Written by Syed Atique Hussain Naqvi, Global Ambassador and MBA student in Hult Boston Campus Class of 2017.
Albert Einstein once said the only source of knowledge is experience. And education can help enhance both knowledge and experience. When professionals with more than 10 years of experience choose to enrich their experience and knowledge by enrolling in an academic program, they not only enrich themselves but also augment the learning environment for their younger peers.
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After working in the news media in India and the Middle East for 16 years, my decision to attend an MBA program in Boston was not easy. To say the least, it’s a calculated risk, and one has to also take into account the opportunity cost of staying away from the professional life for an extended period of time.
“Hult International Business School’s Global One-Year MBA program not only attracts students from across the world but also the students who have a very diverse professional background.”
Words of renowned British author and poet T.S. Eliot are very inspiring for the people who want to do something ‘different’. Eliot says: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
It takes a lot of courage and due diligence to go into academics as a student after a long stint in the professional world. Hult International Business School’s Global One-Year MBA program not only attracts students from across the world but also students who have very diverse professional backgrounds. In the current MBA Class of 2017, there are students from backgrounds in media, medical sciences, asset management, marketing, finance, aviation, nuclear sciences, and much more.
The MBA program at Hult is also diverse in terms of the number of years the candidates have spent in their respective fields. Most of the students in the MBA program have five to eight years of experience, while there are few who have more than 10 years of professional experience. As I am part of the latter group, I felt the need to explore and find out the drive of students who come to Hult with a wealth of experience, and how such candidates maintain a growth mindset and contribute to the learning process.
I spoke to some of the MBA students who have spent a significant number of years, like myself, in their respective fields. The aspirations, energy, journeys and motivations of my MBA peers were extremely encouraging and intellectually stimulating.
“I wanted to understand the global business scenario, network with people from around the world and learn entrepreneurial skills to create jobs in my home country”
Dr. Maninder Manihani, from India, is a medical doctor who has worked in the healthcare sector for 24 years after completing her medical degree in 1992. Dr. Manihani, MBA 2017 candidate, is at Hult to fulfill her dream of gaining an international degree. About choosing Hult for her MBA degree, she says: “I wanted to understand the global business scenario, network with people from around the world and learn entrepreneurial skills to create jobs in my home country, and Hult International Business School offers all of that as there is a strong focus on teamwork and practical challenges.”
Peter Kelly Kirsch, another MBA candidate, from the United States has more than 10 years of experience in New York’s finance sector. He is at Hult to advance his career, and Mr. Kirsch chose the school because of its international reach.
“Ms. Bakshi decided to take a sabbatical from work to study, as she feels that global business is an ever-changing field and she needed to learn more about how to add value to her global clients and manage them effectively.”
“I didn’t want to retire having done the same things over and over again. I want to do the same things in a different and effective manner for the rest of my career…”
Even Sameer Sabharwal, also from India, took a break from his job in the aviation sector to study at Hult. He has spent 18 years in the industry and specializes in the international cargo segment, and wanted to study at an international business school. “I didn’t want to retire having done the same things over and over again, I want to do same things in a different and effective manner for the rest of my career, and that was the motivation behind joining Hult International Business School’s Boston campus,” says Mr Sabharwal, adding that on-the-job learning might make you a good manager but if you want to be an excellent manager then you have to study management in a reputed school and acquire skills that could be applied globally.
The dynamics of new challenges
In terms of unique challenges at Hult, Mr. Sabharwal says that although Immersion and Mod A were great, Mod B seems to be very challenging but that’s about to end.
“I want to learn a lot, and a 24-hour day doesn’t have enough time. I feel if I miss a second, I will miss a whole world of knowledge.”
Ms. Bakshi’s main challenge is time management. “I want to learn a lot, and a 24-hour day doesn’t have enough time. I feel if I miss a second, I will miss a whole world of knowledge.”
Time is a challenge for Mr. Kirsch as well. “Managing intense schedules, and coordinating with the various teams and trying to get in sync with calendars of my peers is the biggest challenge.”
For Dr. Manihani the unique challenge at Hult is not being able to identify with the set of values that her younger peers follow. “I am coming to terms with the values the present generation lives by. I have to bear in mind when collaborating with them that there are values that I would consider critical but that they would deem unimportant.”
“I am building relationships with people from different countries, sharing my life and work experiences, giving honest feedback to teammates and colleagues and leveraging these relationships to promote the values which help us become better human beings.”
Speaking about her contribution at Hult, Dr. Manihani says: “I am building relationships with people from different countries, sharing my life and work experiences, giving honest feedback to teammates and colleagues and leveraging these relationships to promote the values which help us become better human beings.”
As Mr. Kirsch has experienced the recent economic recession, he has shared his views and knowledge during class discussions, while Mr. Sabharwal has also shared his in-depth understanding of the aviation sector while doing team projects.
Both Ms. Bakshi and Dr. Manihani are of the view that their classmates view them differently, albeit in a positive way. Ms. Bakshi says: “My teammates respect me and value my opinion highly. As a result, I have mentored a few of my peers during events such as hackathons or business competitions.”
On this, Dr. Manihani adds: “Yes, I get a lot of respect from my classmates. I try to help them whenever I can. I have also identified some future leaders among the Hult students, and I am trying to cultivate personal interactions with them as a friend and mentor.”
Value-added learning process
Since I joined the school, even my experience at Hult has not been too different from the students mentioned above. I get a lot of respect, and sometimes even questions on writing, journalism, global business, and politics.
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All students at Hult are an asset for the entire learning process. However, students with loads of experience not only add value to class discussions and teams with their personal stories but could also act as mentors to their willing younger peers. With their choice of Hult students, the admissions team has done a great job in providing an intellectual melody of knowledge and learning. Bravo!
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Syed Atique Hussain is an MBA Candidate at Hult’s Boston campus. He has worked as a journalist in print, broadcast and digital media for 16 years in India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.