Valuable Skills You Can Learn in an MBA Programme: Personal Managerial Experience

How does pursuing an EMBA programme help you undergo a personal shift in addition to learning new business management skills?


Valuable Skills You Can Learn in an MBA Programme: Personal Managerial Experience
How does pursuing an EMBA programme help you undergo a personal shift in addition to learning new business management skills?
I completed the Executive MBA: Strategic and Corporate Management professional retraining programme at the Moscow International Higher Business School MIRBIS (Institute) in 2020. My supervisor advised me to choose MIRBIS.

When I entered the EMBA programme, I thought I could beat it easily as I had previously interned in the United States at the Lucas Graduate School of Business as well as in Silicon Valley. Later, I saw that undergoing all management modules (economics, management, finance, marketing, anti-crisis management, etc.), making three practical projects for business development, and earning a diploma would be a challenge. It took me about 5 months of day-to-day work from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. just to complete my thesis.

I've also reached new professional milestones because of the excellent teachers. The new knowledge system has changed the balance in key areas of my life. My family's quality of life has also improved.

In reflecting on my journey, I have formulated a few important lessons that I have learned during my time at the business school.

1. Strategic thinking is not only applicable to business

The ability to think systematically and strategically, to understand the way things and situations relate to each other, and to weigh up several options or solutions in your mind helps you solve any problem. The ability to dig deep into competitive analysis, learn about emerging industries, and stay abreast of all the latest developments, technologies, and trends in an industry of interest is honed.


This approach is applicable not only in business but also in life. I have rethought my personal goals, strengths, and growth points. In addition, I have formed a personal strategy with a frame of reference that covers several important areas of my life. Even during the study, we started setting yearly personal goals. It is now a habit: every year in January, I set goals for several areas of my life and achieve them throughout the year.

1. Strategic thinking is not only applicable to business

The ability to think systematically and strategically, to understand the way things and situations relate to each other, and to weigh up several options or solutions in your mind helps you solve any problem. The ability to dig deep into competitive analysis, learn about emerging industries, and stay abreast of all the latest developments, technologies, and trends in an industry of interest is honed.


This approach is applicable not only in business but also in life. I have rethought my personal goals, strengths, and growth points. In addition, I have formed a personal strategy with a frame of reference that covers several important areas of my life. Even during the study, we started setting yearly personal goals. It is now a habit: every year in January, I set goals for several areas of my life and achieve them throughout the year.

For example, last year I decided to devote more time to a “style” area. I set a goal at the beginning of the year to take a basic style course. By the end of the year, the task had been completed: I had defended the final project, mastered the styling, and received a certificate. This knowledge enabled me to create my own personal style map, in view of the personal characteristics and lifestyle. I am now applying a strategic approach to making up a wardrobe, not just for myself but for the whole family. Neither husband nor daughter has any question of “what should I wear today?” — they both have their own seasonal “capsule.”

Three years ago I chose painting as my “hobby” area, and once a week I dedicate 2.5 hours to a lesson in an art workshop. Painting allows me to better understand my daughter and come up with new approaches for her. She's in art school, and she's going through her teenage years.

2. You can pump up innovativeness and creativity

To get to another quality level of problem solving, it is often necessary to put a different perspective on a situation. Both skills are important to develop, as business problems require inventive solutions. Creativity is crucial for generating unique ideas, though they may not always be useful. In turn, innovative solutions cannot exist without a creative component.

For example, this approach helped me when I got my first managerial position. Moving to the next level and launching new projects from scratch, in addition to professional expertise, requires a manager to have a fresh look on development beyond the job description. The ability to see, select, and adapt trends and new or existing business approaches from other industries to suit our segments and target audiences has helped our team reach out to develop effective and innovative solutions for clients.

My ability to think outside the box, the experience I have gained, and the implementation of creative solutions have let me participate in business development. As a result, we have revitalised another business area and launched two new products from scratch. At the same time, my supervisors suggested that I take an Executive MBA programme to systematise my knowledge. Each of them already had such a degree.

Creative problem-solving requires adaptability but does not always require significant adjustments to the current business model. The belief that there is only one way to interpret a situation or challenge is a major impediment to business growth.

3. New acquaintances bring new opportunities

While studying at business school, I met some great people: teachers, fellow students, and alumni of the programme, who expanded my network of contacts. I have made friends in 12 countries around the world, and they work in completely different industries.

We don't know when and where we will meet again, but we stay in touch and can always seek advice, exchange experiences, or get an initial consultation on an issue of concern. Whenever I have such a need, I go straight to our group chat.


3. New acquaintances bring new opportunities

While studying at business school, I met some great people: teachers, fellow students, and alumni of the programme, who expanded my network of contacts. I have made friends in 12 countries around the world, and they work in completely different industries.


We don't know when and where we will meet again, but we stay in touch and can always seek advice, exchange experiences, or get an initial consultation on an issue of concern. Whenever I have such a need, I go straight to our group chat.

4. It is OK to ask for help

There are people who are always willing to support you whenever you are in need. I now know that help comes in different forms, such as support, advice, a new challenge, or a prompt. I am grateful to my family and loved ones, the wonderful teachers, and my classmates for this knowledge.

It is important to ask the right questions at the right time. There are times when you are getting ready to take the next step; you have already formed several hypotheses, but you don't know where to start. In such situations, an opinion or piece of advice from friends can be helpful. Their professional and life experiences, as well as their outlook, form the missing pieces of the puzzle. Or there is a goal, but I can't figure out how to achieve it; then I ask for advice from an expert on the subject.

At the beginning of this year, I couldn't decide how best to track my progress in English. After reading advice from linguists and those who have already learned English, I decided that I would like to prove my knowledge of the language with an international certificate. Then I consulted the director of the language school where I study.

As a result, we chose the Cambridge International Examination B2 First (FCE), which corresponds to the B2/Upper Intermediate level. The certificate has no expiration date; thus, I won't need to renew it in a few years, and it fits my purpose perfectly. There is no need to be concerned because our need may be relevant to someone else at the same time.

5. New knowledge
and skills boost confidence


The inner transformation is slow; I started to notice the first changes three months after the training started. The skills, methods, techniques, and tools I now possess give me confidence in the future.


To increase confidence, I highlight soft skills such as critical thinking, being able to control one's feelings or limit the influence of other opinions when thinking about a subject, problem, or idea. Critical thinking applies not only to business but also to ordinary life. The process involves steps such as identifying the problem or idea, drawing conclusions about the reason the problem exists, gathering information and data through research, making decisions based on the information, and implementing the solution. I started with the simplest method, the Six Thinking Hats.


Time management, both personal and corporate, helps me allocate time for targeted actions. For example, when I was writing my thesis, I used the popular Pomodoro technique. The idea is that the 30-minute period is divided into 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest. The effect was inevitable: I made it and defended my graduation thesis.

5. New knowledge and skills boost confidence


The inner transformation is slow; I started to notice the first changes three months after the training started. The skills, methods, techniques, and tools I now possess give me confidence in the future.


To increase confidence, I highlight soft skills such as critical thinking, being able to control one's feelings or limit the influence of other opinions when thinking about a subject, problem, or idea. Critical thinking applies not only to business but also to ordinary life. The process involves steps such as identifying the problem or idea, drawing conclusions about the reason the problem exists, gathering information and data through research, making decisions based on the information, and implementing the solution. I started with the simplest method, the Six Thinking Hats.


Time management, both personal and corporate, helps me allocate time for targeted actions. For example, when I was writing my thesis, I used the popular Pomodoro technique. The idea is that the 30-minute period is divided into 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest. The effect was inevitable: I made it and defended my graduation thesis.

6. Work-life balance is achievable

I used to think that the more time you devote to work, the better. For now, I try to measure my effectiveness through action and results rather than process. After finishing our studies, we became more daring in incorporating new emotions, trips, and activities into family vacations. Also, there is more time for a new hobby.
7. Healthy curiosity boosts opportunities


After completing the training, I noticed that I became more curious in a good way. There is always something new to learn, as well as ways to motivate myself or simply understand topics that used to seem difficult and distant to me. An EMBA introduces a resourceful state, activating the concept of “Long life learning.” New opportunities arise at the intersection of several areas, and we can learn new skills. For me, it's a quick purchase of experience and the ability to take targeted actions to achieve the results I want.

7. Healthy curiosity boosts opportunities


After completing the training, I noticed that I became more curious in a good way. There is always something new to learn, as well as ways to motivate myself or simply understand topics that used to seem difficult and distant to me. An EMBA introduces a resourceful state, activating the concept of “Long life learning.” New opportunities arise at the intersection of several areas, and we can learn new skills. For me, it's a quick purchase of experience and the ability to take targeted actions to achieve the results I want.

8. Celebrate your small wins


Somewhere in the middle of my training, I realised that it was important to notice not only the big achievements but also the small ones. They create an atmosphere of victory and add inspiration and strength for the next steps. As Democritus said, “A life without festival is a long road without an inn.”
Summary

The main conclusion for me was the idea that there is no single right answer to the problem. There is no black and white; there are shades of grey, tones, and undertones. It is critical to find the best solution to a problem using the information and facts available at the time and to recognise that the path forward chosen may differ from that of others. However, this does not mean that it is wrong!

Studying is great. You can feel like a student again, rushing to lectures, drinking lots of coffee, and studying for exams. As Leo Tolstoy said, “What is important is not the quantity of your knowledge but its quality.” During this journey, you learn a lot of useful things not only for business but also for your life!

Link to Executive.ru article

And then, do not forget to subscribe to my Telegram channel, in order not to miss the latest article in the month to come.
Summary

The main conclusion for me was the idea that there is no single right answer to the problem. There is no black and white; there are shades of grey, tones, and undertones. It is critical to find the best solution to a problem using the information and facts available at the time and to recognise that the path forward chosen may differ from that of others. However, this does not mean that it is wrong!

Studying is great. You can feel like a student again, rushing to lectures, drinking lots of coffee, and studying for exams. As Leo Tolstoy said, “What is important is not the quantity of your knowledge but its quality.” During this journey, you learn a lot of useful things not only for business but also for your life!

Link to Executive.ru article


And then, do not forget to subscribe to my Telegram channel, in order not to miss the latest article in the month to come.
Hello, my friends!

The launch of this blog was inspired by my professional love for brands, innovative solutions that harmoniously combine brand, audience, content and creativity altogether.

Together we will find out about trends in brand communications and advertising.
As a professional I have already helped hundreds of local and international brands working with content and implementing their communication strategy in different media.

Best wishes,
Julia

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