“My main drive was to advance my corporate hospitality career by either climbing the ladder more efficiently or to potentially discover a new calling via the MBA. As it happened, with hard work and the effectiveness of Action Learning I achieved both of my goals. On submission day, my bestie and partner in crime, Jenn assisted me with the final proof read, going so far as barring me access from my own thesis “for just one more read” and stood by my side as I hit that beautiful button “send” at 3:30am, with big happy tears of relief streaming down my cheeks.”
1. Tell us in one sentence who you are and what’s your biggest challenge in life
“I am a proud digital nerd, a busybody people person and I generally apply myself 110% to everything I do … most importantly I am husband to my best friend, partner and wife and father to a very special South Sudanese dog named George.
The biggest challenge in my life is to feel valued … to practice self-care, to achieve balance in life and to become an entrepreneur.”
2. What was your main drive to start with the BSN MBA, did you also have cons besides the pros why you decided to enroll this study?
“My main drive was to advance my corporate hospitality career by either climbing the ladder more efficiently or to potentially discover a new calling via the International Action Learning MBA. As it happened, with hard work and the effectiveness of Action Learning I achieved both of my goals:
Midway through the MBA I was promoted to the position of Area Digital Field Marketing Specialist for sub Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean within hospitality, though my very first job away from hotel and restaurant operations, away from the coalface, so to speak, where I had worked for 22 years.
It has been a year and a half now in Digital Marketing and I am growing everyday more digitally inclined as I try to keep up with the ever-increasing pace of new technology and platforms, an exhilarating, albeit unwinnable race.
My immediate goal, post-graduation, is to advance into more senior Digital Marketing Leadership. As I have often explained to friends and colleagues the BSN MBA process was like receiving an upgrade or multiple upgrades as you do on your mobile phone or your laptop, but in this case the upgrade is on your mindset and how you conduct yourself in business and in life for that matter.”
3. Why did you choose Business School Netherlands and did we deliver what we promised?
“BSN was an excellent choice for me based on two major reasons, 1) Action Learning and 2) the BSN bursary extended to students originating from developing nations such as South Africa.
A trusted friend enthused the benefits of Action Learning while the bursary tuition was more affordable by over 30% as compared to South African Universities and, the best part, I got to visit the great country of The Netherlands on two occasions for workshops, intense but highly rewarding experiences.”
“Regarding delivery, absolutely, BSN, you have delivered on your promise and more, you have instilled in me the ability to seek out and solve complex problems, via research and reading … and reading … and reading … and more research.
BSN, you have instilled in me the ability to solve problems via the active inclusion of a diversity of intellectual input from those quite literally all around me: conversation partners, stakeholders, colleagues, direct reports, managers and senior directors. Asking questions and listening, capturing data and the deep analysis of such data in a cyclical iterative process of knowledge creation.
You have instilled in me the ability to understand how to consider every possible solution (not only the AHA one that I land on I seem to land on somewhere following the data analysis) but every possible solution, in depth before making big and final decisions, this learning curve I have truly been empowered via the power of Action Learning and the BSN application thereof.
Finally the MBA and BSN Action Learning process has given me the confidence to question the status quo and speak my mind in order to create change as Ikujiro Nonaka (widely known for his work in Knowledge creation) states: ‘In the act of creating, people argue. They have heated dialogue. They get upset! Without real exchange, you can’t create knowledge. Knowledge creation is a human activity.'”
4. How do you look back on your MBA journey?
“I can recall two or three occasions when I felt truly and utterly as if I was in over my head: 1) when I logged in for the very first time to learn the extent of my MBA workload, 2) when I started my first ALP and 3) once or twice or five times in the early stages of my dissertation: “what if I can’t do this… what if I fail?” such feelings were short-lived in their intense panic and always overcome by the simple taking of one step into the work … and then another.
The final stages of the dissertation completion were of the toughest and ultimately rewarding periods of my life, during which time my parents in law became unexpected proof readers and sounding boards most amazingly, since they were doing this all remotely while on vacation in Hawaii, my extended family remained patient with me not seeing me for weeks.
Last but not least my bestie and partner in crime, Jenn held the household together, taking on more and more tasks that we would usually share. On submission day, Jenn assisted me with the final proof read, going so far as barring me access from my own thesis “for just one more read” and stood by my side as I hit that beautiful button “send” at 3:30am, with big happy tears of relief streaming down my cheeks.”
5. In what way did your organisation help you, and how much profit did you make for them during and after this MBA study tangible and intangible, and can you tell us in money terms?
“I received incredible support from my organization, I was able to access Executive leadership and “download” knowledge from their experience, their diverse perspectives and varying natures of disciplines as well as leadership. Such interviews and most especially the transcription and subsequent analysis of such knowledge accelerated my mindset and a more 360’ understanding of firstly hospitality but thereafter of Marketing and Digital Marketing most especially. In more than one case I was able to practically apply study results into implementation which was a mutually rewarding process.”
Also read how he looked back on the MBA after completing his second conference week in the Netherlands:
‘The Action Learning MBA at BSN is demanding, daunting and incredibly challenging… but you can do it!’
For more information on our Action Learning MBA and Management Programmes, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.