Alumni reflect on the time invested in the Executive MBA
You only get out what you put in - If I would have given just 100%, I would have failed. This saying not only relates to what I wanted to achieve with an Executive MBA but also what my community, like family and direct reports, recognized in me. Because they understood the necessity and my determination, I got their full support.
For the duration of the program (16 months), I was ready to work even more than the ordinary 60 hours a week. Having access to course content with a few clicks was really helpful so I could study on business trips. An overseas trip was the perfect time to work on the education without any disturbance for eight hours.
Last but not least, you need to reduce your private needs - for a while - to the minimum level by rejecting beautiful invitations from friends and family members as well as other temptations. Your lifestyle will be different and you need to know that from the very first moment on.
Yet, your end goal was always be in sight. To be concise: What you need to adopt to the new situation of part-time studying is the absolute will, determination, focus, resilience and the capability to succeed.
My GEMBA journey took me monthly from Asia, where my family and I were living (in Vietnam), to Europe, and other destinations (USA, China, Russia and India). The travel distance was my additional challenge.
In order to efficiently manage my GEMBA journey (16 months), I, from the start, had agreed on it with my family and myself. I had a strong internal motivation to go through it with the best outcome. I clearly understood the reasons why I was doing it and my family fully supported me. Both parts were very important!
While my studies I was able to slightly reduce my workload, but I still had to complete 3 consulting projects in Vietnam, which also took a lot of my time and energy. I wanted to complete the program with the best possible result (due to all the resources I had invested), so I spent about 15-20 hours per week on my GEMBA tasks; e.g. presentations, business cases, team calls, reading and the like. I used the time in the evenings, on the weekends or while traveling. To manage my time efficiently I used Trello and Google Calendar. In my MBA group, we also used Doodle, when deciding on something, and Dropbox, when sharing the documents. We even created WhatsApp and LinkedIn groups to share articles, ideas, etc. to support our learning process.
Even though the time of GEMBA was so energy-consuming for me, it was 100% worth all efforts:
All that made a perfect combination for me and proved my top choice in a program!
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