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Dialling up the online experience

When I started the Global MBA I was working for Apple. My role has changed internally to a role with more responsibility since starting the programme. I now work in the Small-medium business segment for the UK and Ireland which is a new challenge for me. I believe the Global MBA enabled me to stretch into the new assignment, think differently and broaden my horizons.

The decision to study an MBA came from the desire to learn more outside my field. I wanted the ability to understand the market and learn skills that could help if at some point I decided to transition into a different field. I thought at the time I decided to study an MBA it was the perfect time in my life, but life never goes your way and I actually fell pregnant. It turned out to be a good thing as it meant I had something to focus on rather than just being with the baby.

The Covid crisis kicked off as I was entering my final term. I was starting the final business project and one other elective. Workshops were now virtual and students were no longer required in Manchester. To be honest I found this a lot easier to manage and the way they were run was brilliant. The only thing that I find sad looking back is that I only met my business project team once and I never actually got to meet anyone from the business I was working with, so I do believe that the project could have been different had we had that in-person experience.

From a course perspective the virtual workshops were managed really well and I believe that we had a great experience regardless. The one thing I really missed out on was the graduation, I was planning a big weekend away for it and looking forward to the whole experience. I wanted to feel that achievement of completing the MBA, wearing the cap and gown with my peers. Nevertheless we still had a virtual celebration but it wasn’t really the same.

One professor said to me at the beginning of the programme, you should do things little and often. I felt this advice really resonated with me during the pandemic: it helped me to spread the work out a bit more and not let things get on top of me. Time management has been a key skill that I have taken away from studying the Part-time MBA. I feel like I can do anything now and it has made me well equipped to taking on bigger challenges.

With Covid there are a few challenges that face my industry. Working for Apple we were already very well equipped for making the switch to working remotely. Where my role has challenges is the business development and relationship management which rely on making connections with people and driving new partnerships. Having to do this more virtually is now somewhat of a challenge.

My advice to anyone thinking of studying an MBA would be don’t sell yourself short and think that you can’t do it all. It’s always a matter of how hard you’re willing to work. There are multiple ways of approaching an MBA and not just one size fits all. Go for it but just do it in your own way, don’t think you have to adapt to a specific way of working.

 

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