Bobby Bernardez, a former classmate of mine in the MBA program of UP Diliman (Evening) Class 2006* dropped me a direct message in FaceBook last November. ”How’s life after MBA?” he asked.
It was a pleasant surprise for me. Bobby and I were in different “circles” in our MBA class so we are not really “close.” I remember him to be among the more serious students in our class. He would actively participate in class discussions and lead his teams in preparing and presenting ca studies. We do have one thing in common. We were both among the “senior citizens” of UP-MBA (Evening) Class 2006.
Bobby’s question struck me and made me think hard about how MBA has changed my life. Or did it really?
I jokingly replied to Bobby: “Nothing much really changed in my life after MBA, except that I have more smart friends now. I am sure very soon I can at least tell my kids or my friends something like …’Bobby Bernardez? The CEO of XXX? He was my classmate in MBA!’”
My reply wasn’t exactly inaccurate in several points.
My MBA hasn’t really influenced my job and my career. Not dramatically at least. It’s a very nice appendage in my CV no doubt. But insofar as my current job is concerned it is not much of a critical asset. The biggest benefit I got from my MBA in relation to my present job is probably that I can now better relate to the business people. This is doubly important for me being in a technology management role at present.
The real and most potent benefit I gained from MBA are the really smart people I met. A handful of them I now consider as really close friends. Most are friendly acquaintances that can be tapped in the future for all sorts of things. Yes they do teach Quid Pro Quo in MBA.
Oh yes there were also the Smart Asses I met in MBA (hey Bobby, if my memory serves me right you are not one of ‘em). I tried my darnest to be nice to ‘em as much as I could. You’ll never know if a smart ass classmate in your MBA class will someday hit it big or become a really important person like a CEO of the company you are working for, or a senator of the Republic, or a TV anchor (God forbid).
Lastly, Bobby may, in fact, become the CEO of XXX. Or maybe he already is. I’d better ask.
* I actually completed my MBA units in December 2006, and marched in the March 2007 Graduation Ceremonies.