Lorna Moon-Thomas was one of the 18 professionals who traveled to Maastricht for the Euro*MBA Introduction Seminar for new students. She explains the reasons for her choice for Euro*MBA and what she was expecting from the program.
My name is Lorna Moon-Thomas. I am 36 years old and I live in Houston, Texas, USA. I work as an Account Executive for Ally Financial (formerly General Motors Acceptance Corporation).
I am very excited to be starting the Euro*MBA program and look forward to the experience. I completed quite a bit of research before selecting Euro*MBA. I considered several universities in the USA, the UK and Europe, including Thunderbird School of Global Management and Warwick Business School, before making my decision.
While I felt all of the schools had a lot to offer, Euro*MBA stood out as a perfect fit for me.
“A perfect fit”
To understand my decision making process, it is important to know a few things about me personally. First and foremost, I love Europe. During my first visit to Europe in 1994, I fell in love with the culture, the heritage, the languages and the diversity of the continent. I have since returned more than 20 times and have visited 12 of the countries. I have also studied German on my own and now speak and write it proficiently. I also have begun studying Dutch. Despite both being Americans, my husband and I even chose to marry in Lindau, Germany in 2010.
The second reason I chose Euro*MBA is that my ultimate personal goal is to live and work in Europe. In order to accomplish this goal, as an American, I believe it is imperative for me to get a European education and business qualifications. I feel that this program, with its consortium of six European schools, offers me the best opportunity to truly get a European business education and gain an understanding of the business climate and cultural diversity that I need to be successful. Additionally, I hope that the Euro*MBA program will give me the knowledge, skills and network of contacts that can help make my dream of living and working in Europe a reality.
Another reason I chose the Euro*MBA program was the small intake size. I feel that working with a smaller group allows for better interaction with the professors and other students. In my experience, I have found that it is difficult to make personal connections and build a network with people when there are very large numbers of students involved. I feel that the small class sizes of Euro*MBA will be a benefit with regard to working together and holding each other accountable for group projects. Lastly, I chose the Euro*MBA program for the opportunity to experience first-hand the cultures of the six consortium schools, as well as the opportunity to sharpen my secondary language skills during the residential weeks.
“Challenging and rewarding”
I expect the Euro*MBA program to be challenging and rewarding. I anticipate there will be quite a bit of effort involved and I will have to improve my time management skills in order to be successful. Balancing the demands of my job at Ally Financial, my family responsibilities and my schoolwork will be a significant challenge.
Additionally, I expect there may be some challenges regarding teamwork and group projects. Living in Houston, my time zone is 7 hours behind most of Europe. Scheduling time to work with teammates in Europe could be difficult. Language differences could also be a challenge in working with peers as American English and European English often utilize different spellings for the same words and different expressions. Despite these potential challenges, I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with people from different countries and to learn about their culture and work habits.
My educational expectations for the Euro*MBA program are that I will learn to manage people with different cultural backgrounds and gain an understanding for how business is conducted between companies located in countries with different languages and customs. Additionally, I would like to gain a greater understanding of the differences between management philosophies in Europe and the USA. I am also hoping to improve my entrepreneurial skills and gain business acumen that will help me succeed in Europe.
With regard to career and personal development, I anticipate the Euro*MBA program will provide me many benefits. An MBA from a respected consortium of schools will offer me opportunities to advance at my current company as well as open doors for opportunities with international companies in the future. I sincerely hope my experience will translate into an opportunity to live and work in Europe.
From a personal perspective, I hope to gain a deeper understanding and knowledge of European culture, language and nuances that make the Continent unique. I hope to further refine my German language skills. I would also like to make new friends and have an unforgettable experience that will greatly enhance my life.
Whatever my hopes, fears and aspirations, I know that the next two years of my life in the Euro*MBA program will be rewarding and unforgettable. I am thoroughly looking forward to beginning my Euro*MBA journey.