This year is my first time fasting as MAS staff and MBA student.
At work, fasting month is fun coz work ends early so I get to go home at 4.30pm. Though the lunch break is cut short to 15mins (just enough to do Zuhur prayers), fine by me.
But as a student, is not so much fun. We are given longer breaks for Maghrib prayers and to break our fast, yet I find myself not having much appetite to eat in such a rush. Also maybe because this so-called student life has taken such a toll on me.
It's so draining, I have so much to do, things I mostly don't enjoy doing. Well, I do enjoy studying, I like going to class and engage myself in intellectual discussions with my classmates. I don't mind sitting for exams either. But what I really really really hate (yes there's a lot of hatred going around) is having to do mini research (with literature review and all), assignment and case study - all that just for one subject. And for another subject I have to do another mini research, two assignments and summarization of 10 journal articles. So when I say I'm busy, I'm not lying, I really am busy.
I'm physically and emotionally tired by this entire MBA thingy. I'm so very close to giving up. I feel so drained. My quality of life is deteriorating. Gone were the days when I could swim twice a week after work, go out for dinner with friends and spend my weekends window shopping at Mid Valley. I hate it when all those little things that make me happy are taken away from me.
What am I doing? Didn't I leave my pressure-cooker job in EY to have better quality of life? And to think of how I already had it within my grasp but eventually let it go, man.. it feels really awful. How would I know the moment I enrolled myself into MBA, I actually unknowing let go of the precious wonderfully fulfilling life that I enjoyed so much?
I never thought doing MBA could be this bad. Maybe it's the fact that UM's MBA program combines coursework and research. That might explain the volume of work expected out of students (i.e. mini research for every subject - mindblowing!). Maybe because it's the most sought after MBA program in the country, which only translates to be the toughest of its kind. I can’t help but to ask myself, would it be different if I had done my MBA somewhere else? I’ve known a long time ago that I really don’t enjoy doing research. I’ve wanted to do an MBA that is 100% coursework. However, when UM came calling, I just couldn’t say no. How could I possibly say no to the best business school in the country? I already knew there was going to be a research project, but that was scheduled for the final year. Little that I know in every single subject there would be this so-called mini research. That’s the thing that's driving me crazy right now.
Many times I wonder why am I subjecting myself to so much toture? Just to get another scroll? Is it even worth it? Do I really want it that much? So much that I don't mind going through all this?
Yes, I'd love to have an MBA, but no, I refuse to torture myself to get one. So I've made a decision to give it a try, at least for one semester. I've decided to go through this semester the best way I possibly can, without succumbing myself into huge pressure or becoming completely insane. I'll see how my results are going to be at the end of this semester. That will be a gauge whether or not I should proceed. Perhaps the best MBA program in the country is not the best for me.
Some people may not agree with my approach. My dad, for one, believes in cutting losses early. He doesn't see the point of continuing to do something that you don't even like. The moment I told him I was thinking of quitting, his asked me to go to the registrar office, delist myself and get a refund.
On the other hand, my colleagues at office keep telling me not to quit. We will support you from behind, they say. I'm thankful for the support, but in the end, it's all on me. If my cousin Farah reads this, I bet she'll be upset to hear me wanting to quit, after all I was the one who always told her not to quit ACCA.
I really admire my friends who have been able to juggle studying and working, sometimes more. Ila is juggling with being a mum to a 2-year-old daughter, being a lecturer and doing MBA with UUM. Sheri is juggling between 2 kids and an ongoing PhD. Najwa just graduated with an MBA from MMU, having done it while working with TM. They all seem to be managing it well.
My selfish answer would be none of them do MBA in UM. Some of them do their post-graduate programs full time. Some do it while being in academic line which allows for more flexibility to do research while at work. But those are merely excuses for me to justify my own shortcomings. I have to go back to myself for the solution. It's within me, whether I have the capability, whether I can do it or not.
That's why I’ve decided to give it a try anyway. Just to see where my limits are. I refuse to be a coward and quit just because I think I can't do it. I want to give it my best shot. If the results reveal that it's not meant to be, then so be it, I shall accept it with an open mind. After all, I have done my best.
There's more to life than an MBA. For now, I'm content with doing my best and let the rest be in Allah's generous hands. For He always knows what's really the best.