Distance Learning MBA participant Paul explores the different modules that make up the MBA programme, highlighting how each module has developed his experience and fed into his journey on the course.
Distance Learning MBA participant, Michael Brooman, explores his experience with the MBA modules so far.
Eight months into our MBA at WBS, we have completed five modules so far. Choosing a favourite module is tricky, as they all have pros and cons! Organisational Behaviour (OB) was our first module and so really set a high bar for the MBA, and I enjoyed the mix of academia and practical theory. We bounced quickly into Strategic Advantage, which was a whirlwind of study lessons, followed by a thought-provoking assignment. It was less bookwork than OB but felt closer to what I was used to in a real work environment.
It wasn’t long before we had our first Residential Week, for the London cohort this was at The Shard, the world-famous building, and it kicked off the Operations Management module. This was a fantastic module and could be in the running for my favourite so far, however, it has the unfair advantage of face-to-face interactions which enhanced the learning opportunity.
Early October saw us move into the first of the two heavily financially biased modules, and what an eye-opener Corporate Reporting and Decision Making was! It was an intense six weeks, with one of the most time-consuming assignments, that left me feeling very satisfied with the work I had put in and the amount of learning I had completed. Little did I know that right around the corner was Financial Management, which really stepped up the learning curve and I was soon deep into algebra and more formulas than I’d seen since my engineering degree 12 years earlier!
As I write, we have started our module on leadership, which is a big shift in the direction back towards the literature and research of the early OB module.
One thing that can be sure of is that there isn’t a single module we have done so far that isn’t a strong contender for my favourite module, and like having a favourite movie or song, it changes with my mood and situation.
Every module we have completed so far has had almost instant applicability to my day-to-day role, and I have immediately felt more comfortable talking in different situations, be it talking about net present value for investments or mesh structures for organisational improvement.
Every module leader has been engaging and supportive and presented the modules in different ways that keep the learning interesting and informative. I enjoyed the lessons on Financial Management, it struck a great balance of text, practical learning and in-depth explanations walked through in a video. I felt that this mix best suited my way of learning, as I was able to do work during travel where internet access may be limited.
So what has been my favourite module so far? For me it has to be Operations Management, closely followed by Financial Management. OM had the advantage of kicking off at The Shard, and the face-to-face lectures with Ross were really interesting, fun and engaging. The module included a group project that was “real” and allowed us to flex our newly engaged MBA muscles, and for my group, we even got to eat at Five Guys three days in a row for “research”.
I will admit now that I spent the first five years of my career in a factory, and then moved into a manufacturing-based construction company, and so my interest has always been in operations. TQM, six sigma and lean have been a part of my professional life so I felt comfortable with the foundations and was able to explore the content in more depth than other modules where I sometimes felt I was covering the basics to tread water with the rest of the cohort who seemed to be experts!
But even with that aside, the assignment, the pace, the group project and the subject make OM my favourite module so far, and a high bar has been set. You can probably tell that I’ve enjoyed every module so far, and have surprised myself with how much I’ve enjoyed what I thought was going to be quite a challenging few years.