Taking advantage of the flexibility on the Distance Learning MBA
05 January 2021
"If you are thinking of studying an MBA, but are worried that your work schedule is tight, WBS has got you covered". Distance Learning MBA student, Ibukun Beecroft, talks about her journey on the programme and how to take advantage of the flexible nature of the course.
It is interesting to see how far I have come with my Distance Learning MBA at Warwick Business School (WBS). I had concerns about choosing a business school that would provide me with the opportunity to learn and the flexibility to study at my own convenience and pace but I can confirm that having enrolled on the Distance Learning MBA programme in January 2020, it has been a worthwhile journey for me.
As an individual, my work schedule does not permit me to attend all the WBS live sessions, but the way that WBS has designed the delivery of each session, made my experience seamless and allowed me to join sessions at a later date. Although you are not able to contribute during the recorded live session, you can read contributions from other students and this enables you to engage with other cohorts and the faculty members. I must say, the response rate by the faculty to concerns and clarifications on topics are commendable.
You can select a maximum of two modules per quarter or choose just one module depending on your capacity and work schedule. When the coursework is completed, you have at least six weeks of personal study time in order to complete the assessment for the module. This timeframe gave me the opportunity to research, study and catch up with classes and WBS live sessions. One advantage is that the course materials can be accessed at anytime and anywhere using any device of your choice. You just need to login and voila, you have access to the library via the Bookshelf app.
The Distance Learning MBA also provides the opportunity to participate in some face-to-face electives. The spectrum of electives gives you several options for specialisation depending on the career path you have chosen. For instance, I was excited to see elective options on Digital Leadership, Modelling and Analytics, Creating Sustainable Organisations etc. which are some of the emerging trends that prepare you as managers for the future of work.
Due to the current global situation, one interesting scenario for me was how WBS was able to migrate all the face-to-face Warwick Weeks to virtual sessions instead, which were delivered excellently. For instance, I was worried about an exam that we were supposed to write in person at the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The flexibility and responsiveness of faculty allayed all fears and the course was completed within a record time. One of the best experiences on the programme was the Market Simulation assessment that as a group, we had to play different roles in the organisation and develop a strategy to compete with other competitors in the markets. This experience was so real and practical, and I have taken the lessons and feedback and applied these in my organisation.
As a distance learning student, I also had access to coaching sessions. I was so impressed with the opportunity because I was able engage on a personal level to discuss with my coach my career aspirations, and have received guidance while sharing from her wealth of experience.
Your ability to use your organisation or to create your own business case for most modules gives you a practical approach to problem solving. You can critically analyse the theories, apply framework to real life scenarios you have experienced and for me, this has provided the opportunity to better solve problems as a leader when faced with similar experiences. My new ability to apply a structured approach to providing solutions has made me a better informed person.
From my journey on the Distance Learning MBA so far, I would advise future students to take advantage of the following:
- Understand the nature of your work and schedules, this will assist with planning your time ahead and cover all the subjects within the allotted time. The textbooks are usually sent to the Bookshelf app before the module begins which gives you ample time to study the course materials, concepts, and frameworks to be discussed. I would advise that you study ahead because during the WBS live sessions, it is easier to assimilate the information faster and understand the theories being taught.
- Attempt to comment and read other people’s comments on questions asked after each topic in the module. I have noticed that some these questions provide insights and guidance on how you answer and approach the assessment at the end of the module. The feedback and responses provided by the faculty provides additional guidance and you can decide if you are on track or off point based on the feedback.
- Start the assessment on time so that you are not struggling with meeting the deadline, and if you unable to, you do have the opportunity for up to a two weeks extension to submit the work. You can also defer the module should your schedule become very busy.
- Participate and communicate effectively during group work because you are building your network and engaging with great minds from different walks of life from all over the world.
- Lastly, endeavour to check your email and create notifications on your mobile devices to keep you abreast of the activities in the school.
If you are thinking of studying an MBA, but are worried that your work schedule is tight, WBS has got you covered. The flexibility of delivery is awesome and worthwhile. You will thank me later for choosing WBS for your distance learning education. Thank you for reading!
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