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MBA changed my perspective, says USB Director’s Award recipient

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/macro-outdoors-perspective-rocky-268953/
  • June 12 2020
  • Tags MBA, Director’s Award, skills, perspective, journey, alumni, top achiever, development

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The USB Director’s Award, for a student in any programme who excels in both studies and leadership, was awarded to Elsie Hanyane this year. Here she shares her journey:

If crisis is the mother of innovation, then the stifling space between “a rock and a hard place” is the catalyst for internal metamorphosis – or not. What’s the deciding factor you may ask?  For me, that factor is perspective.

The different dimensions and aspects of my current skillset are greater than I could have ever imagined, especially the skill of navigating uncertainty.”

My time as a student at USB changed my perspective. It highlighted and developed admirable personality traits and competencies. It augmented my professional network exponentially. The different dimensions and aspects of my current skillset are greater than I could have ever imagined, especially the skill of navigating uncertainty.

…my time as a student at USB was a time of personal transformation.”

My impact potential is more than ignited, it is ablaze. In the same breath, my time as a student at USB was a time of personal transformation. The pressure and reflection cast a very glaring lens on my personal and inter-personal flaws and the root causes of these. Initially, “the more I learnt, the more I realised how much I didn’t know” (Albert Einstein) from a technical skill point. Gradually my perspective changed. I realised that I had a choice to either cower in the shadow of my flaws or use them as a springboard for development, not just for myself but for those around me. That was the key that unlocked the start of my personal metamorphosis.

I am humbled to be the recipient of the 2020 USB Director’s Award. The award is such a tangible affirmation of how much can change in 24 months. Before my MBA I felt stuck in more ways than one – stuck in my own latent potential and futile efforts. Today my life feels like one of perpetual opportunity. Through self-awareness, the relationships with myself and others have become deeper and richer. I have an even more compassionate and open-minded approach to my son’s neurodiversity.

I still face adversity daily but this time I’m armed with renewed faith, resilience and perspective garnered from my experience at USB.”

I still face adversity daily but this time I’m armed with renewed faith, resilience and perspective garnered from my experience at USB. Before registering I knew I wanted to make a meaningful impact on the African continent using my experience and passion for skills development. During my MBA I was able to put that desire into a clear but flexible plan.  Some steps I have taken towards this are diversifying into a different industry, being a mentor/business coach at the USB Small Business Academy and lecturing final year MBA students at USB.

This year I’ve also given myself the gift of discovery and have recently been appointed as a board member for a social enterprise that focuses on rehabilitation of marine wildlife. Barbara Haines Howett aptly articulates it in this saying, “Just when the caterpillar thought its life was over, it became a butterfly”. Crisis was indeed a catalyst to my personal transformation that in turn had a domino effect on my interpersonal, organisational and social impact.

Often when situations are out of our control, the most effective action is to look within and practice compassionately relating to and mastering the self.”

Our society is currently living through a time of great crisis. We are all in the same turbulent ocean but on different boats. Some are on stable cruise liners; others are on yachts while others are barely staying afloat whilst holding on for dear life. Often when situations are out of our control, the most effective action is to look within and practice compassionately relating to and mastering the self.

As Brene Brown puts it, “This pandemic experience is an experiment in collective vulnerability. We can be our worst selves when we’re afraid, or our very best, bravest selves. In the context of fear and vulnerability, there is often very little in between because when we are uncertain and afraid our default is self-protection. We don’t have to be scary when we’re scared. Let’s choose awkward, brave, and kind. And let’s choose each other.”

 

More about the author

Elsie Hanyane is an experienced manager with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. She is skilled in Training, Development and Organisational practices. Strong operations and IT professional who completed an MBA (Cum Laude) at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

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