Balancing the MBA, work and family life

19 October 2022

Distance Learning MBA participant, Corban Quigg, shares how three elements of the programme enabled him to juggle other responsibilities alongside studying.

When I shared my desire to add an MBA programme on top of a busy career at Amazon, alongside parenting two young boys in Seattle, with my wife, she checked my temperature and asked me if I needed to speak to a counselor. Our lives are quite busy: both of us work full-time, parent full-time, and with the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, we by proxy taught our two boys (aged 8 and 5) full-time as well.

Ultimately, what convinced her and I that I should apply to the Distance Learning MBA (DLMBA) at Warwick Business School (WBS), was the incredible flexibility of the degree, without limiting the academic scope and bar that comes from one of the top business schools in Europe.

There have been three notable distinctive elements that, as a DLMBA participant at WBS, have been incredibly beneficial to a working professional, husband, and parent with little time to spare:

  1. Learning on my schedule and at my pace.

This is true of many distance and online MBA programmes, but WBS has been in the distance learning game for decades. They have perfected the right balance of independent study with live lectures and group activities that gave me incredible flexibility to engage as much or as little as I was able to. One of the primary reasons I selected WBS over other online/distance MBA programmes, was because they offered independent study in tandem with group projects and assignments, compared to some institutions that were 100% online and without ‘live’ interactions amongst faculty and students. Business is intrinsically group-focused, and I’m grateful for the global relationships and perspectives I have gained throughout my studies over the past two years.

  1. A global business perspective for an American businessman.

Both an academic and professional area of interest of mine has been in international business. I found that WBS has a distinctive edge over several American institutions in this area in relation to the MBA programme content. WBS possesses a global worldview, grounded in its British cultural lens, and has a unique international student body, afforded from the flexible distance learning environment. I have appreciated the perspective of classmates in Australia, India, Columbia, and continental Europe with group assignments and assessments, forum conversations, and WhatsApp chats. This has helped to widen my own understanding and business context on a global scale.

  1. A variety of learning mechanisms and tools on the WBS portal, my.wbs.

The distance learning faculty and staff leave no option off the table to prepare me and other distance learning students with primary course materials. I am a visual learner and have appreciated the ease of navigation, as each learning module has been packed with diagrams, reference links, videos, lectures, and transcripts, to allow me the flexibility to review more complex lectures and ideas through multiple means. One of my biggest lessons learned navigating the programme has been that for a busy working professional, there is no right way to engage in module content – learning is the objective, through whatever means. I have been able to gather what I need, when I need it (sometimes even in the eleventh hour before a deadline) while maintaining my professional and personal workloads in the balance.

In sum, my decision to study the DLMBA at WBS has been a life-changing decision for my professional journey at Amazon, where I have already obtained a promotion into a new job field, in part from the academic work completed at WBS. The work has been difficult, both at WBS and Amazon, but worth every minute of time of effort, as I continue my academic journey with the completion of my dissertation in spring of 2023.

Find out more about the DLMBA programmes. 

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