In July, my MBA classmates and I have just finished another core course. However, there is something different this time. Instead of feeling relieved, relaxed and excited as one would expect after a stressed period, sadness and bitterness are also starting to engulf in everyone’s mind. Sadness is evident as the MBA programme counts down and the bitterness is coming from saying “ciao” to my classmates until classes start again in a month or two. They are all my brothers, sisters, acquaintance, comrades and fellow competitors. You can call me being addicted to the hardship here, working full-time 24-7 with frequent travelling across Asia, studying until 1am daily and for a good part of Sunday, and attending class every Saturday. A schedule like this is definitely intoxicating but is also boosting for your potentials and excellence. I am pretty sure for all of my fellow classmates and friends would share the same view and feeling when they read this. And to MBAs in other elite programmes, I am certain you all have similar stories but in a varied setting. For those thinking about getting an MBA or enrolling in an MBA programme, don’t let me put you off. (OK, there are lots of commitments so don’t even think about trying if you cannot spare or coordinate with your work. “You only get what you put in”). As a cost-and-benefit analysis, I gain more than I pay for. From classes, on average, I have been able to pick up one learning point from each class (some more than others) that I can remember and/or apply. Sounds like too few? Do the maths. Each two-credit course requires about six classes (excluding the final exam). My programme requires about 45 credits in total, which means there are 144 classes (say 44 credits divided by two credits for the number of courses, then times by six classes each). If one can pick up 140+ results-driven learning points that would benefit your career for life, don’t you think that’s pretty good? From working and allying with my teammates to trying to “conquer” other groups with the opposite arguments, we all learn how to respect others while bringing out the roar in us. We also know the importance of sticking out for one another and providing (much needed) mental support. I know the bonding is not going to cease, many delicious dinners are yet to be enjoyed and shares and I really cherish all the new friends that I have come across ( I take this opportunity to thank all of my new friends as well ). Most importantly, the MBA community is also about reaching out, like a blue sky budget you would never know where you are going to end. For one thing, I am now writing blogs for SCMP which I have never dreamt of. And the community provides the rich soil to grow my desires and to form a group/organisation for advance networking and relationship building (the group formed is called “Circle of Nine”, you are more than welcome to check it out on Facebook). But the most intriguing gain or I would even call it a REVOLUTION (at least for myself) through all the hardship and the new friendships is that I know a lot more about myself, what I am capable of, what my limits are, where I stand (for the time being) and want to go/do, and be more focused about my future paths. I think the adventure is worth every penny. Sounds like the MBA is a self-help programme, huh?