Why I chose the Full-time MBA at WBS

23 November 2021

Discover what the key deciding factors were in Full-time MBA participant Leila De-Saude's decision to join the cohort at Warwick Business School. 

Decisions, decisions…

Espresso or latte? Sell or retain? Every day we are faced with an array of choices. Irrespective of the relative “importance” of each decision (I would say one’s choice of coffee tops the list), we must consider the information available to us to decide. Choosing a) whether to study and b) where to study is no easy task.

Is an MBA for me?

Having had the privilege of interacting with a multi-disciplinary full-time MBA cohort - from pilots to song writers - I would say that the short answer is yes. Whether you are looking to transition your career, to progress to increased managerial roles or even if you are uncertain of what your next steps will be, an MBA is worth considering. It is for the innovators, the constant questioners, the Change Makers, irrespective of professional and academic background.

How do I choose which MBA?

The UK boosts several reputable business schools with highly ranked MBA programs. Deciding which MBA is about choosing the programme that best suits you and, consequently, your goals.

As part of my early decision-making process, I chatted to a senior academic who had worked in the UK and in my home country, South Africa. I had done my research, tabulated the courses and done a side-by-side comparison of each school’s rankings and accolades. His response was that, while these facts and figures are great, when considering a choice of relatively similarly placed or ranked programs, the real deciding factor should be which programme best suits what I want to get out of my MBA. He implored that I consider: a) why am I doing the MBA in the first place? and b) which programme best speaks to those reasons? The rationale is that by choosing an MBA programme better suited to you, you are likely to extract more value from it.

I was confident that Warwick’s MBA was reputable but so were the other schools that I had applied to. However, I was particularly impressed by Warwick’s focus on interpersonal development evidenced by the LeadershipPlus module, which emphasises human capital as catalysts for change (the Change Makers!). In my experience, as a corporate employment lawyer, having worked with large, multinational organisations, a manager’s ability to diffuse potentially catastrophic workplace situations often depends on their self-awareness and interpersonal profile as a leader. This was it for me. An alignment of my goals and the WBS MBA. Sold.

What does a Warwick MBA look and feel like?

Intensive. Focused. Immersive.

The Warwick MBA is taught over a period of 12 months and as such is ideal if you wish to pursue full-time study without having to be out of the job market for too long. There are eight core modules and students have a choice of four elective modules as well as an option to tailor their MBA by pursuing an entrepreneurship specialism. In addition, travel restrictions permitting, students undertake a week-long study trip at a university abroad. Finally, students are required to complete a dissertation, which may be based on an external project or on desk-based research or a strategic consultancy project

A typical day for an MBA would include lectures, syndicate group discussions, seminars and, of course, tea, coffee, and snacks in between. While the MBA is fast-paced, I have found the emphasis on syndicate group and intra-cohort collaboration particularly energising. Our internationally, culturally, and professionally diverse cohort has enriched these experiences and encouraged compounded, multi-faceted learning. With the first term in full swing and group and individual assignment deadlines fast approaching, I am motivated by unique opportunities for learning, conventional or not. After all, sustainable leadership requires considered innovation, which in turn is driven by intelligent, creative thought. I hope that this brief account helps you see yourself as a future Change Maker!

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