In today’s competitive world, earning a top MBA degree is an important goal for many working professionals. After all, the right MBA plays a crucial role in deciding your career trajectory – not only do you build brand new skills in the classroom, you also get to meet and interact with a diverse group of professionals from diverse industries and backgrounds, thus building a global network.
While choosing a part-time Executive MBA (EMBA) is an easy choice for seasoned professionals due to the flexibility, the decision to enrol for an EMBA comes with a lot of questions – How much time would you need to invest in your studies? Will you be able to stay motivated during the hectic MBA journey? What kind of a network will you build, and how will it help you? What new skills can you gain in the classroom, and how will they affect your job performance?
If you are among the numerous SP Jain EMBA aspirants looking to find answers to these important questions, we have some great news for you! To help you get a better understanding of what to look forward to from the EMBA journey, we got in touch with a few of our alumni who have personally experienced it all.
Let’s hear from our EMBA graduates, Capt. Mohit Sabharwal (Head of Operations and Solution Delivery, Chord X), Swati Shetty (Communications Manager, Endress+Hauser Group), and Suet Huay Loh (Founder, E-Commerce Business), as they answer all the popularly asked questions, talk about their personal SP Jain experiences, and share insights for future EMBA aspirants.
Q. How do you invest time in studies while maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
Capt. MohitSabharwal: Do it steadily, do it every day! I am a strong believer in the fact that slow and steady wins the race. And the race is not with others, but with yourself and your career transformation that will take place during and after the program.
While I was pursuing my Executive MBA at SP Jain, I used to allot 2 hours every day to immerse myself in the subject/course we were studying that week. I got my ‘me time’ in the mornings and that’s the best time to give your 100% to your studies without compromising on your work schedule.
Be mindful of getting a healthy amount of sleep and rest during this time. It’s important to maintain your physical and mental fitness.
Swati Shetty: The most common mistake students of an MBA program usually do is to underestimate the time investment needed for this. I made that mistake too.
Based on my experience, here are a few things you must do to ensure you are doing justice to your MBA while also maintaining a work-life balance.
1. Involve your family in this decision – They will be the most affected, so setting expectations is absolutely needed.
2. Invest at least 2 hours of dedicated study every day – This helps you understand the breadth and depth of the subject and benefits you in the long run.
3. Take help from peers or professors – Do not try and do everything yourself. Taking help ensures that you make good progress and graduate on time.
Suet Huay Loh: The number of hours doesn’t matter, because it depends on how committed the individual is. As for me, I am more result-oriented rather than time-oriented. If there is a module that I find difficult, I will put in the extra time and effort to understand the concept thoroughly. On an average, I spent about 2 to 3 extra hours a day outside of the lessons to achieve the results I wanted.
Q. How important is it to upgrade your knowledge and learn new skills?
Capt. Mohit: Most jobs are dynamic, constantly changing, and adapting as the field grows. Hence upgrading your skillsets can help you increase your self-confidence, improve your marketability and competitiveness, will keep you relevant with the fast changing times and open the doors to new career opportunities.
Swati: When the world we live in is so dynamic, how can we be static? In the current world, expanding your knowledge and skill base is more of a requirement than a choice. Upskilling also comes with numerous benefits including keeping your mind engaged and healthy apart from keeping you updated and relevant.
Suet: To me, it is super important to constantly acquire new skills and knowledge to stay competitive and progress in my career. Knowledge is power. If I can, I will continue learning for a lifetime.
Q. How do you keep yourself motivated for long-term success?
Capt. Mohit: Motivation is a driving force behind our thoughts and our actions.
Here are some mantras and principles I follow to keep myself motivated –
Know yourself – It is important to understand your strengths, pain points, and desires before you find your motivation.
Find your WHY – What do you want and why do you want it? Build your journey and thoughts around your ‘why’.
Be disciplined (try every day) – It helps to train your mind and character, building a sense of self-control hence gives you a hold on your life & actions.
Take care of your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Learn from your failures, dare to take risks, and upgrade your skills. Take time when you fail, analyse the failure, change your methods but don’t quit.
Plan and define your goals clearly in life. (measurable, actionable and sustainable)
Try to look at your problems from a different perspective.
Swati: Do not look or depend on external motivation! To keep going sustainably, we need to be driven intrinsically. Have a strong reason and goal in mind to do an MBA. Don’t take it up because you see it as a trend or for any other reason. This is the only way you can keep yourself going and see yourself through to the end.
Suet: I follow 3 simple steps: Set a goal, write/print it out, and plan a schedule to achieve it.
Long-term motivation doesn’t just come from a person’s effort, we all need a mentor/coach to help us achieve it. Pursuing higher education is one of the ways because we have very experienced faculties to coach us and guide us through. With their many years of experience, it helps to speed up our achievements because we learn from people who are good at it. It will take much longer for us if we stop education and learn from our own mistakes.
Q. Studies have shown that networking plays a huge role in deciding your career trajectory. Would you agree? How have you benefitted from the network you built at SP Jain?
Capt. Mohit: The most connected people are often the most successful.
When you invest in your relationships, be it professional or personal, it pays you back in dividends throughout your career. Networking helps you develop and improve your skillset, stay on top of the latest trends, keep a pulse on the job market, meet prospective mentors, partners and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will foster your career development.
During my EMBA journey, especially during the Global Immersion Project (GIP) visit to Singapore, I was able to interact with a diverse group of SP Jain alumni, thereby growing my professional network. Today, I am a proud ambassador of SP Jain and the Vice President of the SPJ Singapore Alumni Chapter. I believe in growing the entire alumni ecosystem by fostering relationship-building and helping others to achieve their goals and ambitions. Networking is one of the most critical aspects for any EMBA student and with the help of this platform, students can connect with others from different industries.
Swati: Having a strong network can help in multiple ways and various dimensions. Networking should be thought of as an investment, as building our social capital. Having the right kind of network can make an immensely positive difference in our professional and/or personal trajectory.
While doing your MBA, there are plenty of opportunities to network. SP Jain has a huge and diverse set of students in terms of cultures, industry, and experience. Additionally, the alumni network is vast and very active. I am personally very thankful for this network for all the knowledge I was able to derive and use in my profession.
Suet: Whether you are in the corporate world or running businesses, networking is the most powerful tool to expand and grow your horizon. People learn from each other through networking as well. You get to see new things and even get to know people who are in highly respected positions. You never know, one of the contacts may eventually be the reason for your success. There is a saying that “your network is your net worth”.
SP Jain always has a huge pool of great talents whom we get to meet during networking sessions. You should grab your chance to know more people out there and get inspired by them.
Q. What was it like to start a new business after you completed your EMBA degree?
Suet: I started a new e-commerce business after a year of completing my SP Jain EMBA.
Today, I am quite happy that things are going great. I am passionate about this business and every day is a new opportunity. It has been a truly fulfilling journey for me and I am glad that I began my journey with SP Jain back in the year 2017.
Right from admissions to graduation (and even after), I had great support from the SP Jain team. These are the people who made my success possible.
Looking for more information about pursuing an Executive MBA degree? Get in touch with us today, and schedule a one-on-one counsulting with out student counsellors.
Click here to read more stories from SP Jain’s EMBA students and alumni.