Why did we choose to pursue an MBA degree? This choice was a big life-long decision for each of the students in my cohort. The answers can vary widely, such as for career switch, salary growth and promotion, and personal life goal. We all want to take this path to enter a world of opportunities that allow us to leverage our experiences to excel in our careers and achieve our goals. However, we will have to overcome challenges we never knew would come our way on this path. Being mid-way through my MBA journey, I have a list of challenges you might encounter during your studies and tips on overcoming them.
Being Open to Learning New Things
Our cohort for the full-time MBA as an example, students have a large variety of work experiences and educational background, and we usually have at least three years of work experience, and some students have well-established careers before starting the program. Coming from a world where you are familiar with to one that you have to learn from others, can be challenging. But, you need to be aware that, getting used to only one world creates more opportunities of having “one single story” that creates stereotypes and the inability to look for the big picture. Therefore, before you start your MBA journey, ensure that you have an open mind for new things.
Working in a Team
The program emphasizes teamwork, as it is a key part of managing people, which is what being a future leader is all about. Moreover, as participants come from a wide variety of backgrounds, complementing each other’s skills is crucial for success. Therefore, be prepared to bring your own individual outlook and skills to the team, whether from a traditional business background or not.
Socializing and Networking.
These are key to MBA success and almost as important as teamwork. We understand that we are here to learn and improve as a cohort, rather than competing. We also understand that a strong team involves every participant’s skill and expertise being pooled together. Thus, the idea of socializing and networking is an essential part of your student life which you should not miss, the reasons being first, people from different backgrounds will help bring you a different perspective of viewing things. Second, developing networking skills is crucial for improving your professional network and boosting your career.
This is a full-time MBA program; the journey can be difficult, and the workload can sometimes be heavy. Multiple team projects and individual assignments due on similar days will make you busy that you may hardly have enough time for everything you want to do. In addition, you will also have to participate in co-curricular activities, such as case competitions and other student events. However, this doesn’t happen all the time, as the majority of our weekends for the courses we have had so far have allowed us to have free time if we manage our time well. In the meantime, you should be prepared to develop good time management skills for coping with these challenges.
About the Author
Vico is a full-time MBA candidate at SFU Beedie. He worked at KPMG as an auditor in the financial service sector. He tries to live in accordance with his personal values in everything he does, everything he says, and everything that he is each day. He demonstrates his values in his interactions with family, friends, classmates, colleagues, and clients.