A lot done, more to do. No, I am not resurrecting a Fianna Fail tag line, I am summing up my first 6 weeks of the EMBA. It’s hard to believe that only a few months ago I was flicking through the glossy course prospectus. Smiling faces and glowing testimonials expounded the virtues of the qualification. But was this course for me? Trundling along on a train to Cork one Saturday morning, I decided to complete my application. Buzzwords such as “challenge”, “opportunity” and “diversity” peppered the final version. These words have now come back to haunt me.
Induction week is a distant memory at this stage. Perhaps that is due to those memories having been pushed to the back by a plethora of readings on motivating teams, Honda and the motorcycle industry and the innovative IDEO design process. Hard to believe but I already managed to incorporate some of this new knowledge into my day job. I am not sure who was more surprised, the client or me, when I was able to discuss with him the challenges faced by the motorcycle industry AND it sounded as if I actually knew what I was talking about!
In looking for inspiration for this blog, I read the contributions of some of my classmates. Like Ruth, I have developed a greater appreciation for time. Balancing work commitments, a personal life (?), class attendance and course work can be challenging. A spare 5 minutes has become a precious commodity. 5 minutes is an opportunity to read a few more lines of an article. 5 minutes is an opportunity to send an email to a client. Over the last 6 weeks I have learnt a secret. Do you want to hear it? Ok, but keep it to yourself and whatever you do, DO NOT tell the opposite of the specie….here it is…..men can multitask!
Don’t get me wrong; the course has not been all work and no play. Our local public house, The Dark Horse, welcomes weary first and second year EMBA students on a Thursday night. Marking the end of another week of lectures, it offers students a forum to chat, unwind and network (it’s all about the networking!). But more importantly for us first years, it gives us an opportunity to grill the second years for tips and tricks on surviving the year.
Looking at my color-coded calendar, red (warning!) is a prevalent color for the coming weeks. We have just completed a project on financial accounting and are due to give a group presentation this week. Projects on organizational behavior and strategy will also be worked on in the coming days. For a third party looking in, the workload may appear daunting. For those of us on the inside, the workload is heavy but manageable. It is only manageable by virtue of a supportive employer and collaborative classmates. A lot done, more to do? Absolutely. The next number of weeks will be challengeable, but if they are as interesting as the last 6, it will be manageable.
EMBA Midweek year 1