Kyle Loff, who works for the City of Cape Town, is a current MBA student at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). He completed his Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management and Administration (PGDip BMA) last year (2019) and also did a Project Management course at the business school in 2017.
He completed his undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering but says he always knew he was not going to pursue a long-term career in the engineering field. “I needed something that would complement my Engineering qualification. The business field was something I was always interested in. However, when I started dealing with clients and executives in my previous role, I knew that my work experience would only get me so far,” he says on is decision to pursue his business management degree.
He says that since joining the USB, making decision in complex environments is one of the areas that he has significantly grown in. “Juggling work (including changing jobs) part-time studies, a one-year-old and renovations in 2019 taught me how to prioritise what is important and make decisions swiftly. I’ve challenged the status quo by asking questions about how things are done and how they can be improved. I look at problems and solutions from a strategic and not blinkered point of view,” he says.
“One of the most important skills I have gained is to be more reflective. The different modules and how they all integrate has taught me always to observe and look back at how I have approached situations and how I can improve. This is one of the most exceptional leadership qualities that will continue to grow in my professional and personal life.”
He chose to do both his PGDip BMA and MBA in the Blended Learning format. “The Blended Learning option of study caught my eye immediately, and the benefits of limited time off from work appealed to me,” he says.
“The great thing with the Blended Learning format is the option of attending class on campus or streaming from wherever you are in the world, which has been my most excellent highlight. Classes are recorded so when you miss a session, you are able to catch up. This worked well for me last year when my son was in the hospital.”
He adds that he has been encouraging colleagues and friends to do the PGDip BMA, specifically in the Blended Learning format to manage their time better. “Studying part-time takes its toll on you when you have a demanding job, and that’s where time management comes in. The Blended Learning is convenient for those that want to build new skills and have minimal impact on their working and family life. I believe there’s more balance to it,” he says.
Kyle is a firm believer of continuous learning. Why is it so important?
“As I progressed in my career, I realised that we could find ourselves on hamster wheels in how we live our lives. I had become frustrated with ‘living for the weekend’. Life is not going to be comfortable, and no one is going to give you your big break. If you want something, you’re going to have to get out of your comfort zone and learn a new skill. Comfortable is the same as outdated; you will be left behind. I was impressed with how all the modules integrated and the golden thread throughout the course is woven as you progress,” he says.
“My best learning experience by far has been the PGDip BMA. The people I met and syndicate group I were part of was instrumental in opening my mind to changing the way I think and conduct myself. The course stretched me in many ways, and the growth I experienced is invaluable. One benefit is having modules exempted now for my MBA. The PGDip BMA has
prepared me in so many ways for my MBA and given a choice, and I would still start with the PGDip BMA,” he says.
Last word of advice?
“Nothing great was ever accomplished by sitting on the couch and binge-watching your favourite show. Learn, stretch, grow and become the most responsible authentic leader this world and our country needs!”
Dr Marietjie van der Merwe
+230 606 2341 / +230 5 701 1362