Application hints and tips and the first year of a Distance Learning MBA at WBS

02 November 2020

"I am genuinely amazed at what I have learnt in my first year on the Distance Learning MBA and use part of it every day in my work life". Distance Learning MBA student, Pete Davis, explains his reasons for wanting to study an MBA and talks us through his experience of joining WBS.

Everyone has their reasons for why they want to study a university course, particularly at my time of life. When I made the application to Warwick Business School (WBS), I was 46 years old, had a one-year-old son and work commitments, it was not a decision I made lightly.

Even after 30 years of managing people, there were gaps in my education, so to ensure the project that I am planning to secure my families future remains stable through the years; I discussed the matter of universities with some younger staff in my workplace.

I had secured interest from two universities, but it was my work subordinate’s advice that a much more recognisable and Russell group university would be more advantageous. The research took me to the ‘League Tables’ for distance learning programmes, and WBS for the Distance Learning MBA was right at the top. Could I afford it? It was a big investment, but they do say buy the best that you can afford, and since this would have a direct impact on my family’s future, there was no question about trusting that saying.

The decision was made, so I started the application process.

It was reasonably straight forward, except for the video interview as there was just the camera and nobody on the other end to respond to - a challenge but one that you can overcome with practice sessions. An interesting question and one that I have no doubt helped towards my successful application included ‘Why did I want to do an MBA’? It would be easy to state the obvious – grow in stature within my chosen field, get promoted, earn lots of money, etc. Still, one needs to make the reason different to read; otherwise, you may be overlooked.

My situation was a little different. I have had a successful career as a chef cooking in hotels, restaurants and catering companies. I had spent two years with Renault F1 team cooking for team members, drivers and press. I then went in quite a different direction as a Senior Manager in a food and logistics company heading up the HR department.

When my son was born, a seven year plan was hatched to enable my family to move to Australia. Two years studying an MBA, then a move to New Zealand for five years (as I am too old to be accepted into Australia) then as a citizen of New Zealand, move to the Sunshine Coast in Australia with free movement. For me, the MBA is not for promotion prospects but is to protect me from the pitfalls of running my own company once in New Zealand. It would be imperative that the business survives and flourishes to secure my families future. I decided that my experience was not enough to protect the potential business from failure and therefore desired the knowledge that a first-rate university MBA degree offers.

My advice to any prospective student of any age is this: When given a choice, how much would you gamble with your life? Since your career is the central part of your life, and success starts with what you learn, start with the best for the best chance of success.

I can honestly say I am genuinely amazed at what I have learnt in my first year on the Distance Learning MBA and use part of it every day in my work life. It is tough balancing everything, but I always take the view it is a trade-off of two extremely stressful years for the rest of my family’s future. I believe that is a fair trade.

Find out more about the Distance Learning MBA.