I would like to share the considerations which I have made in my choice to enroll in an Executive MBA program. I believe that the program would help me grow in both personal and professional realms, through an acquisition of both technical and soft skills. Through the rigor and discipline required, I will be equipped with academic content that will help me function more effectively in my job. In securing a Masters’ degree, I also to develop the necessary soft skills that will hone managerial effectiveness.
In particular, I want to be enlisted into a program that will help me further develop my skills of problem solving, written and oral communication skills, information retrieval and utilization, and collaboration. From a “working knowledge” level, I want the program to help me advance to a “can do” level. For my problem solving skill, I want to learn more on how to analyze and synthesize the emergence of problems, patterns and causes and to generate solutions or options in solving critical or complex issues through various means.
I also want to be capable of identifying new, innovative and creative ideas/options to overcome problems. For communication skills, I want to learn how to foster an atmosphere of open communication and to see things from another’s perspective. In addition, I want to learn how to assess the need of the audience in order to deliver the appropriate message and content.
For information management, I want to broaden my perspective by ensuring that information is free of distortions or personal bias. Finally, on collaboration, I expect the program to teach me how to develop and maintain a strong network of contacts in the industry and outside the company and use this to promote my company’s reputation. I also want to learn how to actively building lasting business relationships with other department or companies, private and government institutions.
Pursuing this degree is one of my educational goals in the near future. I want to secur the degree within the next 5 years as I simultaneously strive to continue developing my accounting and management skills. I will carry this out by conscientiously attending training and workshop sessions for accounting and administrative professionals. I would also be actively engaged in planning for my own development in my current workplace, suggesting means and venues for skills acquisition to my superior. If time permits, I also intend to join a professional organization within my field of expertise striving to work my way up to a role with greater responsibility and to pursue a Doctorate degree simultaneously to further increase my management competencies.
I am fortunate to have been given proper and comprehensive exposure to management roles. I have held positions which allowed me to exercise a substantial degree of autonomy. The positions which I have thus far held helped me to think critically and to make rational decisions amidst ambiguity.
While I do not have an exceptionally high GPA, my experience in the organizational setting, I believe, may compensate for this short coming. Upon graduation in 1989, I have worked for a decade in manufacturing companies, holding accounting positions. These include the positions of Cost Accountant, General Accountant, Plant Accountant, and Finance Manager. Gradually, my circle of influence has grown with increasing responsibility.
There have been no significant changes in terms of the technical requirements of these roles. The increasing responsibility came with the need to manage people, which is more of a challenge than the technical aspect of these jobs. I take pride in saying that while I have not been academically exceptional, I have been effective at performing these roles, being both results driven and yet to have enough focus on people management.
Thus far, the position of Finance Manager have been the most challenging role I have performed so far. Whereas before I was only expected to deliver daily management plans or short-term objectives, this role has necessitated strategic and “big picture” thinking. In this role, I have also been required to manage people, and have realized that it it important for them to realize how their objectives are meaningfully linked to overall organizational goals. Recognizing the importance of one’s contribution has been an effective motivator.
The intangible factors of autonomy, relationship with superior, and engagement cause people to be results-driven and constantly motivated. The people management component of the role has helped me keep a more balanced perspective or focus on work vis-à-vis people, and initiatives may be cleverly drafted so that one component complements the other.
In resolving to apply in the program, I have been convinced that it is critical to my personal development and learning, and may also be key to progress in my career. In entering the program, I expect my technical and management skills to be developed further. For problem solving, I want to be able to break down problems and see patterns or basic relationships or connections among them. Moreover, I want to be able to utilize several analytic or creative ways to break apart complex issues into component problems and to evaluate the identified alternative solutions to problem.
I would also want to be taught how to use logical, systematic reasoning to understand and resolve, analyze and resolve issues. In terms of communication skills, I want to express ideas more effectively in both written and oral communication and to pick up non-verbal clues and use non-verbal information. I want to practice effective use direct, open, two-way communication and read beyond what is said and to alter my own behavior to respond appropriately.
Information management is also one of the areas which I want to develop. I want to be able to compare, recognize and correct discrepancies with multiples sets of data to balance records and to utilize monitoring systems to ensure achievement of goals of individuals in the organization I work for. I also want to be taught the rigor of verifying or uncovering additional information for accuracy. I also want to be more effective at collaborating with others. I want to build good relationships with people within and outside of the organization to identify or resolve differences, issues and obstacles.
All these soft skills, together with the technical content that shall be imparted in the program will help me become a more effective professional. I am thoroughly convinced that to progress in one’s profession, there must be continuous passion for learning – both academically and through practical applications. The learning not only comes with solid academic content but also equips one with the soft skills needed to advance in one’s career. This realization of the value of learning upon application to the program in itself is valuable.
I have changed my perspective of learning as a tedious process, to one in which I could be actively engaged, and to even have fun. I really appreciate what the program has to offer, and its promise of helping me advance both my personal and professional career.
I also expect the program to espouse an atmosphere of learning where students can be inquisitive. That is, where questions and further inquiry are encouraged. Moreover, I hope that the teachers of the program may be prudent in knowing when to handhold a student and when to let him work independently. There may be some subjects which I will find difficult and in which I expect more help from my Executive MBA mentors.