From Acceptance Letter to MBA Guest Lecturer

12 July 2022

Getting an MBA is a life-enhancing experience, which will provide skills, wisdom and resources that one can apply in many facets of life. Here, eight years after her graduation, Gülcan Telci, an Executive MBA alumna shares her experience and tips.

An exciting but nerve-wracking beginning

I was a regional manager for a home-care provider in the UK that helped people to live independently at home. It was  a demanding job, but I had a fulfilling career. With my lifelong passion to explore, learn and grow, I ventured into an application to pursue an Executive MBA degree at Warwick Business School (WBS).

When an acceptance letter for an MBA course at your dream university arrives, expect that your hands will tremble. It’s normal! .

I can vividly remember staring at the letter, awarding me a coveted place on the programme at WBS. Excited for the future, there was still trepidation given my 10-year gap in academia, a demanding full-time job, the prospect of a self-funded, expensive degree, the potential challenges of having to study in a non-native language, and an unsupportive employer to boot!

I took a leap of faith in myself, in WBS and the future, and enrolled.

Prepare for the changing world

Change can be uncomfortable, even unsettling, at the beginning. But the world of WBS will motivate and inspire you to reach beyond your skill sets and competencies.

The design of the Executive MBA works well, even when juggling busy careers with personal life, and studying a demanding degree. This includes: flexibility, modular structure, on campus residency, a support system with peers, a diverse cohort of colleagues with years of work experience and an outstanding teaching faculty.

To avoid burnout, you might need to re-juggle your commitments in order to create space for studying. My job was no longer supporting my new world. I encountered sleepless nights and a host of other challenges. I resigned! Next, I found myself with a new job and great colleagues, enabling me to free the explorer within me. And the explorer lit up my new career path: leading and coaching improvement within a large hospital in London.

I treasured my residential time on the WBS campus. The facilities were excellent. I particularly enjoyed the intellectual stimuli, the thought-provoking classes and my ability to employ my new skills and knowledge into my work challenges. I travelled to Germany and Poland, studying elective modules. What a wondrous journey!

Support from WBS mentors

If you are seeking clarity on your way forward, a WBS mentor can provide you with unbiased support as you discover your next steps.

Towards the end of my course, I joined the WBS mentoring programme and connected with a successful business owner and WBS graduate who provided tremendous support. They challenged me to grow and offered much-needed backup to navigate my path, even as I faced stormy personal times.

The path forward

Soon, graduation day arrives. For some, it comes later than others; however, that is part of the flexibility and the journey of becoming a skilled juggler! You kept it all in the air, simultaneously tossing and catching! You are an MBA, Congratulations!

When figuring out your path forward, a little reminder of what we love the most and least in our professional and personal lives can reveal new possibilities. And plotting these on a simple chart might illuminate prospects.

For instance, in my personal life, I loved the value of exploring, travelling and helping others to thrive. At work, I was most fulfilled when I was in the driver's seat, training and coaching change.

The autonomy, independence and flexibility were equally important for both.

I took a giant leap — this time, I jumped out of employment.

I became an entrepreneurial consultant, coaching and training healthcare leaders to drive change in the UK and Canada. It was a risk, with admittedly much less initial job security, but ultimately it resulted in more flexibility, an ability to travel frequently, autonomy and the choice of designing my lifestyle.

After all, I was a Warwick MBA with the ability to reinvigorate my path as I chose.

A few years after the graduation

The journey of Warwick University does not end at graduation. For the past four years, I've been a WBS mentor. I am also a USA Alumni Ambassador.

After finding love across the pond, I now live in Hawaii with my husband, Jason.

As the founding director of a leadership development, training and coaching provider in the USA, I continue to help leaders to thrive and build high-performing teams globally.

From acceptance to audiences

Next, my MBA journey went from acceptance to audiences. I received an invitation to be a guest lecturer for an MBA class at WBS London, The Shard, which meant reaching new heights knowing that this time around, no more leaps of faith!

London looked dazzling, the MBA students were remarkable, and I felt spectacular! At the end of my lecture, I took a moment to pause and reflect. A smile broke out on my face as I thought back to the thrill of staring at the acceptance letter aeons ago, and the unforgettable journey it launched.

Find out more about the Executive MBA here.

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