Strathclyde Business School’s Executive MBA programme has been recognised as being one of the best in Europe. The move follows the publication of The Economist’s debut global rankings of Executive MBAs on July 19.
Strathclyde Business School’s International MBA was ranked in the top 5 of the UK’s business schools and in the European top 10. Overall Strathclyde was placed 28th out of 62 international business schools.
In addition to its Glasgow based part-time(evening) and flexible learning MBA programmes, managers can study the International MBA on a part time (executive) basis in one of the school’s nine international centres based in UAE, Switzerland, Greece, Oman, Bahrain or SE Asia. Currently, around 1200 students study their MBA in this way.
Executive Dean of Strathclyde Business School, Professor Susan Hart, said, “It’s a great honour to be included in the inaugural rankings and to be placed so highly is testament to the hard work which we put into delivering first-rate education.
“We are continually reviewing our MBA programmes so that our courses remain relevant to those people who choose to continue their personal development in the world of business.
“Through close collaboration with our partners we have the flexibility to adapt programmes where necessary to meet the needs of our wide range of international candidates.”
The Economist collected data using two web-based questionnaires: one was filled out by business schools and included more quantitative measures, such as details of students and faculty, the number of overseas assignments required and statistics on alumni. The second questionnaire was completed by current students and alumni from the schools’ last three graduating classes, and including feedback on pre- and post- MBA salaries.
Over 60 SBS students and alumni participated, from across the school’s nine international MBA centres.
Irene Aitkenhead Taylor, Career and Professional Development Manager on a Unique opportunity:
“Many of you will have realised that the XX Commonwealth Games will be hosted in Glasgow during July and August 2014. We’re delighted to be partnering with NVT Group, the Official Technology Services Integrator for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to bring you a unique opportunity.
NVT Group is pleased to offer students from Strathclyde Business School the opportunity to join its team of ‘Players’, all of whom will provide IT resource support on a voluntary basis.
This opportunity is only open to selected clients of NVT, as well as students from Strathclyde Business School’s MBA and postgraduate courses.
The Games will take place from Wednesday 23rd July to Sunday 3rd August. There are over 20 different venues and many will be actively concurrent. As well as providing support during Games time, there will be opportunities to get involved with installation before the Games and dismantling the IT infrastructure after the Games have ended.
Your involvement as one of NVT’s Players will cover all aspects of IT infrastructure and will involve working in teams at multiple venues. For purposes of clarity, the NVT Players programme is not connected to the Glasgow 2014 Volunteer programme. Your involvement will be directly with NVT on a voluntary basis and there will be no on-going connection with, or liability from, Strathclyde University, the Business School or Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Getting involved in the NVT Players programme will provide you with an insight into the planning and organisation that is necessary with large sporting occasions and is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Once on campus in September, we’ll let you know how to become involved!”
Bahrain, Dr Ron Bradfield, Ghabgha, international MBA, MBA Bahrain, part-time MBA, Ramadan, Strathclyde Business School, strathclyde mba, Strathclyde MBA Bahrain, Strathclyde MBA student, University of Strathclyde, University of Strathclyde Business School
“Ramadan” and “Ghabgha” are two words that may not be familiar to many but is very commonly used in this part of the world.
Ramadan is the holy month for our Muslim Brothers and Sisters. It is a month of fasting and prayers, the fast begins at dawn that lasts until dusks. During this period; no food, drinks or even smoking is permitted as part of Islamic Laws. At dusk the fast is broken once the prayers are offered with “Iftar” (a gentle meal that usually consists of Dates, water or milk and light refreshments)
Ghabga is traditionally the name of the main meal that is had once the fast is broken. This is the time when the family comes together and has a meal together.
Strathclyde Bahrain has been doing this for the second time wherein all the Alumni and Students were invited to be a part of the celebrations for the month of Ramadan.
It was a great platform for the alumni and students to connect and share each of their experiences at Strathclyde. This encouraged them to have more such social events and find ways to be connected to one another.
The event was organized by the Strathclyde Bahrain Alumni and the operating Strathclyde office in Bahrain at the Intercontinental Regency.
The evening was enjoyed by all with the array of great food and a live entertainment which had a Turkish dancer dancing to the tunes of traditional Arabic Music.
A Capstone Project (CP) is an ideal way to end the MBA course in many ways. First, it enables students to use the management tools and techniques they have theoretically read about and discussed over the course of a year. Most students this year have had the opportunity of working with organisations of their respective choices to learn about and solve their problems. Our choice of such an organization was an Irish-based craft brewer who proposes to penetrate the craft beer market in the United States. This, I believe, was a very interesting choice for us to make since the American craft beer market is full of new and established players which will make it well-nigh difficult for any new entrant to set foot there. Besides, one’s choice of location to launch the product would be crucial since the craft brewer would ideally seek markets favourable where an Irish population is dominant.
In addition to the questions that the CP posed for us, what appealed to me most was the idea of working closely with my classmates of different personal and ideological persuasions. During the course of the MBA, one is thrown into random and selective groups that comprise persons of different nationalities, ethnicities, languages and cultures. This, I believe, brings out the best learning experience since people debate issues from their individual and divergent perspectives which, indeed, is conducive to innovation and prospective challenges. Working in diverse groups also enables us to sense the dynamics of common action. Of course such dynamics helps us to be more accommodating and respectful of others’ problems, opinions, and difficulties. No one wins alone. As for loss, we share the outcome in equal measure.
Working on this CP, I volunteered to move out of my comfort-zone (financial valuation/securitisation), a gesture I am sure most of my classmates appreciated. They have had the opportunity, much as I’ve had, to notice one another’s strength and areas of expertise through the year while we were engaging different modules. Above all, I daresay that one gets to learn a great deal from other people’s lives and experiences while at work, as I did from my team-mates well-versed in marketing. What could be more beneficial than the value of an MBA through such experiential learning?
finance, MBA electives, MBA student, mba student blog, Security Analysis and Portfolio Management, Strategic Financial Management, Strathclyde Business School, strathclyde mba, Strathclyde MBA Elective, University of Strathclyde
Students on our MBA programme can choose 2 electives. Here, Hemant Chandran tells us about the two Finance electives he undertook:
“As soon as I joined the MBA programme, I made up my mind to opt for Strategic Financial Management (SFM) & Security Analysis and Portfolio Management (SFS). Finance and Financial management have been my passion ever since I came to know of them. Apart from this, I was all too eager to add unknown financial tools to my repertoire. My excitement of crossing new thresholds and opening new doors to projects and problems in financial management hasn’t subsided.
It was indeed quite an experience therefore to meet Professor Dick Davies who further spurred in me interest and commitment. I discovered that we happily shared much the same views about the financial sector— his more academic and professional, mine rather grounded in early experience and not quit professional or seasoned.
The SFM module basically dealt with the treatment of mergers and acquisitions, private equity and leveraged buyouts in addition to capital structure theory and EVA performance management. As a part of the assignment for this course, we analysed two very interesting case studies. In my opinion, case studies are the best way to apply the knowledge one has learnt. The real testing ground is of course the floor of the business house and the bourse, but cases assume a challenging character in academic analysis and discussion. Besides case studies, our team analysed the current financial issue of the leveraged buyout of Dell, and the power-struggle of the owner to keep his namesake company. Finally, we also looked into the corporate governance issues of Dell which had apparently left its shareholders and Carl Icahn livid!
In the SFS module, the cohort learnt the valuation of bonds, the technicalities of determining interest rates, reviewing the portfolio theory along with the asset pricing models. A very interesting and appealing part of the assignment was to analyse the current interest rates of a country and comment on the future outlook of them. Our team analysed the interest rates of the United States (a country whose economic fortunes I had been following very closely since most of my earlier professional work involved dealing with CDO trustees on the Wall Street).
I daresay that the knowledge and experience I garnered from the SFM and SFS courses are tremendous and I am eager to harness much of what is practically useful of these in my work life. My recommendation for these courses is therefore unreserved. They are the best bet for anyone looking for demanding and rewarding electives, especially for those for whom Finance is great passion.”
I have been twice lucky in Blue Sky Experiences— first, as the New Year commenced, when the cohort was just getting to know each other. The second time around, when the cohort was nearing the end of its one year roller coaster, I found myself in its awesome midst again! Blue Sky Experiences are an event-management company located at Perth (not the better-known Australian city but a 75-minute drive from our School) which specialises in team-building events. Let me try to give you a sense of how contrasting the two days were.
On the first trip our cohort made to Perth, virtually no one knew each other. It was an overcast day (late September), extremely glum, chilly and windy. Though we enjoyed the scenic view of the venue, there was a heavy drizzle all day long. Not quite pleasant weather even to talk of weather among strangers. All odds notwithstanding, we did enjoy our outing to the hilt and got to know each other better.
The second trip, however, was picture-perfect— a bright sunny day in June with friends who I had worked with yearlong in various group assignments. With quite a few of them, I even shared my personal liking for and preferences in food and fun and felt quite comfortable. Prospective MBAs from other Schools joined our fun in the lush green countryside of Scotland.
The day was filled with outdoor fun and games such as sledge-hammer throwing, aiming wellington boots into big tyres, caber-tossing etc. In the afternoon, we rode quad bikes, drove a Landrover blindfolded and did a bit of archery. I must say the pièce de résistance was Falconry where a member of the event-management company showed us how well-trained the birds under his captivity were. An amazing show of skill, training, management, and effect!
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this unique and unparalleled experience of team-building activities hosted by Blue Sky Experiences!
Patrick TS Tan was awarded his University of Strathclyde Business School MBA (with Distinction) in 2012 having studied part-time at our Malaysia centre. He’s currently working as a Consulting Project Manager and reflects here on his experience on the MBA, and particularly his experience of ‘Collaborative Learning’ whilst on the programme.
“The main reason why I embarked on an MBA was to develop a comprehensive understanding of all the different aspects that make up a business, ranging from finance, marketing, HR, operations and strategic management. In any career we wish to pursue (be it in marketing, investment, own business), the program must be able to help us be well versed with different aspects of areas of business. Another important reason is to acquire universal skillsets which will be in demand and applicable throughout our working careers such as critical thinking (asking the right questions, decision making), effective learning skills, writing skills and collaborative learning skills with peers from various backgrounds.
My key consideration in choosing an MBA is it must not be overly diverse and generic and must help exemplify a mastery of a field. I chose Strathclyde among many other programs because of its distinctive focus in the area of strategic management, while covering different aspects of the business. In this respect, Strathclyde is regarded as one of the top business schools in the world in the area of corporate strategy. Its program has truly broadened my perspective in the multiple aspects of the business enabling a greater appreciation of areas especially in operations, finance, accounting, marketing and strategic management.
Another important consideration is the program need to encourage brainstorming, provide collaborative environment (through group work on thesis, real life case studies assignments) to bring forth synergies working in groups which is very enriching, especially seeing how teamwork can produce amazing insights, approach and results despite the initial challenge of group dynamics i.e. working with different personalities and background (finance, marketing, IT, HR, Operations).
The other important consideration is the program’s flexibility of choosing electives in terms of where (local or abroad campus to work with lecturers and international students) and what (practical, relevant elective courses which are interesting and stimulating) to support our future career. Electives can vary widely in content, level of challenge, difficulty, depth and commitment required.
While the MBA journey was indeed memorable filled with invaluable collaborative sessions with peer workgroups from various disciplines, the biggest challenge I faced was managing study time, especially doing MBA on a part-time basis. Attending lectures or having brainstorming group sessions, completing assignments, working with supervisor on thesis, studying for examinations meant very few family holidays and hardly any weekend rest. To succeed, it is important to have the full support and understanding of family or loved ones.
One of the most valuable aspects of the program I found was the honing of our critical thinking skillset especially in strategic management i.e. clear statement of issue, break further down the complexity of issues and critically assess the environment in which an operation operates and its distinctive competencies with respect to the organizational goals. Changing one’s mind-set from the old mind-set (of accepting everything we read) to a new mind-set (which challenges important assumptions, jointly understanding, reflecting and negotiating process which help enhance cognitive commitment and critical self-validation) to produce thoughtful, intelligent and robust outcomes.
Another valuable aspect of the program is the collaborative learning approach of Strathclyde MBA program in our project/thesis and group assignments, as this helped provide opportunities to improve relevant “soft skills” which include leadership, teamwork and communications which is critical to management. It also helped provide the environment for networking with peers to explore potential business opportunities or seek future business partners. For me personally, I was fortunate to have made a number of good friends.
Since completing the MBA, I have started managing projects working with a regional team in my company. The MBA program has certainly contributed in improving my project management and decision making skills to produce thoughtful and sustainable/robust results and working across borders dealing with different cultures.
In retrospect, my advice for those who intend to pursue an MBA is firstly; get a few years of work experience prior to taking up the MBA program, as you would need to be able to relate and share experiences faced during the case studies of real life business problems to derive thoughtful, in-depth, robust insights.
Secondly, it is important to realize an MBA paper qualification alone does not guarantee success in moving up in the corporate career or starting own business. What an MBA provide is a good foundation to do so in terms of honing of one’s learning approach/skill, structured decision making, critical thinking and strategic thinking skills, soft skills and understanding of various aspects of business.
Finally, pursuing an MBA program requires much sacrifice of time, effort and funds. Therefore, it would be wise to (i) get support from the family, (ii) choose a program that is reputable, encourages team collaboration work through thesis and case studies assignment and provides flexibility of choosing electives in terms of where (local or at overseas campus) and what electives (practical, relevant electives) to support your future career.”