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The MBA was challenging but in ways I hadn’t fully anticipated. Our very reasoning was questioned!
When I decided to do the UCC Executive MBA, my daughter was just 2 years old, and while I had a very busy and interesting job, as well as a number of voluntary commitments, I was ready to challenge myself. I wanted to do something that would help me to add more value to the organisations that I worked with in the start-up sector and to help our own organisation to exceed our goals – I personally wanted to grow – I had felt for a while that reading, going to or watching talks online, and doing general academic programmes wasn’t enough anymore.
The MBA was challenging but in ways I hadn’t fully anticipated. Our very reasoning was questioned! How we make decisions, judgements and how we understand, support and lead others.
The MBA initially forced me to step back and look at the big picture (you might think you do this already but you really don’t) but now that is my natural state of mind.
It helped me to develop core leadership and decision-making skills that I will continue to develop for the rest of my life.
The group dynamic in project work, assignment and class discussion was another source of great learning.
When I started the MBA journey I anticipated being taught material to help me develop as a professional, this I certainly got and a lot more. There were also the unexpected learnings and self-discovery I got from fully immersing myself in the material, class discussions and assignments. The teaching staff were hugely helpful, inspiring and knowledgeable in their chosen fields. The program over the 2 years covered operational and strategic topics from Finance, Economics, Human Resource, Marketing, Politics, Program/Project Management and many others but were delivered from a different angle which gave great depth to my understanding.
The UCC Executive MBA came at the right time personally, having enough experience to be able to link theory with practice and also test the theory in a classroom and open forum. My MBA family/fellow students came from diverse backgrounds and different industries, everyone with similar purpose and goals. This allowed for a safe understanding environment that is so unique to the MBA experience. These contacts and relationships remain strong to this day and we often lean on another for professional help and advice.
The Annual Study Visits came at a specific time in the MBA learning experience that allowed us to put theory into practice, observe the learnings and test ourselves as group consultants to real industries. The group dynamic in project work, assignment and class discussion was another surprising source of great learning. The journey overall was personally and professionally, the best decision I have made for self-development. The only downside is that it had to finish.
A new network of people, disciplines and experiences.
The UCC Executive MBA programme provided me the opportunity to gain the business, operations and strategy skills to bridge my technical background and position me for a move away from technical focussed roles into more general management roles.
Over the four semesters the programme teaches an integrative approach to the overlapping core functional elements of Management (Strategy, Finance, Economics, Marketing, Law, etc) and the more personal aspect of Leadership.
This integrative approach challenges you to consider how all functions of a business are intertwined and how each must be considered and balanced.
The programme also invests significant time in balancing personal leadership development and the human dynamics of leading in the modern organisation – an area that challenges your assumptions about both.
The UCC MBA affords a unique and challenging space to add these new skills but also so much more.
The 2 year programme immerses you in a new network of people, disciplines and experiences which broadens your view of the business world and your place in it.
The nature of the Executive MBA programme ensures there is a rich diversity of classmate experience that compliments the frameworks covered in the academic modules.
It met the acid test of cracking the Glass Ceiling.
The UCC Executive MBA gave me the skills and knowledge to take my career to the next level.
The coursework in strategic planning and finance in particular provided strong programme foundations, while modules in corporate governance, marketing, economics, and HR provided helpful underpinnings.
The sequencing of the curricula gave participants the opportunity to link theory with practice for deeper learning, and the annual study trips provided an authentic assessment of our ability to work as a diverse team of consultants on a range of business issues in an international context.
There was an enormous amount of effort put into programme coordination and on-going evaluation by Joan and Senan to ensure the best fit for all participants.
Additional inputs to the programme included on-going coaching and a number of other leadership related workshops to assist those of us who were in the process or planning to transition in roles.
The January start date and the weekly lecture delivery were also key for me in terms of selecting this programme over others.
UCC offers unique connections outside of Dublin, and a personalised approach to programme delivery.
The diverse range of students ensured a critical approach to ideas generation in a safe and supportive environment; there was a good mix of gender, sectors, and international students which was another important factor for me in terms of breadth of experience and outlook.
I really enjoyed the two year UCC Executive MBA and would highly recommend it.
It met the acid test of cracking the glass ceiling as within a month of finishing I had been offered a CEO post.
As a further testament to the programme, the majority of our class continues to meet regularly for a variety of purposes including on-going CPD, and I suspect many will remain lifelong friends.
World class knowledge of their specialist subject.
Setting out on the MBA journey was not a decision I made lightly. I did a careful analysis of the commitment required to embrace the journey, professionally and personally.
When I signed up for the MBA, I was expecting that I would just be given templates to work with and that the classes would utilize rote learning methods v’s critical thinking methods. I was greatly mistaken.
The journey that I and my class mates took at UCC combined personal and professional development.
The course interweaved thought experiments that enables you to look at situations from multiple perspectives and with growing independent thought which is essential for progress and performance improvement.
During the 2 years I felt the classes’ capacity for Critical thinking grow and ideas and strategies became much more thought out and reasoned, leading to some exciting co-created ideas.
All the lecturers were of high integrity and possessed a world class knowledge of their specialist subject. The course supervisors very open and supportive, with excellent facilities for team and individual assignments.
Once I made the commitment, the 2 years’ journey to attain an MBA became one of the most rewarding experiences I ever had personally and professionally.
Making successful strategic decisions is the measure of a leader.
The UCC Executive MBA is an outstanding program with a unique ability to get the most from each individual who has completed the degree.
Making successful strategic decisions is the measure of a leader and I can only do this effectively if these decisions are based on quantitative data which is analysed through informed learning.
The UCC Executive MBA has given me huge confidence in relation to completing a full external and internal analysis of my own business.
The MBA journey is a manifestation of my development as a business leader and it has given me the ability to research, analyse and confidently critique my business offering and business structure.I can now move forward, looking at different strategic options to positively enhance the competitive advantage of my company.
It broadened my outlook of the business world.
Key functional elements of any MBA course include finance, economics, strategy and marketing. The UCC Executive MBA programme successfully interweaves personal development through the functional elements. This enhances the programme benefits as you increase self-awareness, as well as business and leadership awareness.
The semester structure of the UCC Executive MBA enables you to apply and develop deeper understandings of the programme content in your workplace during and between semesters. This allows professional development to continue in parallel with your career development.
For me, the opportunity to work closely with classmates from several industries was invaluable. It broadened my outlook of the business world, not to mention establishing strong friendships.
I have found the value of the MBA programme lives on much longer than the two years at UCC. I better understand where my business environment is going, how I can influence it and how I can continue to develop.
The UCC Centre for Executive Education, 1 Lapp's Quay, Cork