As I finish my eighth of twelve MBA classes, I am breathing a sigh of relief that I survived Operational Excellence and Finance2 over the last 10-week term! I am also proud of myself, more intelligent than I was, and eager to apply my new learnings at Extreme Molding. I was always interested in getting an MBA, but the timing was never quite right, and the longer I waited, the more I and others convinced myself that I knew the business from the school of hard knocks and had little to gain from an MBA. When the pandemic hit, and I was pared down from my usual jam-packed schedule, I decided to challenge this assumption and return to school at 56!
After looking at some local in-person and multiple online MBA programs, I selected JWMI, The Jack Welch Management Institute administered by Strayer University. The program was hands-on with a motto Learn it today, Apply it tomorrow. JWMI was flexible, allowing me to finish in 1.5-3 years, depending on my pace. It is affordable and will cost me $46,000 in total. Finally, the program caters to experienced business people with an average age of 38 years and, my classes have included CEOs, CFO’s and medical professionals. And, my professors all must have at least twenty years of work experience in addition to over 90% holding a relevant Ph.D. or Doctor of Business.
The first three MBA classes focused on me as a leader. They helped me understand my management style and how it was or was not suitable in the current business world. I have worked to make some adjustments with this feedback. I took many evaluations, including the DiSC style, Emotional Intelligence, and Conflict Resolution. My following five classes were all about numbers and understanding the language and principles of business. I now appreciate modern digital marketing, which is nothing like what I learned and practiced the first 25 years of my career. Economics and finance courses have been valuable professionally and personally. Operations Excellence was a great reminder of the power of Lean and Six Sigma. I eagerly await the final third of my program, which focuses on Strategy, Change Management, Data Analytics, Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, and concludes with a capstone project focused on Extreme Molding. Every class I have taken has focused on me as a leader and Extreme Molding as a business.
So, to conclude, pursuing my MBA has been Extremely valuable (no pun intended). It has taught me that I did know a lot about business and the tremendous value of experience and doing. But, it also taught me invaluable information about running a successful business in 2021, which is much different from when we started in 2002. I feel more confident in my business decisions now. I do not shy away from going toe to toe with other business and financial leaders. I understand the importance of online marketing. So, if you are willing to put in 1500-2000 hours (roughly 200 eight-hour days) to better yourself as a business leader and a person, I highly recommend getting an MBA!