Online MBA: what’s next?
As the first cohort of our amazing Online MBA is going through the finish line, we’ve asked ourselves: what’s next?
“I enjoyed writing my thesis very much. I was able to reconnect with many of my friends, old bosses, Global Recruiters and industry colleagues and they were all very willing to share.” I don’t think that we could have summarized it better than Jackie (Miami)*. Now that more of us are closing a decisive chapter of our lives that lasted two and a half years, Bernard (Hong Kong) invited us to reflect and look ahead.
We, a very global and diverse group of 26 students, embarked on a journey of a life time in August 2010. In April 2013, Jackie and Philippe (Bangkok then Jakarta) were the first to cross the line and cut the ribbon; well done, them! In the coming months, more of us (about 11 or so) hope to join them on the bright side. We’ve shared a lot, not only the anxieties and the joy throughout the program, but insights from all continents and all walks of life. We got to know each other quite well, despite not meeting each other offline (for most of us). To help you conceptualise it, I’ll give you the same picture that I shared with Daniela recently, she will hopefully be one of our upcoming students next October: it’s as if we were all blind, so we had to draw a picture of one another through our bio, weekly posts and comments in class. In a way, we were also deaf. And that might have helped us to increase online senses and develop a class dynamic we would not have enjoyed otherwise in an on-campus class.
Now, let’s rewind back to the start. We had all signed on in 2010 for various reasons. Philippe to be able to access the next level up (he already has), Jackie as a personal challenge and to learn more, Bernard as a dream, Brijesh (Singapore) and Dominic (Australia, NZ) for personal growth. As for myself (Paris then London), it was a tick-box exercise: to be more knowledgeable, to validate my experience and be able to compete in the job market.
Then, as Bernard invited us to reflect on the whole experience and share our plans for the future, it appeared that we share a lot, still and maybe even more. Two and a half years of “passion, endurance and discipline” has probably brought us closer and made us better leaders, as Jackie rightly put it. We are all experiencing immense personal growth, and we’ve felt that since the beginning which had made the journey so exciting! Yet we realise that all this learning also came from one another; interactions, various insights, experience and out-of-the-box thinking. The class enabled a steeper, livelier and more sustainable learning curve. I personally think that I found an awful lot more than I bargained for!! On both personal and professional levels, and I am very thankful for it. But here are some of our key learnings:
- Thinking with more clarity and more depth
- Looking at a “more modern” approach of hospitality
- Developed critical thinking
- Enabling a more strategic approach
- Realising the value of the “Academic approach” for Stephen (Switzerland)
- Unlocking and channelling creativity
- Allowing more fun
- And becoming “more entrepreneurial” for William (Vietnam), but surely many of us also feel that way (I certainly do).
We have various projects in mind where to apply all these, but most importantly, we plan to keep having fun (or more fun). Our MBA has also allowed just that: to realize and leverage on how much fun we could instill. Which Jackie sees as positively infusing our teams and customers … and already, the very same Jackie received the ‘Talent Leadership Excellence’ Award from David Marriott just a week ago. I believe she would have won it anyway, yet kudos to Jackie and her team of ladies & gentlemen!
So, we now feel we own a little share in our program; this is ‘our MBA’, and we wish to keep advocating while also raising its profile in the industry. There might be challenges ahead as Bernard sees little recognition for Glion in Asia. Yet, we cherish the idea of a global support group for would-be students. Also we have already entered and joined forces with the alumni network. We will pursue our ambassador efforts that started long ago, Glion will continue to rise with everyone’s commitment, and so will our MBA. At the same time, all these actions might help us to keep our collaboration and friendship alive for years to come as we’re starting to wonder what to do with this newly found free-time!?
In the meantime, how do I imagine our graduation ceremony in December? Very emotional, loads of laughs and many conversations to carry on with … we’re quite a chatty bunch, you see! But it shall be just like any old family reunion, really.
* the cities I indicated into () are not where we are from, but where we reside (or did) since we all live outside our home countries, with no exception