“One day as an MBA is long, but one year is short.” Andrew Vassallo (full-time MBA course leader) shared this philosophy to us on first day. A previous student told him this, and when he shared with us, some of us were unsure, but now we all understand and agree. One day learning from 9 to 5 in the classroom is quite long, but my year went by so quickly.
I started my MBA in January of 2016 by studying at University, visiting local businesses and my first consultancy project. We enjoyed outdoor team building days, a trip to London, and assignment deadlines before the summer break. We returned to classes and second consultancy project, before, suddenly, it was our last, and most memorable day. Head of Norwich Business School Professor Paul Dobson, joined to give us an inspiring speech before presenting us with our UEA / ILM career development certificates. We followed this by watching a video of our memories from the year made by our MBA classmate. It made me cry! The only other thing we had left was one last dinner, and then we were finished. I couldn’t believe it. I completed my MBA so quickly.
I love United Kingdom, Norwich and UEA so much. I love the blue sky, fresh air, beautiful flowers and peaceful countryside. I love the friendly people I met in the UK, and I love how cars stop for people to cross the street!
I now know how living and studying in British culture has made me realise new ways of thinking and lifestyle choices. I am a totally different person when compared to before my MBA. I know this is because of all the experiences I was able to have during my MBA year. I have so many fantastic memories.
MBA taught me two main things. Firstly, critical thinking, thinking creatively and trusting yourself – everything that happens, must we well thought out and reasoned. You must ask yourself ‘why’ first and analyse your behaviour and ways of thinking, the behaviour of others or a business case, and then make your decision based on this and what you know. Second, and just as important, MBA gave me friendship. Our cohort is a very diverse group, from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. We learn from each other how different people behave in the certain ways, and how is best to communicate with various individuals. As time went by however, we got to know each other better. We went through tough tests with each other, which helped bring us together as a family. When we talk now, we talk like ourselves and accept each other openly. I know no matter what happens to me, there will always be this fantastic group of friends supporting me.
After we finished our MBA course my classmate and best friend Jennie traveled to China with me. The plan was 15 days, 6 provinces, and 8 flights. China has so much to see for such a short time! We went to The Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Temple of Heaven to see the vast history of Beijing. We also went to see the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, Pandas in Chengdu. We went to Miao Village and Qingyan old town to see the unique culture in Guizhou. I took Jennie to meet my family in Shenzhen, by the beach, and of course we went to the Bund at night to admire the fabulous Shanghai skyline.
To my MBA family – I miss you when I see all of our photos. I miss you when I watch our video. I miss you when I think about our MBA. I miss you when I go back to UEA. I miss you because you are big part of my life.
Thank you UEA! Thank you NBS! Thank you MBA!
Alisa (Xuejiao Chen) – 2016 full-time MBA student
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