Kaitlin Ha explores how she found the first few weeks of the Full-time MBA programme, living in a new country, making new friends and starting lectures.
Full-time MBA participant, Alex Davis, shares how the first few weeks of the programme was a mixture of imposter syndrome, nerves and excitement.
Having travelled as a spectator to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, the first day of an MBA had some very similar feelings. I was nervous, curious but excited to find out what I was embarking on. I was feeling a heightened level of imposter syndrome, as my previous career in Physical Education and sport seemed a distant relation to the year ahead. Walking in to the Slate Conference Centre you were hit by a wall of sound, a buzz that filled the room. 106 students had descended from 45 countries, with professional experiences so vast and varied, it made the room dynamic and bustling. In front of me were lifelong friends that I hadn’t uttered a single word to yet. As we gathered in our syndicate groups you could feel a sense of anticipation; people had made positive, courageous, career defining and life changing decisions, travelling the breath of the globe, to what truly felt like an international meeting of the most intelligent minds. Introductory speeches, followed by reassuring anecdotes and stories calmed some of the pre-performance nerves.
With the Opening Ceremony over and the flame for the 2022-2023 torch lit, the competition phase of lectures, workshops, sector festivals, coaching sessions, and guest speakers, were all warming up. Week one began with the LeadershipPlus module, comprised of an array of team building challenges. This was a prime opportunity to start the first phase of building team foundations and working towards forming a high-performance team. Mistakes common, personalities varied but a much deeper understanding and connection was developing, with an openness to new approaches and ideas. No podium finish in week one but then the medals aren’t handed out this early in proceedings.
Over the course of the first few weeks, the action turned towards the modules and lectures, in Strategic Thinking and Organisational Behaviour. The content within these modules has enabled me to challenge my preconceived notions, frame and then reframe ideas, whilst critically analysing and applying these to a range of case studies from different sectors of the business world. The high calibre teaching is backed up by world class research, a passion for their subject and built upon life experiences, which makes for an inclusive and diverse range of logic and thinking.
Amongst the lectures, there were a range of specific sector festivals, hosting a plethora of guest speakers, covering a variety of topics ranging from data analytics, life in health sciences to the impact of economics on private equity, all organised by the brilliant CareersPlus and Programme Teams. Combined with tailored and specialist coaching sessions, mixed with informal conversations around coffee breaks, the depth and breadth of support to kick-start a new career, are what sets the MBA at WBS apart. These sessions have posed as many questions as they have provided answers, enriching, and equipping us with requisite tools to thrive in the future.
I am proud to be a member of the FTMBA programme of 2022-2023. This is about much more than studying the content of an MBA, this is about leading in diverse settings, developing a deeper cultural understanding, being restless in the pursuit of excellence, recognising the strengths and areas for team and individual development, but above all else this is about celebrating and thriving with people. People make places and this was exemplified when week four, culminated with students, friends and families celebrating Diwali as one extended MBA family. At the Opening Ceremony, we were told to enjoy the journey and make the most of your time. We have only just left the starting blocks, but the Closing Ceremony will appear before you know it. This maybe a marathon, but already it feels like a sprint.