Gaining the edge in business with an Online MBA

20 June 2023

Distance Learning MBA* alum Nitin Chandnani shares his experience at Warwick Business School and reflects on how the course helped him gain a competitive advantage in the job market.

It’s been a long time since I graduated from Warwick Business School (WBS), as part of the 2012 cohort. We were a diverse batch of international students and as I looked at the cohort list, I realised I was probably one of the youngest to have enrolled on the course. I still remember the cold winter morning of January 2009 during our induction day with the host saying for each of you there were a few hundred applications. This made me feel good and gave me a sense of this being a start of a journey.

The decision to come to WBS was an easy one. It provided me with the flexibility of being able to work and study. It also let me choose the mode of delivery for my modules (face-to-face or remote in 2009!) and with a state-of-the-art campus, boasting a number one status in distance learning, it was an easy choice to make. As for why I chose not to pursue a more technical postgraduate qualification, business has always and will always continue to fascinate me as to how decisions are made on investing in one thing or the other, why a few initiatives go right and why a lot fail, how in an unpredictable world the best one can do is to ensure we build in enough resilience to head off any potential challenges. These and many more similar questions got me to choose business studies over engineering pursuits.

Since my graduation in 2012, I personally did not take any roles that would’ve been considered transformational in nature, for example, changing from IT to something completely unrelated like finance/ marketing. I chose a different path and took the plunge of becoming an independent consultant and running a micro business for about 10 years before selling it to exit the firm. This stint gave me the experience of putting a lot of theory into practice. Right from accounting, legal paperwork, dealing with the home office, building company assets, renting office space and finally implications of tax on me as an individual and me as the director of the company.

Over the last three years, just as COVID was striking, I changed roles and joined one of the big four consulting firms. On a day-to-day basis, my role is very much aligned with my core skills of technical consulting and architecture. The knowledge gained throughout my MBA and experience of running a micro firm has brought me a lot of success in consulting. This experience has helped me in various situations pertaining to negotiations, and walking in the client’s shoes, and has taken away the fear or self-doubt of not being able to hold my ground when the situations do get difficult, especially when dealing with ambiguity. I feel the MBA has given me an edge, to the extent that I can say it’s a definite competitive advantage, whether speaking to an audience who can be technically focused and care about the details, or getting involved in discussions about the strategic vision for a company over the next five to 10 years.

If you are reading this and are on your own journey to find a purpose or a destination, be comfortable with your strengths (and limitations), build on the things you are good at and keep working towards your vision and aspirations. The path or even the destination may not be clear; however if you keep moving, you will keep winning.

‘… rolling stones gather no moss!’

As for my next steps, I am still on my journey of discovery, unsure of what my destination looks like. Will I be an entrepreneur or go back to the industry or continue in consulting? I’m not sure. However, I am thoroughly enjoying what I am doing and do love dealing with daily ambiguities. This journey will eventually get me to my destination, which remains a mystery to me.

*Please note that the Distance Learning MBA is now titled Global Online MBA.