Now that I’m in the U.K., it amazes me to notice I already carried a passport with my partly completed MBA program. In my previous work environment, leadership and management would attribute little or no value to it. I know sometimes, it is just about fighting your case and persevere, but I realized wisdom is a big role player in making the rightest decisions. Trust your gut instinct friends and take on the world.
I have been longing to get back to writing, so now I have got a chance to pen down my experience and be helpful to the world community. The below are words of advice and some criteria you can consider when making your MBA choice.
- Timing of study
If you are a full time employee, can you afford taking a year off and attend a one-year full time MBA course? If yes, go for it. Juggling work and studies is never an easy task. So give it a thought, which option works best for you.
- Type of learning
Distant learning or classroom learning? It depends on your level of self discipline and your preferred pace of study. If you are looking for a self-scheduled learning, want to avoid waking up early and avoid carrying yourself to and from a learning centre, and are too busy to fit in the university’s rule based timing of evening or weekend classes, the first option matches your profile. But don’t completely disregard that a face-to-face learning can enhance your MBA experience – grow a large network of professionals and boost your performance through shared aspiring stories and vision.
- Your budget
It’s one of the most important factors, really. Cool enough if you bag a scholarship. Otherwise, count your notes and the digits in your bank account. You may apply for a part scholarship or request for payment facilities from your selected university. Bank borrowings and your parent’s financial support might sustain you for a while maybe?
- The university you want to graduate from
Sometimes your preferred choice and the actual choice that you make are poles apart. Alas, not everyone makes it to Harvard for an MBA. But you may always target other Ivy Leagues, Top 50 World Business Schools, Top 50/100 UK universities and/or even the A-MBA accredited Universities. (Note: The Association of MBAs (A-MBAs) accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement in post graduate business education and is awarded only to the best MBA programmes in the world). Studying from your local university is a cost saver in terms of relocation, but you might need to consider if your postgraduate is recognized internationally.
- Your MBA syllabus
Take time to read through your MBA syllabus atleast once and compare the content to other universities’ syllabi. The differences can be subtle or might be alluring in your decision making. Are you interested in Merger & Acquisition, Entrepreneurship, Leadership focused modules? Not sure every course offers that. So, be on the watch out. Certain courses have from 2 to 12 or more modules depending on whether it’s a top-up or full MBA.
- Assessment type
Some MBA courses are assessed by either 100% coursework (assignments), 100% exams or a combination of both. If you do not want to be invigilated while you sweat over black on white, you are completely free to take the less difficult route to your graduation ceremony!
- Your working experience
Certain universities require from 3 to 10 years of past working experience to accept your application. That’s mainly because you could contribute more constructively to classes based on practical experiences than adopting a completely theoretical approach to studying cases. But again, it is a personal choice to want to obtain a grounding on management theory prior to embracing your long term career.
- Specialization or General MBA course
Anything from acquiring new knowledge to the requirements of your current role or your career aspirations could influence your choice.
- Requirement to travel/extra costs
Beside your MBA course and exam fees, you might need to spend extra money on certain mandatory block course or seminar that could potentially require you to travel overseas (if a distant learning course). You will need to arrange for your own accommodation or other personal expenses. The total fees might be far more than planned initially, so, here, you might need to plan your resources well ahead.
The above points are definitely not an exhaustive list, but I hope these help you in your decision making process prior to embarking on your MBA or any other Master course.
All the best!
Part Time MBA Student
11 March 2017