How to take full advantage of the WBS CareersPlus services during your MBA

21 August 2020

"I absolutely recommend new students to contact the WBS CareersPlus team early on to take full advantage of the services offered". Distance Learning MBA participant, Emma Goelema, provides an overview of the career suppport she has received during her MBA. 

Recently, I came across a wonderful Dutch quote: “Tob niet, het komt toch anders”, which roughly translates to “Don’t worry, life is what happens while you’re making other plans”. This couldn’t be more accurate for many, including me, during these past months. While thankfully healthy, I have been living with my family under lockdown-like conditions in Oman for the past five months. The Warwick Distance Learning MBA has been one of the things that has helped me to stay sane and given me purpose during months of home schooling, work and limited opportunities to leave the house. Because, after all, just because you shouldn’t worry, it doesn’t mean you should not be prepared and set yourself up in the best possible way to approach the new (post) Covid-19 reality.

One way in which the Warwick MBA stood out for me when comparing it against other programmes, was the attention paid to students’ career support, which has not let me down. I absolutely recommend new students to contact the WBS CareersPlus team early on to take full advantage of the services offered. They are genuinely happy to advise students and are great at doing this online. Here is what I used them for:

Coaching

Having started on the executive programme of a large logistics company, followed by linear career growth in operations and project management, I took the opportunity to move to the Middle East (Abu Dhabi and later Oman) a few years ago. This has been an unforgettable and enriching experience: working at the Dutch embassy, taking up the MBA, meeting people from all over the world, being a board member of one of the largest leisure clubs in the region, exploring Oman off-road while camping in the desert or on a remote beach to name but a few highlights!

However, as I later also took a career break, there were times when I wondered what the long-term impact on my career would be. The coaching sessions that I had helped reframe some of my thoughts on non-linear career growth and heightened my confidence in the transferable strengths and skills I have gained along the way.

Practical advice

There is a dedicated ‘careers’ area on the online MBA platform filled with a variety of useful resources. I am following the Career Management module which takes you through all aspects of your career, from identifying your personal values to salary negotiations. Webinars organised by the CareersPlus team (often involving external experts), are a useful way to get the latest information on topics such as how to get the most out of LinkedIn, perfecting your elevator pitch and how to approach virtual interviews.

Broadening insights

The webinars cover a variety of current themes and complement the learning from the different study modules. I attended several sessions on AI, block chain and the use of social media in marketing where speakers went into more detail about the practical application of these topics.

I always considered having a degree from a different field (in my case European Policy) than the one you are working in as a plus as it adds diversity to a team. However I’m really glad I took up the MBA at this point in my career as it has given me a much better understanding of the interdependence of different business functions and how to better communicate with upper management by framing proposals to fit overall business priorities.

This is why my main advice to prospective students would be to not wait for the perfect moment to start the Distance Learning MBA. The programme requires commitment and can be demanding, but it also offers enough flexibility to make it work for the career-study-life balance you aim for. For example, I was able to shift my study load to have more time for my children during summer holidays.

As for my own plans post-MBA? There is no denying that the job market in Europe, and worldwide, is now more challenging than just six months ago. However, I do feel well prepared and a certain excitement to explore opportunities for a senior role in either operations or project management in the coming year. Even if things work out differently than planned, I know I am prepared and confident in my future. “Tob niet, het komt toch anders”! 

Find out more about our Distance Learning MBA options. 

 

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