Before going to UCD Smurfit Business School to pursue an MBA degree, I have heard a concern that if a person might be able to accumulate MBA knowledge by taking a few business classes, reading journals and business books on their own and interacting with experienced people, etc. Does it worth rather than getting the qualification from an accredited MBA program in terms of knowledge and ROI (Return on Investment)?
For six months here, I realize that what the MBA program taught me was not only business knowledge but chances for self-actualization, especially when I interacted with others. Thus, for the concern above, I would say that taking part in a well-designed program is worth value compared to other alternatives. Through a variety of personality tests and career coaching sessions, I had opportunities to understand what type of person I am, how I could improve myself and what kind of sector I should follow to. For instance, the game about 4 types of animals, including peacock, dolphin, owl and panther together with the psychometric test called SDI drew me an overview and well explanation about people’s characteristics. The Myers Briggs test (MBTI) gave me the concept of personality and cognitive styles through 16 categories. Although I did this test several years ago, only when I entered the MBA program, did join some teamwork activities, could I be fully aware of my mind, my thought and my weaknesses which I might never know if I were not here.
Beyond academic and business knowledge, as an international student from an Asian country, I have chance to jump out of my comfort zone to discover new things, including different styles of thinking of my classmates and the diversity from different cultures. For example, I was all the time confused about Muslim women when I see they always cover their faces and their bodies until the day I had chance to work with my intelligent and creative Muslim classmate from Malaysia. Gradually, I realize the hidden charm behind her hijab. In addition, my thought that all Muslim women are faint and frightened was gone when she invited me to an interesting party of Muslim people. I was impressed that every woman there was confident and warmhearted. That was the moment I realized the inner beauty of their religion and their souls although they are covered by the hijab.
Waiting for the International trip to Brazil and preparing for the 5 month left of the program, I hope that I can experience more interesting and new things. “Happiness is a journey, not a destination”. To me, an MBA is a kick-off for my future plan and my lifelong learning journey.
– Hue Pham, FT MBA 12/13