Distance Learning MBA participant, Neil Walsh, tells us about the various networking opportunities throughout the programme and shares his advice for future MBA students.
Networking isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you choose a Distance Learning MBA, nor should it be the reason you choose this format! But that doesn’t mean you still don’t get the benefits of working with a great group of people. Reflecting on the previous year at Warwick Business School (WBS), I’m happy to say I’ve made some great friends and met a lot of interesting people, which has only enhanced my learning experience.
I’ve always enjoyed working in teams, whether it’s at work through project management or in my personal life through sport, and I’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to the highest levels in both fields. This meant I was very aware of the potential downsides when considering an online format. A need for flexibility was driving my choice of MBAs, particularly as when I applied to Warwick I was travelling between Switzerland, Tanzania and New Zealand working as a consultant. On the other hand, one of the upsides to an online MBA is the cohort literally comes from all over the globe. This gives different and interesting perspectives and everyone seems to have a unique journey for how they got to where they are in their careers, and what they are hoping to achieve with the MBA. It’s also quite a mature group, so they bring experience and expertise that you can’t replicate when you’re fresh-faced and straight out of university.
Without a doubt, Warwick Week was the best experience to meet everyone and put a real face to those online WBS profile photos. Even though it was a full week, packed with assessments, lectures, and careers events, it was a great chance to connect with everyone in person. In these times of increased digitalism there is nothing like a face-to-face chat to get to know people better. Not only are the connections helpful for the learning experience and future job prospects, especially with the now (in) famous statistic that around 75-85% of jobs are found through networks, the connections also makes it a very personally enjoyable learning experience.
Aside from Warwick Weeks there are other opportunities to interact with peers. These include group work, live lectures and online discussions. As with any experience you get out what you put in, however the opportunity is there to have a good experience with your cohort.
One piece of advice I would give is that your peers are not your competition, so use them to help you and vice versa – whether it’s as a sounding board to bounce ideas off or as a vent if you’re feeling overwhelmed! So if you’re thinking of choosing the Distance Learning MBA do it for the flexibility, but rest assured you’ll get plenty of opportunities to connect with a great group of people.
Lastly, one of the most helpful things for me when I was trying to choose whether to do an MBA or not was speaking to a past student who had completed the Distance Learning MBA. If anyone would like to reach out to ask a few questions about the experience (no matter how trivial!), feel free to get in touch.
Find out more about our Distance Learning MBA options.