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I work within the University of Strathclyde as a Business Improvement Manager with a focus on University-wide process redesign initiatives and the implementation of the ‘Strathclyde Way’ across Professional Services. I completed a part-time BA in Business and Management Studies in 2011 whilst continuing to work full-time. Since completing my degree, I had been eager to study for an MBA as I felt this would greatly enhance my knowledge and support my future career path.
I started the part-time MBA programme in September 2013 and it’s been quite a year. At the start of the course I was allocated into a group of four which has consisted of a Business Intelligence and Technical Manager, a Lead Project Engineer for a Fortune 100 company and Commercial Manager for steel and wear parts provider. All assignments in the core modules are group-based, with the exception of Financial Management and Accounting.
The core classes are typically two nights per week and I have found the group assignments to be quite time intensive at weekends and in the evenings, particularly in the month leading up to assignment deadlines and exams. The exams were a bit of a shock to the system for me as I hadn’t sat a written exam since High School, however I have found that plenty of preparatory work with past papers, camomile tea, classical music, chocolate and Bach’s Rescue Remedy has helped get me through.
I have really enjoyed getting to know my class mates and hearing about their experiences across all the modules. I have found so much benefit in studying in a group and sharing and helping each other. I would strongly urge any future students to engage with their class mates and make the most of working in their groups. You will learn far more than working solo – despite what you may think! It can be challenging working in a group at times as there can be very different points of view where compromises must be reached. However, your classmates are the people you are going to see A LOT of and who know what you are really going through, so it is valuable to have that support network.
If you are considering taking on the MBA, I’m not going to lie – it is intensive. However, this first year has gone by in a flash and I feel that there is no point undertaking something like this if you aren’t willing to give it your absolute all. I believe that you get out what you put in and I have tackled every module, exam and assignment with enthusiasm and an eagerness to do the best I possibly can. I want to get a distinction at the end of my course, however if I don’t achieve that, at least I know I tried my damnest!