Flexibility: How the Executive MBA worked around my schedule
27 April 2023

Executive MBA participant, Tobias Topf, shares how the flexibility of the MBA programmes enabled him to study around work and family commitments, and tailor the content to his interests. 

One of the reasons why I chose Warwick Business School (WBS) was the positive feedback I had heard from alumni about the flexibility of the MBA programme. With a three-year-old whirlwind, my wife working as a cosmetic dentist, and a demanding job, flexibility was crucial.

Firstly, there is the option to choose from different lecture deliveries (weekday, weekend, block, distance learning) and locations (Warwick Campus and The Shard). There was a wide choice of options available to me that could work around my life. I chose the 4-day block delivery (Wed – Fri) every six weeks on the Executive MBA programme. This works well for me as I have a good amount of time to prepare for the upcoming lecture, sacrifice only one weekend every so often (well...most weekends, as I am either researching or writing my assignments, or interacting with my cohort (who have become an important support network)).  

Secondly, the options to respond to life events. Gary, who looks after us for first-level support, has been brilliant. Someone who understands how challenging juggling family, work, and study is. I had occasions where I was snowed under at work, so I needed an extension on my assignment. I laid out my reasons and the extension was approved. 

Thirdly, there is the ability to choose from various electives. While at first, the selection process was extensive, I was able to compose my electives to suit my interests and the area, in which I wanted to specialise. 

My advice to future students on the WBS Executive MBA is don’t underestimate the impact the programme has on all aspects of life. Positive: of course, you learn so much, grow as a person and think differently, make connections, explore areas you didn’t know interested you, question long-standing conventions at work, and you will be listened to differently. However, it is a demanding programme. Although I believe one can pass the Executive MBA with a moderate level of effort, I have not met many fellow students who weren’t extremely determined and ambitious and wanted to do really well. When you’d normally wind down from a busy day sitting on your sofa watching a hardly brain-demanding Netflix episode of Below Deck (I never watched it of course, just trying to paint a picture), be prepared to instead retreat into your study and break your head over textbooks, writing your assignment, and researching on Google Scholar. The biggest challenge I have found so far is the constant added pressure I feel on “Can I afford to take a yoga class now or should I rather plough through the next chapter of my textbook”. 

While all of this is intense, it is also so rewarding in many ways. 

When I am starting to get a little flustered at work because of feeling under pressure, I now notice, after not even one year on the programme, that I am starting to change and build rock-solid resilience for life, and learning to balance different demands.

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