Commencement is Just That

Final assignment in Leadership for the EMBA program asks us to be prepared with a 4 minute thoughtful summary of our answers to some questions.

First, the questions:

1. What did you intend to learn in the process of earning your MBA?

2. Did you learn it?

3. If so, how did you learn it (be specific)?

4. If not, why not? What might you have done differently?

5. What do you want or need to learn going forward? Why?

6. How do you intend to learn it?

7. What did you learn about leadership and how did you learn it?

8. What do you intend to learn about leadership after you earn your MBA?

My response:

When I enrolled and began class, what I was looking for was a different way of seeing things. I wanted an acquaintance with business and finance terms and how to use/apply some of those concepts. I wanted to view the world more critically with understanding.

I did achieve this and in many ways. Class assignments, readings, and discussions were a main part, obviously. Study group interaction, whether discussing a leadership topic, solving a finance case, or constructing a method to solve a Decision Analysis problem, is where I learned a lot. And general discussion with my classmates has been a great source. My work life is completely virtual, working from my home with people all over the US and on other continents. I wanted the in-person interaction of being on campus every week and it has been a great benefit.

There are a few areas where I did not learn as much as I planned. I struggled in Finance as homework demanded that I apply specific and complex formulas while trying to still see the bigger picture, to be a manager, not just a clerk. I found the topics of Decision Analysis very fascinating and the systems were great to learn but the more abstract theories were harder to pull out of the lessons.

I am a constant learner, but I don’t have specific topics or areas planned, yet. I’ve learned that management and the current work I am doing at my job is much more about the specific systems at the company, not broad based leadership or strategy skills. However, there is always room to learn and apply more in negotiation, conflict management, and empowerment, as well as creative writing around performance review time.

In addition to classes through work and books, I will be working on and attending our own monthly meetings to discuss business, leadership, and social topics. I also will use my new connections from this program to get involved in the community.

I learned a lot about leadership and about myself. The coaching was of great value and I can now see where it would be of benefit to me long-term. The biggest thing I have gotten is the chance to redefine how I see conflict so that I can change how I handle it. That is a big work in progress that will continue beyond this program.

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