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Year one of the part time MBA is almost over. I have only two more exams to complete next week. The year has flown by but I have achieved and learned a lot.

The main reason I decided to do an MBA was the influence of an inspirational MBA-graduate manager. Like her I had moved from a scientific background into a commercial company but with no business qualifications or understanding of business theory. Her MBA had certainly enhanced her career and kudos, and since I was getting into a rut in my career I thought I should do something about it. I did investigate distance learning MBAs but I felt that I would benefit from the collective experience of a class of professionals from a wide range of industries and that is exactly what has happened. I have been really impressed and motivated by the knowledge and work ethic of my classmates.

The first year has covered five of the core “making the business work” subjects. Module coursework covers both theory and practice and so far has been incredibly relevant to my working life. What I have enjoyed most is gaining an understanding of aspects of business that I have never really considered. I found the Managing People in Organisations module to be particularly relevant and regularly apply ideas from this module to understand both my own organisation and external client organisations and to aid decision making. I have learned a lot about myself, the way that I work within a group, my strengths and weaknesses.

So far the biggest benefit of the PT MBA has been a renewed focus on my career. I changed company and career direction a month ago (after 10 years in the same company). I am in a rut no more! It is a risk changing career direction but it is exciting.

Changing jobs and going through the PT MBA at the same time has been tough. Evenings and weekends can easily be taken up with coursework and studying. You become an expert in time-management. My recommendation to anyone considering the PT MBA: outsource domestic duties for a couple of years and hire a cleaner, dog walker etc.

It has been a great experience so far. And while I will savour some time off after the final exam of year one, I am already looking forward to year two.