The three coveted letters that require an insane amount of work. BUT, leave you wanting more…Going for my MBA has been wonderful. I love learning… and for the first time since entering the working world, I’m left with the answers I’ve always looked to my managers to just “know”.

For years I’ve been learning about profitability, implementing lucrative business changes, infrastructure and heirarchy, IT management, measuring results, etc. within the firms I worked with. But only now am I beginning to develop the confidence to make “gut decisions” based on intuition rather than “knowledge and support”. I’m learning that this is a critical difference between being a leader and a manager. Leaders must be willing to make difficult (and sometimes deadly) decisions quickly despite lack of complete information. Good leaders will call-in individuals who are perceived to be experts and rather than leaving them to make the decision on what’s best — they will sort through the information gathered and make a definitive choice. Getting an MBA is like going back to college to fill your leadership toolkit.

So what tools am I honing? I began a two week orientation on Sept. 11. During those two weeks I learned about my classmates and their cultures (somewhere between 20 & 30 countries are represented on our roster of 65 students). Like most orientations, our time was spent in team-building activities. Fun, fun.

After orientation, we moved into our first “Block” of classes. A four week block during which we’ve studied Quantitative Methods (now, I can help clients to more completely understand the RESULTS of their marketing campaigns), Accounting (analysis of the financial statements in order to understand a company’s strengths and discover their dirty laundry), and Information Management (an overview of modern technology and how best to implement and use it within your company). This week is our last week in Block I. Next week will mark the start of integration week… a week of endless presentations and on the spot assignments to test of our knowledge of the topics covered.

Then, careers week. Interview coaching, CV writing, presentation skills, networking skills, how to stand out among the thousands… that’s the focus of careers week.

Then, on to Block II. Finance, Marketing (yay!) and Economics. A block of four weeks of classes we’ll then have another integration week and, finally, a week of exams for Block I & II. And a bit of a break around the holidays.

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