Nevertheless, I still have a lot of take aways from this stage. The pre-MBA stage not only provide a chance to learn about those basic theories in the business subjects, which is essential for people with no business knowledge background at all like me, and most important, a chance to reflect, to scrutinize my personality from my own as well as from the feed back of fellow MBAs that worked together for the past few weeks. It is really a precious chance to know not only how you see yourself, but also how other see you as a team member, or as a person. Well, I have to admit that I have fields to develop as well as fields to keep.
Some of the highlights of the Pre-MBA stage:
1) Launch of NfP (Not for Profit) Project
115 of us are divided into 23groups with 5 to 6 people in a group to work on the consultancy projects in Not-for-Profit Organization. The projects cover wide range of business issues like fund raising, branding and marketing strategy, new service development and launching etc.
Our group consisted of a Brazilian Finance Manager, a Peruvian Innovation Office Director, a Korean Banker, a Indian Healthcare IT Consultant, a Russian Automotive Project Manager, and me, a Malaysian Civil Engineer. Being a group with such a diversity, the meetings were always full of argument
The real challenges are how to define the problems from 6 different perspectives, draw out the best ideas from everyone, and achieve an agreement on what is the best solution. So far, we were quite ineffective in the meeting as it was really difficult to come with a conclusion satisfy all 6 people. Nevertheless, those meeting outcomes are slowly and slowly transforming into something more tangible, which may be our first piece of deliverable in the MBA!
2) Skill for Successful Manager
The so-called soft skill course which cover courses in consultancy skills, presentation skills in this stage and will be followed by subjects in project management and negotiation skills in next stage. There are also 2 psychometric tests (Hogan & SHL) to check the individual personalities. The results really mirror myself, the weakness that I knew it for long but never take initiative to improve it. No more excuse to run away from it. Now is the time to fix it right here, right now!
The seniors told the excursion in Brathay will be the best days in the MBA. Can't judge yet as I was only went through the first month in the MBA. But the memory in Brathay is definitely unforgettable. At the famous Lake District, beautiful landscape, blessed with the sunny sky at the last day (raining the other 3 days!), challenging outdoor activities, reflective group feedback, interesting and funny group performance, really a perfect temporary run-away from the stressful MBA study. Here we built our rapport, our team work and our self-confident!
4) Career Management Service
MBS really put a lot of effort in the career management. It might due to majority of the students are here to seek a career change. Career related workshops are held regularly just like the other core course in the MBA. So far, we have the CV workshop, business etiquette workshop, alumni panels, career safari, guest speaker series. More and more on-campus company presentation will be held in the near future.
5) Time Management
Not a subject in the pre-MBA, but really a essential skill to survive in the MBA. All courses have projects or assignments, case studies as well as pre-reading for each class. And it is just impossible to do everything perfectly. Think of your MBA objective, set the priority, and allocate the time efficiently, you may miss some of the works, but you won't miss your big objective...this is what being told...
Talk is always easier than do. In fact, I am still wondering how the hell to go thru this 18 months...