From MBA to Executive Diploma - My WBS experience

12 May 2021

Completing her Executive MBA at WBS in 2018, Tracy Bull only had one 'go-to' choice when she decided to study for an Executive Diploma. In this blog, Tracy offers her invaluable advice and experiences gained on her journey.

I have worked in the commercial digital arena within Europe for over ten years and believe that the changes we see in this space, and the acceleration due to COVID-19, is only the beginning. The Digital Leadership programme is helping me to become a better leader during this ongoing time of transformation, as well as adding knowledge and value to my own journey.

Although I completed my Executive MBA with Warwick Business School in 2018, I had not experienced structured learning since early 2017, and it felt like a good point for me personally and professionally to step back into the classroom. With the second-to-none experience throughout my MBA it was clear WBS would be my go-to, and having found this course I discussed my needs with the team - and it seemed like a perfect fit.

Similarly to my MBA experience, the high quality of teaching on the Executive Diploma has shed a light on a wide range of industries. This keeps the lectures engaging and my cohort talking – not just with the academics but also with each other. Such free exchanges have widened and broadened my learning experience. They confirm the need for courses such as these and highlight that our society will never not be digital.

Even with my existing WBS experience, I’ve found the course material to be wholly new with no overlap in content. Had my current modules been available as electives during my MBA, I would not have chosen them as my goals are different now to what they were then. The Diploma is definitely a great supplement to my previous WBS education, as well as helping me expand my network.

We have enjoyed guest speakers from banking, retail and fintech to name some, and the lecturers themselves have a combination of academic and real-world experience, giving a more holistic view on their specialty. It’s this balance in their teaching and the practical applications that help broaden the learning and understanding – it really helps to debunk the apparent complexity without over-simplifying. This is helped by the assignment structure which encourages students to not just think, but practically apply the learning to both current organisational issues you face today and (far) beyond.

Even though COVID-19 has forced the course fully online – and thus without the benefit of those conversations over coffee – I have found that my cohort is a great learning source. The smaller break-out sessions allow us to get to know and learn from one another. My classmates have a great breadth of knowledge, skills, and different experiences to draw from; from different approaches to solving problems to expanding my own knowledge. I am happy to say we have also been able to organise a few social events outside the course!

Between the Executive MBA being taught face-to-face and the Diploma being online this year, I now have experience both teaching formats and can confirm the quality is consistent across them. There are pros and cons to each. With online I take the opportunity to re-watch lectures I want to better understand after reflecting later and have more management of home, work and study without any commute. When in person I take the opportunity to be fully present, not on a screen and available for networking outside of lectures and, for sure, I enjoy the organic conversations that occur in the coffee breaks throughout the day.

The Digital Leadership course itself is highly relevant to my current and future career plans as a leader in the digital space; and it has been important to me to learn these skills free from the commercial aspects offered by software companies who have a greater interest in selling than in teaching. After each module I return to my role energised and full of ideas to create positive changes in my role and the course overall has given me the confidence to start conversations in the workplace that I otherwise wouldn’t have had.

If you are interested in a Warwick Executive Diploma or other further study at WBS I recommend speaking to their team about your own needs. They are both professional and personable and will be there for you throughout the course.

Find out more about the Executive Diploma in Digital Leadership here, or book a 1-2-1 chat with our team.