Why the concept of personal and professional development is so important for an MBA participant

The concept of personal and professional development is important for any professional, and especially for MBA participants as they are excepted to take on leadership roles after they obtain their MBA. Anyone in a leadership position has a responsibility to grow, develop, inspire others and help others to unleash their potential. They should lead by example, be lifelong learners and encourage people they lead to do the same. When we have a critical mass of such self-aware leaders helping others to develop, organisations will become happier and more purposeful places to work.

We expect our MBA participants not just to get an MBA but to be an MBA. That means having an MBA mindset, shifting to Level 4 way of thinking (as described in my book “The Management Shift“), seeing the bigger picture, focusing on higher purpose and collaboration and continuous personal and professional development.

What it means to actively study your own personal & professional development 

Actively studying your own personal & professional development (ppd) means understanding one’s strengths and developmental opportunities, creating a specific plan of action to leverage strengths and pursue developmental opportunities, continuously developing self-awareness and social awareness (emotional intelligence). That also means taking advantage of events, group discussions, reading material and any other learning and development opportunities consistently.  

With the advancement of technology and on-line learning opportunities, sources of information for personal development are now so easily available that anyone who is taking their career development seriously should take advantage of all learning opportunities, formally and informally, individually and as a part of a group. We know that best learning often happens as a part of interacting with others. 

What Westminster MBA participants currently experience as part of their PPD

Within the MBA, our participants have a wide range of learning opportunities offered as Masterclasses to explore topics such as: the importance of continuous personal and professional development, shifting the mindset to more collaborative and purposeful ways of working, understanding of the importance of specific thinking patterns and language used when interacting with others, understanding how to improve personal resilience and stress management, obtaining media training skills to be ready for media interviews and answering difficult questions when put on the spot, developing a personal brand and marketing their employability skills, understanding the importance of values and ethical decision making, learning the basics of neuro-linguistic programming and other techniques for peak performance. 

These Masterclasses underpin the entire MBA Programme, and provides personal learning space that MBA students can then apply to modules and improve their career prospects after they obtain their MBA. It also teaches the participants to be more reflective, to see the big picture and develop an interdisciplinary mind set. All these skills are invaluable in today’s competitive business market and are crucial for leaders in the 12st century.

This blog was written by Module Leader of the Westminster MBA Personal & Professional Development Module, Vlatka Hlupic. To find out more about the course, please visit our website.

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