Diana Degel, advisor to laywer firm Asters, MBA alumnus of Edinburgh Business School.
With rapid development of the world, professional boundaries are being erased. This means that there is not enough to have the knowledge in one industry, as most professions are undergoing a period of transformation. Therefore, for example, to work only as a business lawyer without additional knowledge of transactions, marketing or tax mechanisms is quite difficult. And in order to avoid a superficial risk analysis, and instead provide a comprehensive and in-depth legal expertise, you need to know the nuances of successful business project operations.
Deep dive into profession or expanding the outlook
I have been working in the legal sphere for more than 17 years, and during this time I realized that in order to become more successful at a new professional level, I would have to go beyond my specialization. So I encountered the necessity to choose from either to get an LLM degree and actually engage in “legal diving”, deepen your knowledge within the profession, or get an MBA, which by its nature greatly expanded the boundaries of knowledge and opportunities around.
The image of a lawyer who is focused on solely legal problems has exhausted itself today. There is much more interest in the specialist who can investigate the problem more holistically, can give a legal expertise to the market taking into account the intricacies of business operation, or can participate in negotiations not only as a lawyer, but as an effective communicator, hr-manager or marketer. Understanding this specific development and transformation of the profession, I quite consciously chose an international business school and have never regretted it.
It is very important for a specialist to develop analytical skills, negotiation skills, strategic planning and to understand clients and colleagues. Why? Because, for the most part, lawyers now communicate not only with representatives – the same lawyers, but also with the “face” of a company: financial managers or other specialists.
MBA – doors to the world of opportunities
I joined Asters Banking Practice Team, the largest law firm in Ukraine. Our expertise is based on complex knowledge, which takes into account the specifics of banks, payment transactions, internal procedures, taxation, regulatory requirements, financial monitoring, management, and in some cases, even involving certain HR-issues, etc. It is a very detailed analytics, which not only provides a complete answer to the questions addressed to us by the bank, but may also affect the future activities of the institution itself.
Through my MBA studies at the Edinburgh Business School, I was able to gain more knowledge. Moreover, I gained access to an understanding of all aspects of a business’s existence – be it a banking operation or any management decision. Therefore, it became easier to take into account all the risks in the preparation of their activities.
Does business education expand opportunities? So, having received it, you can either choose new areas of activity, or move to a different level in your professional life. In addition, I think that education helps to destroy myths and stereotypes. Of course, only a lawyer can not professionally evaluate the business side of the issues and without complex knowledge may not understand the intricacies of the negotiation process, strategic planning, marketing, etc. However, thanks to new knowledge that can be learned effectively from the MBA program, the lawyer no longer “intimidates” the business, but helps to see the prospect and avoid or minimize the possible risks.
I can say with confidence that absolutely all of my MBA courses are useful and helpful in practice. For example, during my studies, I greatly underestimated the negotiation course. It seemed too easy to me, though in fact it was not so. And I felt this already in my law practice, where I was able to implement the knowledge I learned and once again made sure that all the laws and rules that I learned during my studies, in practice, still work.
When I chose business education, at first it was not very clear what great efforts I would have to make and what high demands it would take for me to pass a truly successful training. It is not enough to study the whole vast amount of course materials, the training must be understood and understood how to put it into practice. At the examinations, they test not the theoretical understanding of the material, but the understanding of its possible practical application. Such training requires a great deal of investment of the time, but time has passed and I have never regretted signing up to the challenge. After all, I can now say with confidence that, undoubtedly, any lawyer with help of internation MBA program will acquire new and practical knowledge that allows you to move to a new level of your profession or career in general.