Make Your MBA Count!

I love to teach. Quite often, I teach MBA students. They are my best students. Once upon a time, I, too, was an MBA student. I believe I was a great student too. Learning has always been exciting, and the MBA program was the most exciting part of my learning journey! Over the years, many have enrolled in the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) program for different reasons. Across the globe, there are lots of MBA holders. In Kenya, business schools have been graduating hundreds of MBAs for almost three decades. Many Kenyans in the private sector, government, non-governmental and development worlds have an MBA as one of their accolades. Are these Kenyans making their MBAs count?

Administration is a term that covers a wide subject area. The term is used across sectors to refer to the process of effectively running organizations. In government, the use of the term “administration” is widespread. So often, the administration of the president in power is used to mean the government. In Kenya, administration runs from the president to the village elder. In some countries, Masters in Public Administration (MPA) programs are common. In Kenya, the MPAs are fairly new. As such, MBA programs remain the preference for many in the public sector. In the private sector, administration is seen as the backbone of organizations. This is because administration is closely related to management. Many in the business world end up pursuing the MBA program. Others, enroll for an MBA soon after earning their first degree. In my MBA classes, I often have students cutting across all different professions. Some are engineers, doctors, architects, teachers, lawyers, accountants, investment bankers, politicians, public administrators and many others.

MBA programs allow students to study the subject of management from a very broad perspective. It gives students a good understanding of general management. Besides general management, MBA students touch on almost all other aspects of management, such as financial management, human resources management, marketing management, strategic management, and the like. An MBA holder is expected to have acquired managerial competencies applicable to their workplaces. The competencies we acquire in MBA programs need to make us better administrators.

MBA holders need to make their MBAs count by being better managers. Management happens every day in every organization. It helps organizations run smoothly in the short, medium, and long term. It involves the leadership of people and the allocation and utilization of all other resources. I consider leadership a key component of the MBA program. In both the public and private sectors, we have many that hold leadership positions. Some of these leaders are MBA graduates too. I believe we have not as yet felt the impact of the thousands of MBA holders both in the public and private sectors. We have many opportunities to become better at how we organize, govern, direct, and lead. If you are an MBA holder, make your MBA count by being a better administrator, a better manager, and a better human. One of the greatest lessons I took out of an MBA program two decades ago was that the ordinary can do the extraordinary. The extraordinary is required to improve organizations, government, and make the world a better place for all. Make your MBA count by doing the extraordinary!

Dr. Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via Twitter @KiruthuLucy

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