Studying whilst working with the Distance Learning MBA

29 April 2020

Distance Learning MBA participant, Florian Pieper, explains how he has been able to balance his work commitments whilst studying an MBA, as well as his key highlights from the flexible distance learning programme.  

Before I started my Distance Learning MBA at Warwick Business School (WBS), I looked for a suitable way to combine both the need to extend my horizons and to progress further in a full-time job as a consultant. Usually the desire to pursue an MBA requires you to devote more time into learning instead of working. However, distance learning courses provide both the key for lifelong learning and the ability to balance commitments, which saves both money and time.

At WBS, two modules run at the same time over an average period of three months. This allows you to study its content and acquire knowledge, engage with peers via group work, interact with academic staff and to complete an individual assignment. Everyone will face some pressure during the MBA to complete readings, finish assignments and to start pre-readings for the next two modules. This is a perfect situation which triggers your decision making ability – a skill most MBA students want to either improve on or to learn in order to grow both on a personal and professional level.

Based on my experience, the WBS staff and their level of experience is a beneficial and unique selling point of the Distance Learning MBA, along with its flexibility. The support that the staff provide is brilliant in terms of reaction time, their understanding for any personal request and their aim to accommodate any needed module shifts if any work or personal commitments arise. As Distance Learning MBA cohorts start twice a year, the modules can be shifted to a more suitable period if needed.

Another reason why I joined the Distance Learning MBA programme at WBS is the high quality of the teaching and the faculty. Many of the faculty possess a PhD degree including various teaching experience at other institutions before joining WBS. During interactions on the my.wbs platform and during attendance at Warwick Weeks with lecturers, I was astonished at how well-prepared the modules are and how well this blended format strives to offer a seamless experience compared to a full-time MBA programme.

Once all module lessons are covered in live sessions, a module leader runs a reflection session on key learnings and provides insights on how to best prepare for the individual assignment. Although I used to have a sense for how to structure an assignment, it is great to get a holistic view and to know exactly what is expected. Even though the programme provides a lot of flexibility in terms of planning for modules, quality is never sacrificed. Each module is completed by submission of anonymous feedback along with any other feedback which is discussed by a student representative with the Programmes team. Not surprisingly, feedback on any measures taken are communicated by the Programmes team to continuously improve the programme. In fact, these points are a perfect indication for WBS’ sustainability and reputation.

It has been a challenging time for me to balance both studies and work. However, most of the cohort are in the same situation and there’s a real ‘We’re in this together’ feel, everyone helping and motivating each other whilst WBS ensures any needed flexibility. Everyone that I have met during the course has contributed towards forming a bond while studying and becoming friends. So far, my learning curve has been as high as expected. This summer, I am looking forward to my upcoming module in Digital Leadership in order to gain additional insights in coherence with my work as a consultant.

Find out more about the Distance Learning MBA