In the middle of his Executive MBA from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, Mark Hamrick launched a new company, Bionic Energy LCC – a thru-tubing service company based in Casper, Wyoming.
He set a professional goal of hiring and retiring employees, “to be a leader people want to work for,” says Hamrick, a Class of 2022 Best & Brightest EMBA Candidate.
To do that, he will lean on the lessons learned in his EMBA program, just as he used the lessons to start his company.
“I learned how to articulate and communicate my knowledge with confidence. Coming into the program, I needed help showing confidence, expressing my understanding, and influencing others,” he tells Poets&Quants. “The program’s experiences allowed me to achieve transformational change for myself and others. I have increased my ability to consistently make informed decisions and collaborate with others to achieve positive outcomes. I have also learned to fail forward fast and learn and adapt quickly.”
THE BIGGEST LESSONS FROM TOP EMBA GRADUATES
For Aimee Smart, the advantage of undertaking an MBA mid-career is that she could immediately apply the concepts she was learning in the classroom.
“Throughout the program, I had several mini epiphanies. I gained a deeper understanding of the other interdependent factors, beyond the technical elements, that underlie business decisions when considering in-licensing new technology, enabling me to develop valuation models and build more complete business cases,” says Smart, Vice President of Clinical Development and Regulatory Processes at Lung Biotechnology PBC. She’s also a Best & Brightest EMBA from University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
“One lesson that had a significant and lasting impact was thinking about my organization through Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of the Team Model. This led to my starting a change project with my leadership team that was focused on improving organizational health. To date, we have significantly improved the function and quality of our meetings and overall communication.”
Each year, P&Q honors 100 EMBA candidates among the Best & Brightest of their class. As part of the nomination, these students answer the following question: What is the biggest lesson learned from your EMBA journey?
We poured over those answers to find the 11 biggest lessons of all, according to the Class of 2022. Read them below.
1. Applying EMBA Lessons To Work
“All of the projects that we did in the program related to work in some way. We would be in class on the weekend and on Monday I would be implementing what I learned at work. The biggest lesson related to solving an adaptive leadership issue. I am working through the change with a work project team that is in need of succession planning but there are personality and political issues to overcome. I have been given a framework from class to help the team and it is working!” – Lori Bartlett, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)
2. The Power Of Agility
“I went through this program during COVID, having to balance my expectations with reality, and dealing with multiple setbacks in logistics – all while adding this huge workload to an already busy schedule. It gave me a great opportunity to practice being agile in an uncertain world. Witnessing Booth’s program office managing the constant changes in restrictions across countries and yet delivering an unexpected experience to us all taught me how an agile leader would act. Learning and crystalizing my mental boundaries across different classes helped me break through some personal limitations that I had created and become more responsive to opportunities I would have dismissed previously.” – Mairose Doss, Chicago Booth
3. Ask Questions And Listen To Feedback
“Not everyone sees you as you think; it’s important to ask questions and listen to feedback about yourself. Even if you have the best intention, it might not be well interpreted if you don’t express it the right way. Also, don’t give the solution to colleagues right away; help them find it for themselves and see beyond the issue. In other words, don’t give them the fish; teach them how to fish.” – Manuel Ormo, ESADE Business School
NEXT PAGE: More lessons from the 2022 Best & Brightest