is an intense course, and you would soon be running on reserves if you do not let loose regularly. In addition, a lot of the learnings and “team-building activities” happen with friends at the pubs.
I knew that the MBA was going to be a transformational journey, but I am pleasantly surprised daily at the changes I have undergone. Few of the takeaways until date – a better understanding of myself, higher confidence, better presentation skills and a healthier lifestyle. And you know what? There are still nine more months to go!
Saket Jain, FTMBA 2018/2019