Improving your professional performance while studying an online MBA

26 June 2023

Distance Learning MBA (now called Global Online MBA) participant Emilie Hodson shares how her experience on the programme has given her the skills and insights to improve her performance at work, from critical thinking to leadership development.

Five months ago, I embarked on Warwick Business School’s two-year Distance Learning MBA programme. Even at such an early stage it is already proving to be an enriching and impactful experience, not only in terms of the knowledge acquired during the course but also in the immediate practical application of my learnings to my current professional life.

Developing Critical Thinking

One of the most valuable skills I have been developing during my MBA is critical thinking. The programme always encourages us to question ideas (even our own!), challenge assumptions and be more curious so that we can really get to the bottom of what’s going on. Only then can we form sound, objective judgments and make decisions that are appropriate for the situation at hand.

Critically evaluating situations from multiple perspectives is a valuable skill that is applicable to any job and which I intend to hone over time to enhance my decision-making and problem-solving abilities. 

Real-World Application

The course material is packed with concrete examples and case studies throughout, making the learning experience highly engaging and relevant. These real-life scenarios help to bridge the gap between theoretical concepts and their application in a work environment.  By analysing relevant case studies, we can really gain a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances of various business challenges, which are rarely black and white situations.

The coursework assignments also serve as a brilliant opportunity to unpack real-life situations encountered in my work life and evaluate potential solutions.  

Leadership Development

A key aspect of the MBA programme is leadership development, and I believe that good leadership starts with self-awareness. During my first residential week at Warwick, I had the chance to explore my own beliefs and how the values that are important to me influence my decisions and play out in my life.

This process has shown me how I can leverage my strengths and work on areas that need improvement. Not only has this boosted my self-confidence, but the increased mindfulness also allows me to better recognise other people’s strengths and be more receptive to their diverse perspectives. I’ve been able to put these tools to use immediately in any collaborative environment, whether during the MBA group assignments or at work.

The ability to immediately apply my MBA to my current work has been a testament to the relevance and practicality of the programme. So far, the skills and tools acquired through the programme have already proven invaluable in enabling me to navigate complex challenges with clarity and efficiency.

However, the learning experience extends beyond the course material; it also encompasses the knowledge gained from my fellow classmates. I have engaged in numerous discussions with my peers, from which I have gained valuable insights, ideas, and advice that can be readily put into practice.

As I continue this journey, I look forward to harnessing these skills and insights to develop as an individual and a professional, make a lasting impact to my career and create positive change around me.