It’s been a lot of fun explaining my new school pursuit – the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management International Healthcare Management MBA – to friends and colleagues on the North American side of the Atlantic. The conversation starts something like this:
“So I hear you’re doing your MBA.”
“Yes, I started this fall.”
“That’s great. Lots of work. What school are you enrolled in?”
“Frankfurt School of Finance and Management”.
“You mean, Frankfurt GERMANY??!”
I am usually smiling by this point. International graduate programs are not top of mind when I talk with colleagues here in Ontario. I usually explain that no, my husband and I haven’t moved… and yes, I remember that I have two kids to parent for a few more years. No, I haven’t lost – or had to quit – my job. I explain that the program is structured into week-long modules so students can take vacation or educational leave and keep working full time. That it’s a fully accredited program, with a fairly intense workload that can be completed in 20 months, instead of the 3-5 years for most part time MBA programs here in Canada. I tell them about the International Healthcare Management specialization that completely tracks with my career goals to advance in healthcare and make a difference in my community. By this point in the conversation, I am reminded once again of the incredible adventure and hard work ahead of me, and I am feeling indebted to Google for the web search that opened up this past January to the FS internet page, and a whole new world of educational opportunity.
I share with my colleague that the IHM modules are held in different countries. That I am excited to discover what is working in other healthcare systems, given the reform that is required – and happening- in almost every healthcare system in the world. Sometimes I list the countries for them because it reminds me how much I will have learned and experienced by the time I’ve completed my MBA…. Dubai, India, Singapore, the U.S., Germany of course and London (yes, London UK, not London, Ontario).
By this point in the conversation, my listener is impressed, and generally makes a few comments on the foresight of FS to develop a niche program in the global market to attract executives in healthcare. After a few expected cautions about making sure I balance everything on my plate, they are excited for me, and we are both smiling. Even as I write this blog, on the flight home from Module 2 in Frankfurt, I’m smiling, and filled with fresh energy, recognizing even at this early point in the program what a solid decision enrolling in the IHM MBA has been for me.
My IHM MBA learning experience began with researching all that Frankfurt School offers, and brushing up on my geography, history and current events as well. (Not a bad start for me, especially since I can count on one hand the times in my life that I’ve travelled outside Canada and the United States.)
Through our cohort of 30 classmates from 22 different countries, the countries of the world are represented in every session, regardless of module location.
Every student is a skilled, dedicated and hard-working leader who wants to make a difference in his or her community. I realized after this December module that as a cohort, we are no longer just fellow students, we are becoming friends and teachers for each other. Two modules complete, with the hard work still ahead, I am still amazed at this opportunity, and reflect on what an important – and “right” decision – this MBA pursuit is for me.
What began as a wise career decision, continues to evolve and expand with new learning, as an educational journey and whole life adventure. And yes, with all this in mind as I continue to share with those around me, of course I’m smiling. Next stop: Bangalore, India.