This journal outlines a wide range of my learning experiences during my MBA program, stating particular achievements and skills acquired in every course that I undertook together with my personal growth and development. I have mainly focused on areas, which I feel had a significant impact throughout this program. This is directly linked to the connect-ability and conveying various aspects, which I plan to execute as I do environmental work. Importantly, these approaches further delve in my background and experiences, borrowing from what I would have done differently. However, the weighted analogue does not mean that the other courses were of no value to my course, as limited time and space were major determinants while working on this learning journal.
As an MBA student, I have perfected the art of planning, managing, organizing and successful coordination especially in a complex environment, which characterizes private and publics. Importantly, all these activities must take place within existing legal and societal frameworks. In essence, ethics has been a pillar throughout this program. Notably, my native culture is different from this country’s beliefs. Nonetheless, appreciating the diversity of culture is the best way of learning about ethics. This is because what some people consider ethical could be unethical in some parts of the world.
Strategy formulation and implementation course had a great impact on my understanding of business. During the program, I realized my ability to see things from a bigger angle and I was always motivated to participate in teamwork to achieve set targets and goals. Although I have mentioned this in-depth in my curriculum vitae and during the interview, visualizing myself in a team that the organization wanted was not easy. It was quite momentous and memorable when the tutor outlined the steps followed in strategy formulation.
As a customer service officer at Berlitz Language Institute, I appreciated the role of communication and excellent interpersonal skills in good business management. Having completed this MBA program, I am certain that I would approach the same task differently and achieve better results if given the same job. Even though I would still apply communication and interpersonal skills largely, this MBA program has changed their mental application. With these skills, I see a shift of my focus with a high possibility of taking up the line business marketing. Having tackled Marketing Management in this program, I now appreciate the significance of marketing in order to excel in the market. I also have an understanding of various marketing attributes, which was through training that addressed principles of market segmentation, target market, relationship marketing, competitor analysis, market research, marketing strategies and promotion planning.
After internalizing the situation at Berlitz, the business hit the ceiling during my second year at the company. During that time, the business heavily depended on the existing market of continuing students who opted to enroll for an additional course at the university. With this approach of having, a market niche helped in meeting the needs of students holistically. While this was an excellent target market approach, the university failed to address the growing need of evening classes for the working class people, who are seeking enrolment for different courses. With the expanding market of the working class and the demand for evening and weekend programs, I would be a key player in developing a marketing strategy that is different from the traditional approach.
Through this program, I have mastered how to establish a strategy and visualized a strategic plan for Al Salam Medical Clinic in Saudi Arabia, where I worked as a receptionist. Even though I was involved directly into the management of the clinic, I grasped business operations at the facility as I interacted with the ins and outs of the hospital. At the time, I was unable to establish a picture of the business but looking back; I see the loose ends and visualize the business position in terms of a bigger picture.
After conducting a SWOT analysis of the business based on my memory, I realized that the firm suffered because of the absence of a strategic plan to move the business forward. This would have been through capitalizing on a limiting public health system in Saudi Arabia to come up with a medical scheme in form of a product that captures the expatriates who cannot access medical services in public hospitals. The failure emanates from the usage of Arabic in branding business, failure to target this market segment and the biased attention to locals.
This program also covered project management, which was a key course in instilling me with teamwork skills. From my curriculum vitae, it is evident that working in teams is no longer a challenge to me, with a diverse cultural background, which allows me to deliver results within a given time. I have constantly used this attribute as my selling point whenever I go job interviews. However, I may have missed a mark by assuming that multicultural refers to striving in groups that have people of varying age, level of education, race and creed. Where groups have members with almost equal level of education, the same age group, and race and where color does not matter, being a team player also requires personal efforts.
Importantly, project management classes mainly focused on coming up with teams and working on practical projects within a specified duration. I was exposed to a range of aspects of projects including task formulation, project management, establishing surroundings, stakeholders and resources. We also covered tasks of a project manager together with organizational settings of projects. To achieve this, we had lectures on management styles that we should expect in different organizations. We undertook a range of projects under the leadership of team members and identified management styles in action. Through a personal evaluation, I was able to agree with the findings of a survey we carried out among classmates that saw me fall in the category of transformative leaders. This led to the readjustment of my career dreams from working towards realizing insights in situations to developing systems, which drive change within any environment. As such, I have come to realize that I give preference to administrative and entrepreneurial roles through early structural planning. The benefit of this has been the ability to overcome pressure during heated group discussions and visualize strategies before actual implementation.
Learning something new has always been my principle. I have demonstrated this through my work experience by always going an extra mile to hit the target. I now have a foundation for my career after undertaking courses in management science, financial accounting, business statistics, and accounting during this MBA program. I must however say that I experienced enormous challenges in early stages of the program since I lacked management background as I assumed that only accountants needed accounting knowledge. With an arts degree and diploma in Public Relations, I needed accounting skills to boost by capability. With time, I appreciated that management accounting, business statistics, and financial accounting were different from the ‘hard sciences’ mentality which I had conceived before. Because of my willingness to learn something new, I gained competency in a field, which I had never conceived before in my mind. This MBA program has also furthered my analytical and problem-solving skills, as I feel comfortable and well equipped in financial reporting, analysis and interpretation.
With macroeconomics and microeconomics units in the program, I gained skills in predicting market forces at all times. Microeconomics course covered theories of market forces, like demand and supply, cost analysis, price mechanisms, and resource allocation. On the other hand, macroeconomics focused on unemployment, inflation, economic growth and monetary policies. Because of the knowledge from this section of the program, I was able to understand market principles, allowing me to take note of the external and internal factors, which affect businesses. Evidently, microeconomic section majored in theoretical application, with minimal practical approaches. I only got the concepts by visualizing the issues based on my real life experiences.
This course was a milestone in expanding existing knowledge and adding new skills in finance, managing people, accounting, marketing, economics, and international business. I must confess that strategic decision-making stood out throughout the program. With this knowledge, I aspire to improve the lives of women and children in Saudi Arabia, as the world sees these people through the lenses of a restrictive culture. While this study and discussion touches on many areas of business management, it fails to address institutional frameworks, which could be used in the improvement of healthcare and education. As I go back to my country, I look forward to working closely with the vulnerable groups to spur change in Saudi Arabia. Now that I have realized the problem, it is upon me to develop a strategy to tackle it by applying all that I have learned in my MBA Program.
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