In 2019, working as a Senior business analyst made me to think about improving my business management skills. I wanted to do more that just planning project. I remember that I included several business management courses as part of my development plan. Perhaps, it would be a good idea to consider a career as a business manager. What are my options for an MBA? full-time study in an Ivy league school abroad, part-time executive MBA program abroad, or part-time studies in Nigeria.
As expected, the lowest on the scale was part-time in Nigeria. For many reasons, the educational system I went through as an undergraduate was hectic. More rote learning than skill acquisition. It was so stressful. I could not imagine going through this stress again.
After experiencing the pandemic in 2020, I had a mindset shift. My new mantra became – “Do whatever needs to be done today, nothing guarantees tomorrow”. I embraced a Learner’s mindset. The decision to start an e-MBA immediately became easy. My criteria for choosing a school changed. I chose to apply to the Lagos business school executive MBA (EMBA) program. This means giving up all my weekends for 2 years to gain knowledge, a network and life-long friendship (hopefully).
I got the admission to join the EMBA 27 cohort. The orientation was a confirmation that I made the right decision. The campus was so different from the usual facilities in Nigeria, managed by Nigerians. The lawns were beautiful. well-manicured, and neat. The infrastructure was well maintained. The cafeteria and food were also very good. It felt like to was in Europe attending a summer class.
The Faculty Director, Uchenna Uzo shared about the motivation of the four LBS founders. Their values, mission and the culture of the university. These self-transcendences evident in the governance structure adopted by the Pan-Atlantic University is one that I find very uncommon in the Nigerian society. The values of care for details, Mutual respect, Service and Professionalism resonates very deeply with me. As an inclusion advocate, I was very pleased to learn of the LBS culture where everyone matters and is treated with respect. These values were built on the principles of “Opus Dei”. The Opus Dei as I was made to understand is a religious society that advocates that our work should be done as service to God and man. I look forward to learning more about the LBS business model.
One reason for choosing this course was to expand my network. The EMBA 27 cohort is a truly diverse group of 43 participants hopefully, we all make it till the end. Within the first four weeks, 3 people have left the program.
Since joining the program, a few things have stood out:
- Flexibility: The hybrid classes means that I can join classes online or in-person. This flexibility supports the balance of office work and school. It also supports interaction with other executives. We can hold our meetings at any time without the constraint of having a physical location.
- Critical Thinking: The use of case studies has improved my critical thinking ability. The practical application of models and principles make me very excited. The ability to solve business problems based on my learning on the program is so exciting.
- Time Management: Time, my most precious resource. The need to balance work, family, EMBA and life means there’s no time to waste. Planning has become much more important. I have learnt to decide what is most important to me.
- Mindfulness: I practice deep breathing and take a moment to arrive before starting any work. This helps me to work with full presence of mind.