The MBA is a verb… Yeah you heard right. That’s a thing I want promoted. The phrase ‘MBA is a verb’ needs to enter the common lingo- just like ‘that’s so hollywood’, or ‘that’s so raven’ Don’t ask me how I know about that’s so raven- I will have to make up a lie and I really don’t want to lie to you dear reader. Anyway, like I was saying- I want that phrase to enger common jargon. I’m paving the way for my book of the same name.
I just finished my Master of Business Administration degree. I learnt how business works. I tell ya, I can out business administrate any one of you fine gentlemen and women out there. And just to make you feel like you are in safe hands I will also throw some fancy business terminology like- value, industry barriers… credit crunch, collaboration, authentic leadership… culture of the organization… and the big one… ‘Strategy’
How comfortable are you feeling now?
I started the course back in August 2011 and it has been an epic journey. I believe if you know what you want from life, you do a specialized masters like an MSc in Science or robotics or philosophy. No, just kidding- the guys who study philosophy are just in there to have a good time. And liberal arts? Really? But if you are someone like me who wants to learn new skills but doesn’t know where he wants to end up later… the entry point into a generalized business management program makes an awful lot of sense. So yes, I learnt the fundamentals of marketing, strategy, finance and erm… economics (I swear I remember a bit of it)- but the true purpose of the MBA was to give me a just that… a purpose! I have that now. I can tell you it feels good.
Well that’s all well and good you say, but why is the MBA a verb? Well I’m glad you asked. The answer is… because MBA graduates belong to this crowd of people who speak a slightly different language, do things differently and are best understood by fellow MBA’s. I learnt this when I audited the ‘Leadership for social impact’ class last year in April. I was talking to these 2 hippies / (social entrepreneur’s?) No I don’t mean to be disrespectful, these fine ladies were taking a social impact certificate and worked at the university. But they had vague ideas of what social impact meant. Our lecturer had asked us to discuss the topic in groups and they went on and on about saving the world from climate change and poverty. When I said, ‘Well, let’s be realistic, it’s all fine to think that social impact is going to Africa and making the world a better place. But a lot of us are never really going to do that. But we can achieve small wins in the work place however. A recycling program at work, lobbying with someone in the govt. to ensure barriers to entry for some industry are lowered so even the small guy can compete with the giants- its not stuff that will make the cover of National Geographic, but it will make an impact’… So I said all this, and they just looked at me. These 35-something well educated, affluent yet hippie Melbournites then said something that sparked the idea in my brain, resulted in a 35,000 word draft, a lot of conversations and this blog post. They said… ‘You are an MBA aren’t you?’
The fault was mine of course, I said lower industry barriers… I think that did it. But the real takeaway for me was that while my argument was well constructed and well-reasoned and a fellow MBA would have nodded and said- ya that sounds about right… Others might not think so. We need to be less jargon heavy…. We learn through case studies, learn how to de-construct complex systems at work… not predict but analyse how products, services or even people may respond to a development. I don’t want to say it… oh okay I do! ‘We become smarter, efficient workers!!’ Yay pat myself on the back.
But I digress… now that my MBA is over- I know what I want and that is it. Yes, there will be a book. My fellow class mates may or may not feature in it!! I met some of the best people I know during this program- learnt the true meaning of friendship. While I didn’t fight a war or suture cadavers with these people- we had our own battles, heated arguments and a rigorous schedule. I would take a bullet for these guys. I mean, maybe not in a spot that would be critical… maybe a leg or something. I am going to miss them so much!!
If experiences shape who you are… then I dare say, I am unrecognizable from the guy who stepped in here 20 months ago. I wish I could go back and tell him… ‘Hey you, loosen up. You have no idea how much fun you are going to have. You have no idea how different life is going to be when you… graduate’