Why the Distance Learning MBA's flexibility worked for me

15 June 2022

Distance Learning MBA (London) participant, Rayo Earls, explores how the flexibility was a key factor that impacted her decision on which programme format and business school to attend. 

Flexibility was one of the main requirements I was looking for when researching business schools and programme formats, as I had recently started working for a start-up alongside my own consultancy business. The variable nature of consulting whilst simultaneously joining a start-up business placed high demands on my time, not to mention normal life responsibilities which couldn’t be put on hold. I needed an MBA programme with easily accessible study materials, that would provide me the ability to adapt the pace of study in response to changing work demands.

A further issue was that I intended to change career focus post-MBA, from technical to commercial management, and therefore needed time to engage with various industry bodies linked with my sectors of interest.

The Distance Learning MBA programme at Warwick Business School (WBS) stood out from other business schools in several ways:

  • The ability to ‘slow-down’ the pace of study or even pause the programme, giving students confidence that they can fully engage with and get the most value from the course. Extensions work in six-month slots, allowing a maximum of up to four years to complete the programme. The process of extending is made simple, recognising that personal or professional circumstances can change unexpectedly over a two-year period. Extending is commonplace, and I have benefited from this when my work demands have changed, moving my completion date back by six months. This has enabled me to plan attendance of an international face-to-face elective, leaving sufficient time to then focus on the final dissertation.
  • The well-established and highly ranked Distance Learning MBA programme demonstrated that WBS had developed a methodology that supported candidates that wished to pursue an MBA whist working. Delivery combines online self-paced study supported by online teaching through live sessions, which are recorded, allowing candidates to catch up if schedules do not allow them to attend in person. The inclusion of live sessions as an integral part of the programme was a strong positive for me, as it addressed a concern I had about potentially feeling a sense of isolation and lack of interaction with the cohort on a Distance Learning programme. In addition, there are two ‘Warwick weeks’ which provide an opportunity for face-to-face teaching and activities such as, careers workshops to support candidates in their various goals.
  • The diversity within the Distance Learning MBA cohort is broad and I have collaborated with and learned from candidates from different industries including third sector, healthcare and the music industry. Another advantage is that although individuals study at their own pace, they come together at teaching sessions, in scheduled group assignments or informally through cohort chat groups to exchange ideas and share insights.

Overall, the WBS Distance Learning MBA experience has a holistic feel, with candidates able to benefit from all the available services and expertise of the business school. Being well into my second year of study, it is evident to me why the programme is consistently ranked highly amongst MBA programmes.

Find out more about the Distance Learning MBA (London) programme here.

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