The Carlow MBA program was honored to have American mathematician, Thomas Saaty, PhD, speak to professional seminar students this semester. A Distinguished University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, he invented the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) for making decisions. The AHP process is studied extensively in the Carlow MBA course, Decision Making for Leaders.
Courtney B., an MBA student in the professional seminar course, submitted the following reflection after Saaty’s talk:
“During our fourth week of class, Dr. Thomas Saaty was our guest speaker and he gave a presentation about having an unlimited imagination and believing that there are no limits on how to do things. Before Dr. Saaty’s presentation, I did not know what to expect. I was excited to hear him speak, but erroneously thought that it would be boring. I learned that first looks and impressions are deceiving. This was actually my favorite presentation of the semester so far. The information was very relevant to my work, research, and innovation management classes that I have taken through the MBA program.
“Dr. Saaty said ‘You can’t depend on how others approve of you.’ This is something I need to make a conscious effort to do, as I am constantly worrying about gaining the approval of others. This is a bad quality that I possess and, since this presentation, I have begun making a constant effort to care a little less about what others think.
“I was also affected by another statement Dr. Saaty made. He explained that our greatest fortune is to meet people and that everybody has loved something or someone. This hits home because one of my favorite things to do is to meet people, especially while traveling for work or internationally. I find it so interesting to hear about other peoples’ lives and cultures. It definitely gives me another perspective into other lifestyles.
“Another important thing that Dr. Saaty said that really had an impact on me was, ‘What we know will not last forever.’ I never thought of knowledge like this before and this comment made me step back a minute and think. I believe that by this comment, he means that we need to have an unlimited imagination because knowledge does not last forever. Why should we inhibit ourselves and the knowledge we are capable of? Why should we limit our lives, what we can learn, and what we can imagine because we are scared of what others may think? I believe that this is a huge problem with many people and it shouldn’t be. I cannot wait to change my lifestyle and create an environment that supports an unlimited imagination.
“Overall, I really enjoyed listening to his talk. I have even begun using some of what I learned every day both at work and at home. It also helped me to learn how to overcome the barriers that are preventing me from having an unlimited imagination and what steps to take to overcome them, such as meeting people, not inhibiting myself, not caring about what others think and understanding that there are no limits on anything. I look forward to applying the knowledge that Dr. Saaty provided in my personal life and work.”