Paul Surgenor is National Director, Information, Support and Education with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and is based in Washington DC.
I didn’t plan to do an MBA. I worked in the charity sector and didn’t want to start my own business, so why would I? But I did recognise that I’d reached a point where I needed new skills if I wanted to get to the next stage of my career. I was looking at leadership courses when the details of the MBA caught my eye. I went along to the open evening, listened to some alumni and chatted to the lecturers. As my wife said at the time, if you’re going to do a course then you should do the best. So I did.
I’m not going to say it was easy and that everyone should do it. There were times I wondered what I was doing (usually the night before an accounting assignment was due) but at no time did I regret the decision. I was always challenged and, more importantly, always supported – by the staff and especially by my classmates. I was initially concerned that my academic and public sector background would put me at a disadvantage, but my skill set just brought a different perspective to our diverse student group.
One of the main reasons I chose DIT was the Silicon Valley Immersion Programme – a week of intense classes with a range of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. It was easily the best learning experience of my life. I learned so much in that one week and from the work we did around it.
This time two years ago I started to think about the MBA. Two years later, I now have the skills, language and the confidence to take my career to the next level, and I’m writing this on my way to work in Washington DC. I can honestly say that I would not have got this job without the DIT MBA. The MBA won’t be for everyone, but if you want to take your career to the next level, and are willing to get stuck in to a challenging but rewarding learning experience, then this is for you.
About the DIT MBA
The DIT MBA is a part-time executive programme, accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and designed for motivated individuals seeking to maximise their career potential.
Now accepting applications for September 2017 – closing date 18th August.