Pallavi describes the range of elective modules and specialisms available on the Executive MBA (London).
A common reason for people to do the Executive MBA is to consolidate their experience in management and also to develop in areas where there are deficiencies and I was no exception. Electives give the opportunity to focus on subjects of interest and to expand career horizons. A medic by trade and in healthcare all my working life, many assumed that I would want to do the healthcare specialism and many of the doctors who do the course will do. However, the reason I wanted to do the Executive MBA was to learn about other industries and widen my experiences and network. I therefore decided to choose electives which were outside my comfort zone and which would give me a solid foundation for a senior management role, either in my own company or elsewhere. Some in my cohort were even more brave (or crazy?!?!) and chose subjects which they found difficult in order to stretch themselves and to ensure they would be confident in that area in the future. While I admired them doing advanced accounting and finance I was extremely relieved to put my A-level scientific calculator away to gather dust once again.
The time to finalise electives comes around very fast and so it’s worthwhile taking time to peruse the module overviews some time before the deadline. I spent days agonising over my choices, taking into account my career needs, availability and potential ‘clashes’ or ‘pressure points’ with other modules. What I have learnt is cramming in an international elective to India between two consecutive required modules is not a great idea. I had three individual assignments, pre-reading, a group assignment and taught classes to complete within a six week period, while jet-lagged and suffering from the inevitable Delhi- Belly! This insight made me realise that trying to repeat this feat again at the end of year one, which I was due to do was a terrible idea and so I postponed one my electives to the following year and I am so pleased I did! Completing the course isn’t a race and it is important to take it all in and actually learn things properly rather than just being a tick box exercise.
While the number of electives at the Shard are limited this gives the opportunity to do a week in Warwick with other cohorts, which is invaluable to not only make new friends but also to network. Others prefer the flexibility of distance learning or a ‘blended’ approach. While I am sure the Shard Masters team will hate me for saying this, if you realise you have made a mistake or need to change electives they will do all they can to accommodate and assist and generally it doesn’t seem to be a problem. So go forth and be bold...