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  • Writer's pictureMaria Vandenburg

My Route to the Boards

MBA Orientation? Complete.It was great! However, I feel like I'm on information overload even after spending the day trying to process and make sense of everything :)


Cowboy: someone sketchy

Get Ratty: get irritated

Stroppy: Bad tempered/confrontational/annoyed

Student: a banned word. I am not allowed to say I am student, I am a 'participant' - but I kind of love that - it sort of elevates how we all think of ourselves.

To catch anyone up who might need it - I have just started a brand new "Director's MBA" at the University of Westminster in London.I will also start my first day as a Project Manager at a publishing company tomorrow. So it has been a whole lot of new at the moment.

What I am most excited about with this MBA program is the like-mindedness of everyone that's in it. We are all launching this program together, so it's really important to feel like we are on the same page, and it really does seem like we are. Granted, I am still in the honeymoon phase, so we will see how this all holds up a few months. BUT as of right now, I am very much looking forward to everything. I'll take one step back and give you guys the context of what this program looks like - we have three different elements in which our "modules" sit. Kellie Vincent, our MBA director (who is fantastic) maps them out as follows:

  • Preparing for the Board - providing the starter knowledge, content, skills and competencies - which is what I will be working through between now and January.

  • Route to the Board - were we work on our professional attributes with an opportunity to transform through comprehensive action learning and research in a reflexive manner.

  • Experiencing the Board - a space where we become a board and try out the various board roles in a variety of organisational contexts

So in two years when I have completed this program, I will have served on the Board of Directors for four different types of companies (Entrepreneurial, Corporate, International, Non-Profit) in four different roles (CEO/ Marketing Director, Human Resources and Organisational Development Director, Finance and Resources Director, and Marketing and Operations Director). It will be action-based learning where we divide into smaller teams to conquer/take on whatever comes next. That's the part that intimidates me, having to give up control and rely on others. HOWEVER, this whole thing is going to cause me to stretch and grow, I know that. So building that trust and relying on others will be a really good thing for me. I'm also really excited about the Drs./Professors we will get to work with. From Professor Vlatka Kluptic who wrote this: and is pictured below (and yes, that is me in the corner.. taking copious notes, I really was! I loved pretty much every single thing she said),

to MBA Deputy Director Simon Healeus, Dean Professor Malcolm Kirkup, Dr. Paul Langley, Professor Richard Harding, and many more. You know when you have that gut feeling that something is going to be great? That's what I have with this program, even if I am intimidated and bit overwhelmed at first. I am incredibly excited to figure it all out and map out my route to leadership. <3



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