Blog written by: Dr Paul G. Davies, MBA Programme Director.
I have had the pleasure to chat with many students during the years that I have taught on and managed MBA courses. An interesting aspect of these conversations has often been about the reasons that students have for studying, particularly on part-time courses. Inevitably, a range of motives exist and reflect the varied nature of students’ ambitions and experience. In this blog, I have reflected on a few of the common examples, though this is not meant to be an exhaustive listing.
The opportunity to develop new skills and learn is a valuable one that many students I have spoken to have suggested is a primary reason for choosing an MBA. The nature of the course provides a space to explore the strategic way in which organisations work and this can be applied to your organisation as well as fostering a broader understanding of aspects of management practice. In Swansea we look to apply theory and examples to your environment, through discussions and often in assessments. As an example, the final project on the course offers an opportunity to explore a management problem within your organisation in order to determine recommendations for future action.
I have enjoyed the experience of working with many students whose career path has led them away from areas of expertise as they have taken on more management roles. The desire to learn about new areas that were increasingly part of their work experience is a powerful example of the way our careers evolve and learning supports these changes.
The confidence and skills that are derived from thinking about and examining varied views on subjects from Leadership to Strategy resonate in the workplace. In many ways having the space to study management and to reflect on your and fellow students’ experiences is a significant one. As a strategist, one of my frustrations for organisations is the lack of space to reflect on why and how we operate the way we do.
A student once commented on the way they felt able to ask more critical questions of a consultant and the nervous look in the consultant’s eyes when they realised this person knew what they were talking about and were not going to be taken in by jargon. The smile that accompanied the story spoke volumes about the way MBA studies had instilled self-assurance and in many ways unlocked abilities that were simply waiting to be released.
A significant factor for students on a part-time programme is the ability to flexibly manage their studies alongside work and family commitments. Certainly, this has been a central consideration when developing the flexible delivery pattern at the heart of the Swansea Flexible MBA. Using a blended model allows us to combine the critical face-to-face discussions with the on-line materials that allow a more flexible way for students to study.
Date published: 11/05/2021