One of my top ten strengths is Learner. According to Gallup, “people who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. The process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.”

Given this, it wasn’t surprising that I loved undertaking an Executive MBA. Even though I suffered acutely from imposter syndrome when I started. Like many women, I had thoughts that I was out of touch, I wasn’t smart enough, I didn’t really belong and that the first time I opened my mouth I would be found out!

Great news though!

As I moved through the courses in my MBA, I discovered some terrific things. I wasn’t out of touch, woefully inadequate and I wasn’t going to be found out! I became less afraid and more courageous. And you know what else? The more I discovered my own strengths, my innate traits and characteristics, the less I cared about bending myself out of shape to meet what I perceived to be societal, corporate and of course my own, unrealistic expectations.  I realised I was happy!

Study made me happy, it gave me focus outside of my work and created the need for balance at work as a result. I think that I became a better role model. Women benefited from seeing someone like me add an MBA study load to my life and manage it well.”

Completing an MBA had long been on my ‘bucket list.’

An unintended and early consequence of study was the desire for a major life change.  I yearned badly to make a difference on a global level. I found the environment during my study fostered deep reflection and learning about my leadership style, my approach to innovation and enabled me to learn the practical steps towards entrepreneurship. The RMIT university environment was collegial, supportive and I made lifelong friends and business collaboration partners. It provided me a focal point for my newly discovered ambition and I discovered the outlet for my entrepreneurial, innovative and committed self. Who knew?  None of that was described on the brochure!

I am fortunate that my experience has been profiled in this article by Karen Turtle from Karen has captured my experience wonderfully.  I hope that women read this and are inspired to invest in themselves and, like I did, start following their bliss!

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