Full-time MBA: Not-for-Profit Project reflections

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Ankit Katyal, Class of 2017, provides his personal thoughts on the excitement of collaboration on the Not-For-Profit Project

Ankit KatyalIn my view, the ‘Manchester Method’ encourages and teaches two important ideologies – ‘practice and reflect to actually learn a concept’ and ‘being prepared to apply learnings towards greater successes’. Personally, as well as in my conversations with fellow classmates, I have got a sense that the Not-for-Profit (NFP) project will be somewhat of a cornerstone for self-actualization; it will, in the true sense eke out our weaknesses first, then help us strengthen them.

Reflecting on the start, there was a lot of fervent anticipation amongst the class about getting to know what the NFP project is all about. Some were (understandably) fearful too; working in teams with diverse personalities and cultures is usually a great challenge. However, the class has settled into the process, and I have observed how diligently everyone is contributing to each group discussion. We are learning; rather discovering whether we are better leaders, summarizers, report writers, coordinators or simply contributors.

Many of us, myself included, were apprehensive about the nature of the client meetings for the NFP project – in terms of holding professional standards, communicating effectively, and leaving a good impression. But, it has been a very pleasant experience from the first meeting; the clients actually helped us ease in and encouraged us to be ourselves. This was extremely important from the outset.

Finally, in the initial stages many of us faced difficulties in working together in the NFP teams. This is natural; everyone has their own set of ideologies, mindset, style of working and above all, perceptions. There have been disagreements about the roles, and about what and how much each member should contribute; but through this and the Brathay experience we have actually gelled together so well, I am going to be brave and start referring to us as a ‘team’, rather than a ‘group of individuals’.

The scoping exercise was exciting; it challenged our brains to really use every bit of intelligence. We were successful in agreeing what we could realistically provide the client and how we would manage the risks and challenges. But, we knew that we might ‘fall off the bike’ at some stages. What would be important was that we were there – as a ‘team’, as a ‘class’, as ‘friends’ to – pick each other up and support each other like a family. It will be my endeavour to connect with the class and leverage the rich cultural diversity that Alliance MBS has managed to recruit to the MBA programme. I really feel proud to have got through the settling in process, and look forward with enthusiasm to tackling the intensity and extremely challenging situations coming my way.

I would like to conclude this reflection with three things I have learnt so far that should help me tread this path – ‘listen carefully and be aware’, ‘act with humility and empathy’, and’ challenge your current thinking to make quick, smart decisions’.

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Alliance Manchester Business School has a global reputation for innovative and influential teaching and research, which impacts business on a local, national and international level. We call this Original Thinking Applied.

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