So it has begun – the life changing experience that is the Global MBA. It has only been a month since the beginning of Global MBA, 2012. It all started on October 2nd in Madrid for the first residential session. It was a fantastic week that was not only fun but also challenging and busy. I had the pleasure of meeting my GMBA class from 33 different nationalities. Let’s think about that for a second – 33 different nationalities, 33 different cultures and even more languages! If this doesn’t teach you how to adapt to different environments I don’t know what will!
The first week of classes was simply fantastic. We got a crash course in Leadership, Networking, Personal Branding, Coaching and one of my favorites Negotiation Techniques – where we actually negotiated using real life case studies. Additionally we had classes in Marketing Management and Financial Accounting. Despite the challenging workload we all made time to get together after classes and really get to know each other.
So how has the first month been? I’ll try and summarize – we have analyzed cases studies about Starbucks, Vineyards, Dashman Company, Apple, Swatch, IKEA, FIAT, Pasta, Colgate, Papa John’s and the list goes on. We’ve immersed ourselves in marketing management and financial accounting from the 4Ps and 5Cs to balance sheets and inventory controls. Not only do I get to interact with highly intellectual colleagues, my perspectives are now truly global. Managing, scheduling and working on team projects (when your team members are based in Germany, Ukraine, Lebanon, El Salvador, Canada) is testing to say the least, and just when you’re getting adjusted to your schedule you rotate team members! This is what makes the GMBA particularly distinctive, challenging and rewarding. You also realize very quickly that your input needs to be significantly unique and that it needs to truly add value. You learn about brevity. Making a point that is not only informative but also concise is an art form, and it’s something the program forces you to do more often. You also quickly learn from your peers that what’s probably true in your region is completely the opposite elsewhere, which adds to the global knowledge depth in our discussions. It’s only been a month and I’ve already caught myself looking at things differently, applying some of the concepts I’ve already learned.
It’s been a packed month – and there’s no slowing down. In the next 4 weeks I have a 2 group projects, 2 individual projects and additional case studies, so I should probably get started on that. I look forward to writing again very soon and I’ll be sure to share more details about my class, people and the blended methodologies. Until then please feel free to contact me with questions / comments.
Some links to pictures/videos from the first residential week in Madrid: