The University of Sheffield Executive MBA: Is it for me and how can I succeed?

10.09.2018 | 09:16 Home / News / Articles /
#University of Sheffield #MBA
Dr. Leslie T. Szamosi

MBA Academic Director, International Faculty of the University of Sheffield (CITY College)

For nearly 15 years I have been the Academic Director of one of the strongest regionally focused MBA programs in South and Central Europe -- the Executive MBA program of the University of Sheffield. For nearly 12 years I have also been on the Faculty of Assessors for the Association of MBAs (AMBA) which accredits MBA programs globally and I have visited well over 50 MBA programs throughout the world.  Throughout my years in this area I have been asked countless times by potential executive MBA students to help them determine whether or not the MBA program is best for them and how they can succeed. I would like to consolidate some of my thinking and suggestions in this area to help guide future MBA candidates in their decision making process.  

Do you need to do an Executive MBA?  

Nobody should to do an MBA just for the sake of doing it or to somehow simply ‘prove’ that they are smart.  There is so much information available to us today from the internet and from seminars that arguably what anybody needs to know is now already publicly available. However, MBA programs today are as much about learning how to learn and interacting then they are simply reproducers or transferers of knowledge.  They embody coaching and mentoring a number of soft skills that simply cannot easily be reproduced through reading.

 You need to ask yourself why you want to return to study and get a MBA degree!  Is it to to advance your career and knowledge outside of your current area? Is that by having a degree you are solidifying your knowledge and keeping up with your competition or you are looking to change companies or countries? Is that you want to advance “up” in the organization and you need to bring credentials as well as you experience to be considered for a position? Is that you want to go into business for yourself and you need the knowledge and expertise to do this?

You should also consider your current situation from a number of perspectives.  Top MBA programs are rigorous and demand time that is in short demand. You need to consider your family and work situations and this balancing act.  In my view the question is not whether one can afford the time to study but rather can they invest the time to study, which is a different view on the concept of time.  We will always find time for the things that we want to do, no matter how busy we are.

What should you consider before choosing a university for a MBA program?

In my view there are 6 key areas to consider when choosing a MBA program. These embody what MBA students are looking for and what alumni of MBA programs look at in retrospect after they have finished their program: 1) the reputation of the university; 2) the quality of the MBA program;  3) career change and enhancement possibilities provided; 4) student learning experience; 5) networking and alumni; 6) international accreditation of the program (e.g., AMBA, AACSB; 7) Tuition fees and expenses (e.g., books, travel).

In considering a specific program, it is also important to look at what a MBA program should do for you!  Today’s MBA programs must deliver cutting-edge education, addressing the current and future needs of both businesses, individuals and society.  MBA students are investing time, money, and energy, perhaps forgoing income, and the program must be value-add.  As well, a great MBA program needs to prepare students for a competitive environment by developing critical skills, developing analytical capabilities, offering up-to-date knowledge and information and cultivating ethical behavior

How can I succeed?

In order to success you need to enter a program with your eyes wide open!  No self-respecting University will simply give you a degree, you need to earn it.  As said earlier, if you really want it, you will make it happen. If you go forward with the right impetus, knowing what you want the MBA, success will come.

The other critical component to MBA success if support of the loved ones around you.  When each of us went through our undergraduate studying times were different – fewer, if any, responsibilities, we were studying many times because we had to.  Going back to university for a MBA is our choice.   We have others around us who also depend on us (significant others, children, our parents, colleagues at work, wider friendship groups). When these people support us through study and perhaps even motivating us when we get down, success is easier to achieve.

Whatever path you take, wherever your career takes you, I wish you the best of luck and opportunities in relation to where YOU want to go!

The University of Sheffield Executive MBA Program is delivered in Yerevan from October 2016. The admission for the 2018/19 academic year is open.

If you want to find out more, please call 095 52 23 38.
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