I had been working for a large chemical company for almost 10 years when I decided to apply for the Executive MBA (EMBA) program in 2018. This decision was made together with my management team, as I wanted to go back to university to learn more, especially strengthening my management skills.
At this point in time I was 27 years old and was the youngest who had ever started the EMBA program. However, even though my age had been questioned by a lot of people I didn’t let it get me down and stuck to my plan. It is not about age, it is not about gender, it is about your dreams, your personal development plans and about your personal openness for change.
The first weekends and the group
The first days of study as well as the team-building event happened and it was a great experience and an initial connector for the group. We got to know each other very fast and quite well – might it be with regards to culture, working mode, punctuality or as far as beverage preferences are concerned… the group became ONE.
We started to realize, that it is extremely important to organize yourself and prioritize clearly. Readings up front, group work, pre- or post-assignments, presentations … quite a lot of work! I admit that I admire my fellow students, who also have children at home, incredibly!
A life changing experience
For me, the EMBA program was a true eye-opener and a life changing experience! Learning from each other – getting insights you otherwise would not get. In my opinion, it is comparable to the mixture of Miraculix magic potion.
All sorts of ingredients come in one pot: expertise, cultural backgrounds, personalities, and a lot of mutual exchange and shared experiences. I learned not only about topics like Leadership, Marketing or Finance & Accounting. I learned how to work together – in maybe also sometimes difficult times…I learned how to listen to others, and I learned a lot about myself.
Keep the motivation high (…especially while writing your thesis)
18 months may not sound too long, but after a few months, the weekends may start to hose up. Perseverance and discipline are required accordingly. In addition to that, the EMBA program and finally writing my master thesis, ran parallel to the largest reorganization project in my company, so that I wasn’t exactly bored at work. Still, there was never a moment when I was not looking forward to the weekends because I was looking forward to having a fun time with my fellow students!
Why? Because it is worth it!
I would always recommend doing the EMBA. I would always – if not already done so – start the program! Because it leads to personal growth. You learn that you can do anything if you want it. In addition, you make friends for life!
Even if COVID-19 has thwarted us in terms of our graduation ceremony, I am even more pleased to see everyone again in a year at the latest and to celebrate what we have achieved together.