My experience as a Distance Learning MBA student

17 June 2020

Distance Learning MBA student, Marissa Alleyne, describes her MBA experience so far and highlights her favourite aspects of the programme. 

My background

Over the past 10 years I’ve had the privilege of working in numerous roles and diverse teams across organisations within financial services, and knew that I wanted to pursue a valuable challenge to take my career to the next level. I considered pursuing an MBA for many years and did a lot of research to find a programme suitable to my needs. The Distance Learning MBA at Warwick Business School (WBS) offered exactly what I needed:

  • A well-reputed institution
  • A programme with the right structure for me to stay in control of my time and studies
  • Exposure to a diverse and experienced cohort

The Distance Learning MBA at WBS (which is ranked number one globally by the Financial Times for three consecutive years), checked all of those boxes, without the need to take a break from my development at work.

My experience on the programme so far

When I started the programme, I was equally nervous and excited; from the material I would be exposed to, the level of thinking and discussions and the calibre of the network I would gain. The programme has not disappointed in any facet. Every module and group interaction continuously adds to a rewarding MBA experience.

The course curriculum is stacked quite tightly but you do have an opportunity to shape it to your needs with the help of the WBS Programmes team. I chose to continue at the set pace alongside a very busy and demanding work schedule like many of the students in my cohort.

Managing my other commitments alongside studying i.e. work, family, friends, leisure etc. has required a major time adjustment. Finding the ‘right’ balance is something I continue to work on; some weeks I feel I have ‘perfected’ my routine and other times I feel like I’ve just about managed to stay afloat. My approach included an acceptance that I do not need to be present for every life experience at once; instead I rely on preparation, managing my calendar and a good support system.

Most enjoyable aspects of the course so far

The entire experience has been rewarding to date and as I enter my second year in the programme, I have a greater appreciation for the benefits of the WBS MBA on my development. Beyond the lectures, there have been some ‘extras’ which have contributed to truly impactful moments and the way I approach the modules. The ‘real world’ application of the assignments challenges my way of thinking about current organisational situations and our roles in influencing their outcomes.

Warwick Week one (which was hosted on the Warwick campus) was an enriching addition to the programme. It was a well organised week of events, presentations, classes and of course our Operations Management exam. An opportunity to meet your group members who you’ve worked with virtually for months and other students you have interacted with or seen their names frequently during your online classes and faculty.

It’s powerful to have access to so many students with various backgrounds facilitated by WBS faculty. Your assigned groups become a great resource offering fresh perspectives and all round support. I was fortunate to meet some incredible people who I hope to maintain a lifelong connection with throughout our careers.

Networking opportunities

The University schedules several events throughout the year across a number of specialisms providing a wider exposure to a number of topics and an opportunity to network with students across the Full-time, Executive and Distance Learning MBA programmes. It doesn’t end there, these events facilitate engagement with faculty, leaders across organisations and Alumni at The Shard, Warwick campus and online. My favourite so far was an event which hosted Joseph Pine, co-author of The Experience Economy, who shared not only a copy of his book but also some good insight into the evolution of the experience economy. This was a lovely event in great company, good conversation, some nibbles and a fantastic view at The Shard.

My advice to those students embarking on the MBA

At the beginning of the two year programme it can feel like a large commitment (which it is). But given the intensity of deadlines and the vast richness of the taught material, the time goes by so quickly - it’s almost bittersweet. Use the tools and resources available to your advantage, there are so many sources which enhance the course material and enrich your MBA experience. My advice is to be fully present, participate in activities and events beyond your assigned classes and enjoy the new experiences - even those pesky deadlines which always seem to come round so quickly!

Find out more about the Distance Learning MBA