After 23 years as a police practitioner, senior member of An Garda Síochána Paul O’Driscoll chose MBA to develop the next step of his career
Paul O’Driscoll is a senior member of An Garda Síochána. He originally got his BSC (Hons) in Police Leadership and after 23 years as a police practitioner, wanted to further his knowledge in order to excel at the next stage of his career which is why he chose to study part time on the WIT MBA programme.
My motivation for doing the programme was:
I hold a senior rank within An Garda Síochána - our National police service. When I started the MBA I held the view that the organisation was about to go through a period of great change and I wanted to be suitably equipped to manage that change in my role on behalf of the organisation. I believed that the MBA would prepare me for the challenges ahead.
It presented an excellent opportunity to build networks and form partnerships. The MBA covered most of the subjects that I had studied throughout my degree and I wanted to explore them more. I started the MBA after 23 years as a police practitioner. I believed in my case, that the timing was perfect, that it was going to fuse that police practitioner experience with an academic qualification.
The programme has impacted my career in the following way:
I was promoted the year I finished the MBA. The promotion was not as a direct result of having an MBA but it played a significant role in so many ways. I have held two National policing portfolios since my promotion and the MBA complemented many of the other attributes I had and I have no doubt that it strongly influenced those who selected me for the posts. I have learned to be a reflective practitioner from the MBA and I have imbedded that process into my daily routine.
My advice for adult learners considering this programme at the moment is:
To decide from the outset what it is you want from the MBA. Do you want, personal or professional development, or a combination of both? Set clear achievable goals and go for them. Enjoy the journey. Network and make friends, peer to peer learning is a strength of the MBA, so listen to your fellow MBA’s, they have a lot to offer. Work hard throughout your assignments. Most importantly, attend classes. Complete all the readings because they are core to your learning. If you do not complete the coursework throughout each module you will struggle. Integrate the MBA into your life. Encourage your spouse or partner, and loved ones to get involved. Ask them to critique or to act as editors of your written work. Make your MBA readings, part of your downtime. Look forward to it. Avoid from the outset looking at the MBA as something that is going to take up your downtime, your personal time or your family time, over a two year period. If you start to adopt that mindset from the start then you will not enjoy it. Step up when working on team assignments, be an equal participant.
Why I would recommend studying in Waterford/WIT:
There is a strong feeling of inclusivity in the WIT, you feel like you belong there from the outset. The socialisation of the student is high on the agenda and all of the course staff through their interactions and support go above and beyond to make the experience a positive one for students. They are hugely committed and genuinely interested in your individual and combined development. They take pride in sharing their experience and knowledge and they are willing to learn from the wealth of experience, knowledge and practitioner experience from the students also. They will test you but you will emerge from the MBA a much greater person.