Reflections on the lessons learned from an MBA

It it now almost a year ago, that I was in the last couple of weeks at work and starting to sell and pack up my life in New York city.

Now I’m almost at the end of my Vlerick MBA programme and I have to say that this year has challenged me and helped me to grow and develop in ways that I never expected. So in my final blog here on the FT MBA Blog page I thought I’d ‘reflect’ on some of the lessons I’ve learned during my time here in Belgium.

The lessons I’ve learned during my time here as a Vlerick MBA programme are:

  • to take the time to understand and appreciate other perspectives (working with 41 different nationalities has this affect on you)
  • that as laid back as I perceived myself to be prior to beginning my programme, I’m actually quite fiercely competitive
  • that some pop culture (especially music) translates no matter where you are; I’ve heard the song “I’ve Got A Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas here in Europe, in the US and even in China!
  • how to organise my thoughts and ideas into a framework or model
  • the difference between the Flemish and the Wallonian Belgians (and that you should never confuse the two)
  • that I can survive living and working in an international environment where not everyone speaks my language
  • how to enjoy a more leisurely existence

I’ve had a great time this year. There have been moments like the past couple of weeks, where I’ve wondered how I would accomplish everything on my plate, but somehow I got through it all.
This year has been one of the most challenging, invigorating and eye-opening years of my life. Yes, I’ve had my ups and downs, but overall it’s an experience that I’ll never forget.
I’m thankful for all of the friends that I’ve made during my time here; and for all of the family and friends back home who have supported me with pep talks and keeping me in the loop on what’s happening there.
Now that I’m near the end of my programme it’s time for me to put all the lessons I’ve learned to good use. Good luck to all of my fellow bloggers as well as the incoming Vlerick full-time MBA students for the class of 2011.