Two years ago I graduated with an MBA from GIBS, a business school in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two-year journey was one of the toughest and most rewarding experiences of my life.
Spending the better part of a decade on stage performing as a freelance artist, a business degree was something I never envisioned myself doing. The countless lectures, exams, assignments and group work challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and broaden my mind. At times it was difficult to switch of my emotions and “think like a businessperson”, especially when it came to my research project. My thesis was on the dynamics of collaboration among performing arts organisations in South Africa and involved qualitative interviews with leaders in several performing arts organisations. I wanted to find out what they thought of collaboration as a means to stimulate demand for the performing arts in South Africa and why, if at all, they were not collaborating more. Of course after so many years in the industry I had my own opinions on the subject and it was a challenge to keep these aside.
The research process was the most mentally challenging thing I have ever done because it required collecting massive amounts of subjective info, distilling it down into manageable parts, deciding which parts were relevant and interesting and them making sense of it all using a combination of previous research and my own insights. Ultimately it changed the way I think about information I am exposed to and developed my ability to think critically.
I am truly grateful for having gone through such a rigorous process and that all that hard work culminated with the publishing of my research.
Finally a special thank you goes out to my research supervisor Anthony Prangley who co-authored the published version of my research.
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