We’ve finally graduated! Graduation was a surreal mixture of feelings. The delight of seeing all the class again, pride in myself and my classmates for achieving so much and most of all gratefulness for all the support I had throughout the past two and a half years. I wouldn’t be graduating were it not for my amazing friends and family who tolerated the crazy over the last two and a half years.
Starting in August 2016, I could never have foreseen the amount of work and commitment that I had signed myself up to – or more realistically that I had signed my family up to. I waved goodbye to my then 8-month-old and rocked up to Foundation Week. I was more than a little anxious and, as a new mum, I felt slightly vulnerable. I remember practising what to say about my current situation ‘I’m not currently working, I’m still on maternity leave’ and worrying that there would be an internal groan from classmates if they found out I was on their team. It seems ridiculous looking back because I couldn’t have asked for a sounder group of classmates and many of us were in the same boat. At last count, we had 12 MBA babies join the ranks from our weekend class alone.
‘Motherhood’ was never an issue. Even when I added to the family during the break between year 1 and year 2, and showed up to class looking and feeling like a reject extra of the Walking Dead, I never felt like a burden. The truth is everyone in the Executive Class is busy, really busy. Work, business travel, kids, starting a business, moving jobs, moving house, getting married – everyone was trying to balance the competing demands of work, family and study. Instead of feeling like an inconvenience, I felt my crazy schedule was right at home. It was refreshing.
It has been a transformative few years for me, becoming a mum of two while doing an MBA has been really tough at times but overall it has been incredibly worthwhile. I cherished the time I had with my kids as they began to sit, crawl and toddle through life. I equally treasured the time away from my little monsters where I could drink tea while still hot and converse regularly with adults.
The MBA allowed me the space to review my career goals and to ensure I was on the right path. It has given me the leadership skills and confidence to meet new challenges head on. Most importantly it has provided a renewed gratefulness for my existing friends and family and a whole bunch of new friends too.
I look back at our time with great fondness and I look forward to what the future holds for me and my classmates.
Elaine Broderick, EMBA 2016/2018