I have, since a child, always been goal orientated, striving to reach my self-made targets. As an adult, this goal-oriented mindset has flourished into me wanting to be a leader who inspires people and promotes development to maximize profit.
OK, this clear vision took some time, but I always wanted to bear responsibility, optimize conditions, and gain the most out of everything – in my professional and private life. Before starting my career, I had already gained some experiences in my role as a coach and president of a volleyball club across several years – learning to work collaboratively to achieve goals. With my current position, I dipped into the world of corporate finance, business plans, and organizational structures. Still, there was one thing I quickly realized: I did not have any idea how multifaceted a profession in a managing position would be and how little I knew about that very different non-scientific world!
I wanted to expand my horizon and understand the whole complexity of what it means to run a business successfully.
Before applying for the Part-time MBA, I asked myself whether such a programme could support my career and also add value. Curious about what an MBA study would be like, I started to browse through and inquire about the content and environment of several universities. Eventually, I decided to join Frankfurt School.
The first days of our studies started with a well-organized intense leadership camp where we got to know each other and learned a lot about leadership strategies. To give you some idea of the experience, I will give a brief overview of the last-day challenge to highlight the importance of team collaboration.
Our team was separated in two starting from two different locations in a forest, with the objective to meet in the middle at a specific area and then reunite at the final tree. Sounds easy until we were told the conditions: “You will for the whole time be blindfolded with no talking allowed, and the challenge should be finished in 30 minutes.”
Most of us had no idea how to solve the issue and reach our goal. After a while, we lost our team spirit, started discussing individual strategies, and lost trust that we would complete the challenge. We even had at least one person that wanted to quit the team. Running out of time, we decided to give it a try. Not doing a test run, we quickly discussed what to do when meeting in the middle as a whole team and started the challenge with our two individual strategies in our two co-teams. Surprisingly, we somehow made it to the meeting point where we reunited. We almost reached our goal (with a delay of one minute). We ended on the tree next to the desired one, but somehow: We made it!
Revisiting the first weeks of my MBA journey, it very much felt like the team challenge in the forest.
When diving into the MBA, we started without a clear vision of what the MBA study would look like. At different points in our lives with individual strategies, but foremost very different knowledge, professions, and experiences. What united us is that we all have the same goal: Achieve the degree and make the most out of our studies! We benefit from the diversity in our team in many ways and learn from each other’s experiences.
I am delighted to be part of that journey, which I started blindfolded. Even though a part-time study is hard work, I am also pleased precisely because the hard work has already paid off, and I can see daily the benefits an MBA brings to my personal and professional development.
If we trust in the abilities to work as a team and use the power we gain from it, we will overcome personal bottlenecks to reach our goals – no matter where we first started!