Graduation & Reflection

Hani Rachidi, TMMBA Student (Class of 2010)

A fantastic program coming to a fantastic ending. The TMMBA graduation is going to be held on Monday, June 7th alongside the Executive MBA program. With graduation comes a time of reflection on the program. What do I know now that I wish I knew before enrolling in the program? Top 3 priority order:

  1. Intensity of the program and time demands.We were informed that it would be a considerable time commitment but before actually experiencing it how would you understand. I thought, hey, two nights a week (class, review) would add five hours to my life. I even thought about outside reading and team meetings and said to myself oh that would add potentially five more hours to my week, ok. Then I thought about that every other Saturday the entire day was occupied, another 4hrs avg per week. So, okay that’s on average 14hrs additional work per work. Even if it was that low on some weeks, that’s a lot of time!!
  2. It’s about the People. The most important aspect of the program is the class mates and more specifically your 4 to 6 person team. This aspect of the program is a make or break. I am fortunate to have had a stellar team comprised of a diverse background from Liberal Arts, Business and Engineering. The diversity of perspectives is key. We also had complementary skills of which creative and analytical stand out. The faculty overall is extremely solid but there are  few professors that missed the mark and I know the administration is receptive to our feedback.
  3. Value.  While I have a high financial burden of paying for the program I do so considering the time, dollar investment against both qualitative and salary returns. What I know now is that I can knock on more doors and most of them will open. For example, my goal is to work on product marketing so as I approach leaders in the space I am confident that I can not only hold a conversation with them but also I can add value to their organizations. I’ll take a line from Dr. Lee Hartwell, the Nobel Laureate at Fred Hutchinson, who once related a story about his graduate work at MIT – “I asked a distinguished professor, why do you like to spend so much time with me, afterall you know so much and I am still learning so much. The professor replied, ‘Well I have the answers, but you son, have all the questions!’.  As a fresh MBA graduate I am a strong asset to any organization because  I have a lot of insightful questions and a high curiosity. The TMMBA program not only prepares you with the set of frameworks to make tough business decisions but also instills the inquisitiveness and curiosity to ask the critical questions of yourself as a leader and of your strategy as a business be it operational (supply chain), financial (accounting), organizational (management), or marketing.