The altMBA

1 minute read

I became a team lead at the beginning of the year and decided to embrace it completely. After signing up for all the training we have internally I started looking at what was available outside the company. From a traditional point of view an MBA sounded like the best option. The problem being I didn’t want to spend 1+ years without being sure it was a good fit. Luckily I found a very non-traditional option that focuses on internal work instead of certificates. For 31 days the altMBA pushed me to the limits on everything an engineer calls soft skills.

The description on the website is really vague and signing up was a leap of faith. A leap taken in no small part thanks to a friend in my company who went through the program and spoke highly of it. I am also super grateful that Automattic has so much room for personal development!

  • Do I recommend it? yes
  • Was it grueling? absolutely

The program consists of a series of exercises designed to strengthen these so called soft skills (they were damn hard!). It could be goal setting goal, decision making, public speaking, etc. Above all, the whole program focuses on empathy. Not the superficial kind but making a real effort to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. To realize that if you were in their position you might make the exact same choices. To understand that there is always another side to each story. Because if you understand this person and you really care you can make change happen.

Changemaking isn’t about clearly outlining the rational benefit of your point of view. Changemaking happens when people fall in love with a different version of the future.