My five top tips when applying for an Executive MBA

21 June 2022

Executive MBA participant, Eleonora Ossola, shares her topic tips for what to consider when applying for an Executive MBA. 

Making the decision to go back to school after many years since your last assignment, and re-train your brain to focus, absorb, and retain, it is not an easy task. However, it is possibly one of the most rewarding journeys you can experience in your personal and professional growth. As I am reaching the end of my MBA, I look back at the past two years made up of mind-opening discoveries, lifetime friendships, career changing choices and late nights immersed in books, numbers, and words and I smile at the thought. Therefore, I would like to share a few learnings that you might find useful at the beginning of your journey.

Here are my top tips on how to choose, apply (and survive) an Executive MBA.

1. Why

Before starting such a fulfilling and yet demanding journey, ask yourself ‘why?’. Why do you want to enrol in a business course? What are your goals? What would a successful experience look like? What is your availability? And be honest about how much you can commit. I noticed the students that coped better with the workload and enjoyed the learning process the most, are those students who know exactly why they are undergoing the process. Ultimately, you are doing it for you, so it is important that you are aligned with your objective. Every time you struggle through the process, pause, and go back to the reason that took you there. It helps!

2. Fit like a glove

Research the different schools and programmes available to identify the best fit to your needs and goals. Read articles, examine websites and brochures, reach out to staff to receive details on requirements and possible outcomes, and contact alumni to ask for advice and their personal experiences. Would you benefit more from a face-to-face experience, or a more flexible distance learning option? From entrepreneurship to finance or research, schools propose different focuses. What is your main interest? I found it extremely helpful talking to the Recruitment team at Warwick Business School (WBS).They shared many insightful details on the modules, lecturers, workload, and learning approach that guided me through my choice.

3. Money isn’t everything, but (almost) everything needs money

Whether you will be sponsored or self-funded, it is important to acknowledge the monetary aspect of this opportunity. Make sure to ask the school team about tuition fees and plan your effort ahead. If the funding presents an obstacle, do ask about payment schedules and scholarship schemes. I have been honoured with the WBS Inspiring Women scholarship and I am most grateful to WBS for the support and trust they showed me. Don’t be discouraged by the financial aspects, there are solutions available worth exploring.

4. It takes a village

As with any long expedition, you need to pack the essential tools that will take you to the peak. Make sure your closest circle of friends and family are aware of the new experience you are about to embark on and ask them to show support along the way. Your social life might suffer time to time, and so it is important that the people who surround you understand your commitment. Rely on your fellow students, ask for help when needed and grow together. You will make many beautiful friendships along the way and remember, sharing is caring. You are not alone.

5. Enjoy

And finally, don’t forget that learning is not just hard work, it can be extremely fun as well. Allow yourself to appreciate and be proud of the choice you have made. Cherish every moment and smile at the mirror, you are investing in growing as a person and improving as a professional, nothing can go wrong.

Find out more about the Executive MBA programme here.

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