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The Unique Induction Process: Transitioning Into The UL Executive MBA Experience

Niall O’Grady is an IT Development Manager with global cloud ERP software company QAD and a current student of the UL Executive MBA. In this article, Niall explains the important role of UL’s induction process in easing him and his classmates into the Executive MBA programme.

In the period between my acceptance of my place on the UL Executive MBA and the beginning of the induction, it would be true to say that I buried my head in the sand on the topic! I was proud of my decision to pursue an MBA, though conscious of the workload that lay in store.

I would mention to family and friends that I had an exciting new challenge lying in wait in September but didn’t entertain much further discussion on the topic - I was intentionally putting it to the back of my mind!

From late August, the emails started to flow in about pre-registering for various systems at the University and things began to start feeling very real. On logging to Moodle and seeing a list of topics that appeared foreign to me, I began to find my return to education quite daunting.

However, I was hopeful that the Executive MBA induction programme would help to ease these concerns.

Online meet and greet

The first task of the MBA induction programme was to effectively “say hello” to classmates through a written introduction. A source of the greatest comfort and encouragement for me was the review of my classmate’s introductions.

With my review of each classmate profile, my anxieties about the programme chipped away a little further. The introductions demonstrated a very diverse group of people from various backgrounds and industries and this greatly enhanced my enthusiasm and excitement about starting the programme. The potential to learn as much from my classmates as the course content was an important factor in my decision to pursue the UL MBA.

Grasping the course content, and institutional supports
As well as helping me to integrate with my classmates, the induction process also enabled me to grasp a feel for the course content and how to best manage my studies alongside personal and work responsibilities. The theory of time management covered on the induction was particularly invaluable.

We were also trained on how to use all the technical systems including Moodle, the Digital Platform supporting the MBA, and the UL library, where we can access all supporting reading materials virtually, in addition to at any time receiving support from the dedicated KBS librarian.

All of this helped enormously, and without this transition process, I would really have struggled once the first block of classes began.

Invaluable insider insights
During the induction process, past learners of the UL MBA programme also engaged with us to tell us about their experience, the challenges they faced and the advice they would give themselves if starting the programme all over again. These past learners also became our mentors throughout the induction programme, advising us on our time management strategies and answering any questions we had.

This interaction with past learners provided incredibly valuable insights into the journey that lay ahead. Hearing how they had overcome any obstacles to come through the MBA and graduate was really inspiring and helped to further diminish those initial anxieties.

Getting to know my classmates
The online induction was followed by an on-campus workshop which really helped me to further get to know my classmates. Early discussion of the foreign class trip provided an exciting topic of conversation and the afternoon at the UL activity centre in Killaloe was a great ice-breaker and opportunity to develop coherence as a group. The fantastic BBQ at the Curragower served to cement relationships even further.

Motivating me for the journey ahead
Where I began the MBA induction with trepidation, I left it with belief. I possess the attitude which I feel will be needed to finish what I have now started. Aspects of my life which compete for my time are no more challenging than those of my classmates. I have come to realise that this is the course for me and that now is the perfect time to embark on my MBA journey.

I walked onto campus for my first block of classes with my head truly removed from the sand. There was a pep in my step, an excitement about what lay ahead, and a determination to make the most of this great opportunity.


   
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