When I first started ABP, I didn’t really know what to expect. It was one of the first courses I took at LBS. The first was an accounting course. Even though I did well in my A-level exam in mathematics, I have lost a lot of the skills I used to have. When I was younger, I took extracurricular math classes but since my undergraduate days, I haven’t studied maths at all. So taking the financial accounting class in the early days of the MBA course did cause a bit of anxiety. Luckily I discovered there was a couple of classes that didn’t involve too much maths. Both the management communications and the ABP classes required little to no mathematics which was relieving.
Our facilitator, Dr. Yetunde Anibaba, is a well-spoken and very intelligent woman. I remember answering my first question in class with her and I answered the question slightly incorrectly. I got a chance to explain my point and adjusted my answer slightly. She picked up on it right away and called me out on it. If it were most people I converse with, they would not have picked up on my vernacular gymnastics. It takes an intelligent person and a good listener to pick up on such details.
During the first couple of classes, we were asked to analyze a couple of case studies. The first case study we did, did not end too well. None of the class had done the preparation. She really let us have it for not doing the preparation. After that, we all made sure to prepare for her class. I am sure, most of my classmates sat up and decided to take her classes very seriously after she gave us an earful that day. She has a way with words and commands respect when she speaks.
Thoughts once we got into it
Once we had our first couple of case studies, you could tell the rest of the class got a hang of the exercises we were meant to do in class. Even though we all understood the methodology of analyzing business problems, we still found ourselves getting the answer wrong when it came to breaking the case down in class. Luckily, she made it clear that sometimes there isn’t a clear right answer. It is more about explaining how you got to that answer in the first place. The normal analysis methodology involves explaining the situation, identifying the problem, stating the objective, exploring the alternatives, identifying the criteria, and eventually coming up with a decision. This is crazy that I know this off the top of my head. In the beginning, I would have to go through my notes to go through this process.
The key takeaway came to me as I wrote the preceding paragraph. We had to analyze many cases and it seemed as though they were never-ending. I guess the benefit of doing it many times over is because it stays in your head. Now I have a clear methodology for analyzing any business problem.