Today, Monday July 28th, sees the full-time MBA class submit their Capstone Project – the final assignment to be submitted as part of the MBA programme. I have had countless conversations with participants over the past number of days who can’t believe how quickly their time on the MBA has passed. Today marks the end of the programme for the participants and it is time for them to disperse in different national and international directions. Before they did head off we took the opportunity to have a farewell coffee morning this morning to reflect on the year and to look forward to the future. It has been a pleasure to work with this class as their Programme Manager and I am very excited to see what opportunities await for this talented group of individuals! We look forward to seeing the class again at their graduation in December.
There is an element of the MBA experience that gets lost in the noise of commentary on hours, deadlines, hand ins and team meetings. The full time MBA gives you back some time in your life to think. To think about what you want to do, to think about what you have done and to think about what makes you tick. Any perspective student should know the amount of hours required on the MBA programme is a often overhyped. MBA graduates you will meet remember the pinch situations where they had to work until the wee small hours of the morning for three nights in a row, or they remember a chronic three week period in semester 1 where they had 5 projects hanging over them. But the reality of the situation is that this is the exception rather than the rule. There is a steady flow of work that (if you keep on top of) is eminently manageable. The MBA experience gives you more time out then your current career. It is NOT like having a fulltime job and there IS an element of reliving that college experience where you used to have time to think, chat and pursue some new interests and side projects.
As an entrepreneur I find this time invaluable. In the “real world” It’s hard to get time to think about new business ideas and exciting innovations. In the MBA bubble you can find that time again and more importantly, when you do find that time you are far better equipped to turn day dreams into realities should you choose to do so. You start refining your ideas from the minute they pop into your head, what are the barriers to entry? Is it an attractive Industry structure? What is the value proposition? How easily would this be imitated? Do you have access to resources required? It also helps that you now have 35 new people in your life that you can bounce ideas off and develop some thoughts you have had on your career, or a business idea or even a further course of study after the MBA (God forbid!).
So don’t let talk of “surviving the MBA”, the “divorce course” and “say goodbye to your family for a year” influence your decision complete an MBA. It is challenging but doable, and if you are at a bit of a crossroads in life, the programme will give you the time and resources to figure out the grand plan for you. That plan will change daily by the way but at least you will be thinking about it….
The Mwangi scholarship which is being offered for the first time this year has been named as a mark of solidarity with the people of Kenya, and in memory of Mbugua Mwangi and his fiancée Rosemary Wahito who were tragically killed in the Westgate attack in Nairobi in September 2013. Mbugua Mwangi was the only son of Ireland’s former Ambassador of Kenya, Ms Catherine Mwangi. The Scholarship is in conjunction with the Irish Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs.
This scholarship is a great opportunity for female African citizens from Kenya, Uganda or Tanzania to apply for a full scholarship and stipend for the UCD Smurfit MBA for the upcoming academic year 2014-15. The closing date is April 15th and further details and application procedure and eligibility criteria are available at http://www.smurfitschool.ie/scholarships/mwangimbascholarship/.
We particularly encourage applications from public sector, ethnic minorities, people with disability and other marginalised groups. In exceptional cases, work experience may compensate for academic experience. This scholarship is intended to support candidates who would otherwise be unable to access overseas postgraduate opportunities.
If you are interested and eligible we encourage an application and if you aren’t but know anyone who is please let them know this opportunity is out there waiting to be won.