Rayo Agbaje-Earls
Head of Engineering and Technology at Petrocore Consulting
Distance Learning MBA (2021-25) (now Global Online MBA)

Tell us a bit about yourself
I work in the oil and gas industry as a consultant and have recently joined a start-up consulting firm as the Head of Engineering and Technology. I also run my own private consulting business.

What first attracted you to Warwick Business School?
I was looking for a programme that allowed me to continue working whilst studying for the MBA. WBS’s offering was attractive due to it’s combined online and face to face teaching model. Having a campus located in The Shard was another attractive point as the location was easily accessible from work and home. 

Why did you ultimately choose Warwick Business School for your MBA?
The decision makers for choosing WBS were the programmes flexibility, being able to extend the course duration in response to work/life commitments and the career services, that support students seeking career growth from the programme. Finally, WBS’s ranking - the Distance Learning MBA programme is ranked as the top distance learning MBA programme, is well-established and appeared well prepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What elements of the programme do you value the most and why?
The variety of modules is excellent. Spending the first year studying core modules that give a broad basis in areas such as Leadership, Strategy and Marketing. Followed by the second year with a wide selection of elective options, which provided an opportunity to specialise should you wish to do so. One of the most valuable elements of the programme has been the diversity of the cohort. Meeting and learning with a cohort from different industries and geographical locations provides exposure to different perspectives and can be a source of innovative ideas applicable to my current role.

What is it like studying for an MBA?
The MBA is a unique experience, there is no other forum where you get this level of exposure to the way different industries and companies work. The teaching tools applied vary and include lectures, self-study, research papers, TED talks and even animated YouTube videos!
The MBA provides a toolkit to consider a broader view of companies from financial, human resource, management and leadership perspectives. The spectrum of learning extends from historical origins through to the most recent research and thought leadership on the various subjects.

Has the Leadership module had an impact on your leadership style? 
The course material raised my awareness of the changing direction of thought within leadership styles in recent years. The concept of responsible leadership, moving away from the traditional shareholder-centric drivers toward a position of accountability to wider stakeholders is more relevant today, where there is greater locus of energy directed at finding purpose in work. An ability to adapt one’s approach to different circumstances has become highly relevant.  

How did you find the work/life balance?
Undertaking an MBA pushes the work/life balance towards the work element. There is a significant volume of study material to work through with assignments every quarter. However, the learning and interactions with the cohort makes time pass very quickly. Time management is a necessity and it is important to take a break from working or studying. I have found that scheduling regular time to engage in extracurricular activities is essential. It takes a few weeks to find the right individual balance, but flexibility is also important when considering changing personal or work commitments. 

Do you have any advice for anyone currently thinking about studying for an MBA?
I would suggest having conversations with current MBA students and alumni to gain an understanding of the variety of reasons for undertaking an MBA. Prospective candidates should speak to or visit the business schools they are interested in, where they can meet members of staff and get first-hand experience of the business school atmosphere. Some schools run guest lectures that give a taster of the study programme.