My learning journey on the Distance Learning MBA

12 May 2020

Distance Learning MBA (London) student, Marianne Siegfried-Brookes, talks us through her journey on the programme, as well as the advantages of studying an online course.

It’s been more than 20 years since I finished my MSc in Secondary Education at the University of Zürich and started my teaching career, beginning as a science teacher and then head of sport in the four-country region at Lake Constance.

Fascinated by Northern Europe, I spent many years in Uppsala and Stockholm, teaching and building up the German part of a language school. I have now been in the UK for 16 years, raising my own bilingual children and running my own language school. I am a part-time lecturer for German at De Montfort University, examiner for different exam boards, and co-chair the Association of German Saturday Schools UK. Still a teacher at heart, my vision is to bring the opportunity for inclusive and active language learning to everyone - children and adults, beginners to experts.

The bigger my language school, The German Academy, grew, the more I felt that I was missing knowledge in many areas. Be it finance or marketing, operations or strategy. When I told my family and friends nearly a year ago that I wanted to embark on an MBA, they thought I was insane! They couldn’t see me finding the time for such a commitment, even if it was part-time and distance learning. I wasn’t sure myself if I would be able to cope, but felt intrigued and wanted to see if I could take The German Academy to the next level.

Since last June, the Distance Learning MBA has been the most amazing learning journey for me, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it. There is great flexibility on the programme as the literature can, for example, be read or listened to. Some days, I listen in the car, or whilst cooking, walking the dog, or even whilst preparing German lessons. I can go at my own speed with the material in the modules, and there is always support from module leaders and fellow students. The many online discussions are a great addition to the provided materials, and group work is making everything come alive. I have met so many amazing people from all over the world, and it was really exciting to see everyone in person at Warwick Week one at The Shard, after three months of studying online together. There are many support networks and groups and I have never felt alone.

With it being so long since I had last been a student, and with literally no prior knowledge of the subjects taught on the MBA programme, my learning curve was exponential. There are lots of additional materials and literature, and it’s always possible to expand on any study area, for which I sometimes wish I would have more time – to skip my other professional and family duties and just read on!

My initial worries about technology and online learning were unwarranted. The platform is easy to use and intuitive, and you can access all the materials on any device, anytime and anywhere. My new online learning skills have had an unexpected, but amazing side-effect as well in the current Covid-19 crisis. I was able to move the 50+ courses we offer through The German Academy online, train teachers and give advice to parents and students. We didn’t lose but instead welcomed new students from all over the world. Without the online learning option, I’m unsure how we could have coped.

Despite sometimes feeling like I won’t be able to complete the work, I always do in the end, and I am looking forward to the next module and with it the next challenge!

Find out more about the Distance Learning MBA (London)