MSc in Management
Jannine · 2016 - 2017
A MiM-orable Experience Indeed
When I graduated from college last year, I wasn’t really certain where I was heading. I had plans of working in large companies, however, I felt that I was still not prepared to step into the “real world”. I felt the need to learn and explore more. On top of that, I wanted to challenge myself by doing something outside of my comfort zone.
Then I heard about SMU. I learnt about this university from my cousin who was interested in taking up his Masters education. “The course is only 1-year long, and it’s open to fresh graduates,” he told me. One year for a masters degree, and it was also open to fresh graduates. I get to study overseas (and it’s Singapore!). That seemed like a great deal for me! I knew this was something I needed and wanted to do.
So I decided to give it a shot. The process was quite long, but kudos to SMU’s admission team for being so supportive and welcoming to their applicants. From completing application forms, to taking the admission test, as well as attending the online interviews, they were very hands-on from beginning to end. And true enough, I got the results and was very pleased to know that I was accepted.
Motivation to pursue the Master in Management
What made me decide to push and pursue this programme was down to two things: first, I saw this opportunity as a stepping stone towards building my career. The MiM programme to me at least is a bridge that connects student life and working life. I feel that I could get the best of both worlds: theory and application. Second, I saw this as an opportunity for me to grow as a person. I never really tried studying overseas, away from home, away from my comfort zone. Now I can do something that is challenging, yet fulfilling. I was really excited to embark on this new journey.
The first terms in the MIM programme
Fast forward to January 2017. I still vividly remember my first week in class. It was quite challenging because I was still adjusting to the new environment, our new professors and classmates. For group work in class, teams were formed such that it would be diverse in terms of gender and nationality. Initially, I didn't consider this as a challenge. I thought it would be just like any other group works I had been in before. However, group meetings were somewhat tougher compared to what I experienced during my undergraduate studies in the Philippines. Because we came from different backgrounds and cultures, our different perspectives affected the way we work together. We also had different work ethics and on top of that, different personalities. It was designed in this manner so that we can be trained to work along with others in spite of our differences. It was not only knowledge and theories that were taught, but SMU has also helped us improve our interpersonal and soft skills. In addition, working with people of different backgrounds has been a humbling experience for me. I realized that I have yet to learn a lot of things, be it academics, business, or life in general. Term after term, we slowly got adapted to the fast-paced style of teaching. We enjoyed working in groups, especially because we have now grown comfortable and closer with each other.
Now that we are in our final term, I honestly have mixed emotions about it. I am happy that I was able to survive. I have also learnt a lot from this course. On top of that, I gained 41 new MiM friendships that I know will last a lifetime. On the other hand, I also feel sad because, just as the adage goes, ‘all good things must come to an end’. Studying in SMU was surreal. I can say that it’s one of the best experiences I had.
Looking back: How did I profit from the SMU Master?
Overall, my SMU experience has so far been integral to me because it has helped me step out of my comfort zone. From presenting cases, participating in classes and working with people from different cultures, I truly gained a lot. I started as an introvert, someone who’s satisfied in blending into the background instead of standing out. But I can say that SMU has molded me. I became more motivated, more at ease with talking to different people, and became increasingly confident, because I have come to know myself more. I learned more about my strengths and how I can capitalize on them, as well as my weaknesses and how I can improve on them. In SMU, I realized that introversion does not stop me from stepping up and achieving the seemingly impossible skills that most outgoing people possess. Speaking from experience, pushing oneself beyond your limits is difficult, but would soon prove to be worth it. I learned that nothing can stop a person from improving if she is dedicated to become a better version of herself.