I am a mature student in my late 50’s and a Managing Director of a national firm of Chartered Surveyors, which is part of a larger group of companies owned by a PLC. The Online MBA has helped me to gain a recent promotion from Commercial Director and the group has not only encouraged me to undertake the course but also sponsored me to do it. They have been incredibly supportive, and I jumped at the chance to improve both my business knowledge base and strategic thinking. The course has helped give meaning to many of the things undertaken in my daily working life and has given more clarity to them.
The Online MBA helps you understand how a business functions, from its culture and processes through to innovation and strategy. Many like myself have undertaken managerial roles for many years and have become slightly stale in their thinking and probably a little set in their ways. The Online MBA helps reinvigorate your thinking, encouraging you to think and operate in alternative ways and directions, which not only motivates you as an individual, but also your staff and peers, who see the new ideas and directions as refreshing.
I have made sure that I totally engage in the learning process and start the modules early, giving myself time to read all of the material, allowing me to understand its content and how it applies. The reading material can be viewed on a PC or tablet, but I prefer soft copies and so have a tendency to print paper copies, as these allow me to highlight the areas relevant to the weekly written papers or reports. Starting early and managing your time means that you can take a couple of hours for study on a daily basis and there is no sudden panic then at the end of each week. If you are structured and give yourself a timetable for each module, the course fits easily into your day to day life.
I have found the group working stimulating and very beneficial in building relationships and discussing ideas for group papers or debates. This can at times mean that there needs to be some compromise as having Skype calls with colleagues in different time zones isn’t always easy.
I have found the modules and lessons that relate to actual organisations the most enjoyable, as these not only provide the theory, but show how these are applied in practise in the real-world environment. The Strategic Change Management module, which gave us the opportunity to run a car manufacturing business, was great fun and it allowed me to use many of the managerial skills I had gained over the last 20 years. This also helped build relationships and highlighted how important these are for successful team working. Seeing our company successfully grow its share price was very enjoyable.
Studying and interacting with others from around the world and from different cultures is very beneficial as it helps you to see things from different perspectives and viewpoints. It does help that all of us seem to get on well and support each other when needed, even with the large age range.
Virtual online learning has given me the opportunity to commit fully to the course. Without the flexibility it offers I think that I would have genuinely found it difficult to keep on top of the work required. I certainly chose this over other part time courses within other business schools because of the flexibility and access from anywhere. Time within a lecture theatre or on a campus would not have worked for me, as my job would not allow such inflexibility.
I would advise anyone considering undertaking an MBA to seriously consider Nottingham Trent University and in particular the online option. It is a well-respected business school, the course fits around your work and home life and the support from the module and course leaders is first class and always available.
The Online MBA has already improved my career prospects and will only continue to do so. It has helped me develop business knowledge and skills that are transferable across all industries and sectors, which means that I don’t have to remain forever in my current industry and can look for challenges elsewhere. It means that I am now far more employable.