My EMBA journey so far…
After a hectic and extremely fast paced EMBA start week, I am finally adjusting and easing myself into some sort of normalcy. Long before my decision to relocate to The Netherlands from Nigeria, I had toyed with the idea of pursing an MBA and it seemed a very logical decision to study for my MBA after I arrived in The Netherlands.
Prior to my arrival in my new location, I did quite a considerable amount of research on Business Schools in Europe and I had a fair knowledge of all the options available to me. I was not looking for anything overly academic or theoretical. I wanted learning that was applicable and relevant to my life and career aspirations. I also wanted knowledge that would leverage on my current reality and influence my future aspirations positively.
I sought to find a program that would balance the soft and the hard without tilting too much in the direction of one at the expense of the other. The RSM seemed to fit the bill perfectly and I decided to study here. My decision was largely based on RSMs global outlook, the focus on leadership and gender related issues and their unique approach to learning and knowledge sharing. On one day, you could be hunkering down with your team mates trying to make sense of a brain tasking assignment in Managerial Accounting and the next day you are learning about leadership, human connection and kindness.
On one hand, I look forward to international study trips that will provide me with a firsthand experience of what it means to do business on international frontiers and on the other hand I look forward to the possibility of experiencing the life changing encounter of climbing the Mount Kilimanjaro with a community of other strong likeminded women. It’s the hard and the soft. Creating the balance between working really hard and still having a great time while you are at it.
My first day at RSM was sort of a day of confirmations. On that day, I attended the Gender Balanced Leadership Workshop hosted by Dianne Bevelander. It was a workshop for all the women in the various MBA classes and it was a very powerful and insightful event. We learned about how to empower others because when we make others powerful, we ourselves become more powerful. My take home lesson for the day and the words that impacted me the most were Be kind to others.
Be kind to others. Simple but true. Why do we not hear enough of this truth? Kindness is not something that is touted in the workplace, you never really hear of it being mentioned as one of the habits of really successful people, but it is such a powerful virtue. Courtesy of Dianne Bevelander and other talented speakers, we learned to open our gifts and to help others to unlock the same.
That event was for me a confirmation that it wasn’t a mistake that I was here. Just over a year ago, it was unimaginable that I would be here but here I was participating in this really inspiring event. All the events leading up to my being here had played out in the best way possible and I felt thankful and grateful for the opportunity to be here.
RSM has 4 core values: Sustainability, innovation, critical thinking and spirit. I had often wondered in the preceding months what was meant by the “spirit”. Now I knew.
It is the togetherness. The unity in diversity. The willingness to go a step further and bring to the fore topics such as kindness, Gender- Balanced Leadership, unlocking the gifts in others via mentoring and sponsorship. Topics that would normally be overlooked in favor of the more popular and shiny ones.
For me, this is what the Spirit of RSM is all about and I am proud to identify with it.