As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” This statement is a pretty powerful thought if you think about what choices you have made to become the person you are today. What you prioritize in your life makes you “you,” and although everyone can improve or change themselves at any moment, a new year is the perfect time to analyze 2017 and turn ideas of the person that you want to become into reality.
According to YouGov’s study, although 32% of Americans did not make 2018 New Year’s resolutions, 68% of us did. 68% of us still believe in that “new year, new you,” idea, and I have to say – I’m one of them.
Perhaps the 32% answered this way because of lack of time, a hectic work schedule, or family obligations, but if you don’t accomplish what you want to now, when are you ever going to do it? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I have ever heard a family member, friend, or coworker tell me they had more free time than they knew what to do with.
There are always the eating healthier/getting fitter resolutions, but how do you want to make 2018 an impactful year for you? Do you want to become more knowledgeable about what other companies are doing or how to motivate your employees? Do you want to learn something new or completely change your career?
All of the things above that the average American wants to complete in 2018 take time and planning, but I have to say –a good number of these goals can be achieved through The University of Alabama Executive MBA Program. Yes, it is a time and financial commitment, and it definitely isn’t easy, but in our 2017 alumni survey, 99% said they would do it again.
I can safely say that my classmates and I read more – probably more than any of us expected, but we learned so much about other corporations that several of us were able to apply techniques from other industries to our own, or felt comfortable starting new businesses altogether. Eight percent of our classmates have started our own businesses and 15% are currently developing a start-up.
We did the EMBA program for different and/or multiple reasons, but being with the same people either one weekend a month for 21 months or around two weekends a month for 17 months brings you together.
The bonding could be cramming together over a project management quiz, with one person exclaiming the acronyms they used to remember processes, together acing a group presentation that you put your heart and soul into for weeks, or shouting at one another in glee as each one of our individual motorbike drivers raced through the streets of Vietnam with you on the back.
For me – I met one of my best friends in the EMBA Program – and she’s actually a bridesmaid in my wedding!
Even if you come from a business background, you are going to learn a new skill that you don’t have now. It could be nonlinear optimization, negotiating, or blending infographics into a presentation seamlessly. Or possibly Project Libre, Minitab, or Excel Solver. The words I use in my writing became less poetic and more analytical, and although I found myself to be a strong presenter, there is always room for improvement!
Several classmates of mine moved to different companies or industries, and although I stayed at The University of Alabama, I received two promotions during the 17 months of my program. Many alumni can say the same, with 79% receiving promotions (average number is 3.3 promotions per student) and 98% receiving an increase in pay, with 8% stating they make at least twice as much as when they were a student. Others loved and wanted to stay in their current jobs but wanted to add to their skillsets, with 13% now serving on a corporate board of directors, and 29% serving on a non-profit board.
It’s 2018, what is it that you want to do? Whatever it is, make an action plan and get started. One of my favorite Walt Disney quotes is, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” You owe it to yourself to be courageous in this new year, and work on the person that you want to become, starting today. ❤︎