I started my MBA journey in September 2014. Like most people about to give up a huge chunk of their personal time, I researched various internet publications and used my personal and professional network to size up the challenge at hand. From my research it was clear that commencing a part-time MBA course would be a fine balancing act between work, personal life and study, however the benefits of successfully completing the degree would outweigh all of the sacrifices made along the way. I guess I didn’t anticipate how quickly some of those benefits could be realised, so here is my story of how starting an MBA course has benefited me in the last 6 months.
For nearly eight years I’ve been working for one of the UK’s largest financial institutions. Over seven out of those eight years were spent on working with syndicated loan clients. Although I enjoyed a steady career progression in the type of work I was doing, I also knew that my interests and strengths lay in change management and this was where I wanted my career to be. In November 2014, two months into my MBA course, I finally got my dream job; I became part of the Strategic Planning and Reporting team in my company’s Change Management division. I suppose it is difficult to asses to what extent the ‘MBA student’ annotation in my CV helped me to get the job, however I can quite confidently say that the MBA learning of the last six months has already paid dividends in my every day work.
I find that the best part of studying an MBA at Strathclyde is the ease with which you are able to apply various management concepts to your every day work. All subjects I’ve completed so far gave me a good theoretical grounding but more importantly they made me think of real life examples of how management theories work in practice. Case studies have been an integral part of each course I’ve completed so far; I have been constantly encouraged to go beyond the theory and into the analysis of the surrounding business environment. I strongly believe that this approach is what truly makes Strathclyde “a place of useful learning”.
Another integral part of studying an MBA at Strathclyde is group work. Until last year I’ve never completed an academic group assignment. Now, having worked on a few, I see them as extremely useful not only in achieving academic goals but also developing a wide range of transferable skills. A part-time MBA course gives you an opportunity to meet and work with other professionals from variety of roles and industries. Working with those professionals helps you further develop your influencing and listening skills, increase your self awareness and it gives you a great sense of achievement once you’ve completed a piece of work. It can be challenging to work with a group of highly driven and sometimes strong minded individuals but in the end I always come to appreciate the power of collaborative working and enjoy results of a team effort.
I have no doubts that the next two and a half years will continue to challenge me on both professional and personal level. However, having gone through the first six months of the course, I certainly look forward to that challenge. For anyone who is thinking about doing a part-time MBA I would say; go for it! You will be able to see the benefits of the course very early on, you will meet some fantastic people and you will probably never look back.