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Life Happens During an MBA - Mark's Story

Mark Hussey, UL MBA graduate

I graduated with the UL MBA class of 2012-2014 and thoroughly enjoyed my journey. However, like all things in life sometimes the unexpected catches you by surprise. For me, it was a deterioration of my health. During the summer of 2013, I began to feel unwell and without a diagnosis I was getting progressively more ill. At the same time, I was still going to college and participating in projects, one of which was a class trip to Brazil at the start of our second year. This was the trip of a lifetime and unfortunately my health prevented me from fully embracing it.

What's going on?

I still didn’t have a diagnosis and by now I was questioning myself. Was I mad? Was this real? By the time December rolled around I couldn’t have felt any worse. I found myself in the Bons Secours hospital in Tralee, having literally collapsed in the door. There I was diagnosed with Addisons disease, an autoimmune disease. This had stopped my body producing salt, which can have devastating effects. While this news was terrifying, my overarching feeling was relieved. I wasn’t mad!

UL’s Response

How did UL respond? Initially with much appreciated messages of support and offers of help. As I recuperated, my thoughts switched to the course material, deadlines, word counts and journals to read. This was all happening during term time, so I was actually meant to be partaking in a “live” project with Munster Rugby, which would have been right up my street. Luckily, neither my classmates or my lecturer had a problem with me partaking remotely.

Picture this, lying in my bed in Bons Secours squeezing every bit of creative juice I had to sell seats for Munster! The lesson was UL still included me in the MBA experience, despite my not being physically present. I wasn’t forgotten, it felt like I was still there.

Reaching my goal

This inclusion helped me so much, it was exhilarating. Focusing on the project and achieving the best grade for the team helped me forgot about my illness. What’s more, over the following days all my other lecturers were accommodating, flexible, and understanding. They moved deadlines and as a result, I was able to complete and submit all assignments. UL as a community couldn't have been any more accommodating, and for me this will never be forgotten. Thanks to my lecturers and classmates help, understanding and flexibility, I completed second year, and graduated from the MBA programme in January 2015. I had finally reached my goal of getting an MBA.

Overall, I learnt so much on my MBA journey in UL, including the true meaning of that famous phrase "health is wealth". When I was at my lowest, UL was at its most generous. At my most vulnerable, I was fully supported and for that I will be forever grateful.

Mark Hussey, UL MBA Graduate, Class of 2014


   
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