The impact of the MBA programme

23 May 2022

Distance Learning MBA (London) alumnus, Niosha Kayhani, shares how the programme has impacted his career journey so far. 

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway

Like many others, deciding to do an MBA, or anything which requires significant investment of time, is a matter of trade-offs. Perhaps this is not enlightening because MBA qualifications are linked to higher salaries which is heavily advertised as part of the recruitment process but the one thing that may not be as obvious is that the benefits the MBA can, and should, be capitalised on throughout the journey and not only afterwards when those three letter designations are added at the end of your name.

For me, that meant getting involved in projects where my studies and daily work became more intertwined. Not only did that make me more versatile at work but it allowed me to produce high quality work which is expected at a master’s level, and apply it to my work.

The idea of intertwining studies with work is nothing new, in fact, as part of the MBA they encourage you to look for project areas or opportunities in the workplace and leverage them for the study topics. But the detail I focused on was the reverse of that same ideology: how can I leverage my study topics at work, right now.

For me, that process led to a significant promotion that would relocate me and my family from London to San Diego, California, in the middle of my studies, during a pandemic.

I went from being an R&D engineer for a division at the company to becoming the director overseeing R&D across all divisions – this was a big leap, and the MBA certainly played a part in that success.

As I began transitioning into my new role over the next six months, I leant on modules such as corporate finance, entrepreneurship, and innovation to hit the ground running. The faculty were also very understanding of my situation and offered for me the option to delay my studies. I declined at the time, but it is something I regret in hindsight as I could have spent more quality time on certain topics as opposed to rush through them, perhaps with the fear of falling behind and not graduating with the same cohort. But as we know, it is the journey that provides us with fulfilment.

When speaking to current MBA students and their reason to study an MBA, most of the feedback is about what happens post-graduation, and I understand in part as to why: the qualification itself as well as finishing all the topics for a better-rounded knowledge base. However, I think the true value comes from capitalisation of the learnings as part of the journey. I got the most value when I was actively leveraging what I was learning, leaning on my peers for support and utilising the community in real-time.

Enjoy the journey!

Find out more about the Distance Learning MBA here.

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