“Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing”– Warren Dennis
Why Do A Part-Time MBA?
A part-time MBA allows 360-degree experiential learning into key aspects of business and management including marketing, consulting, finance, strategy. It affords early-career professionals the advantage of parallely applying classroom learning to gain versatility and credibility at the workplace. For instance, if you’re a software developer working at a Finance company, a part-time MBA in Strategy, could help you leverage the newly acquired quantitative skills to develop more intuitive tech products and make an impact across functions. Similarly, finance sector professionals could effectively apply marketing lessons while designing campaigns for the various financial products under their purview.
And the trends in the recent years are a testament to this appeal of the part-time MBA program. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) reported in 2017 that 89% of those pursuing part-time MBA while working found the degree professionally rewarding and 71% financially beneficial. According to the 2018 The Princeton Review, 34% of students surveyed at the top online MBA programs received a promotion while earning their online MBA.
Gain Desirable Skills Transferable To The Workplace
A part-time MBA program is useful in bolstering your repertoire of managerial and decision-making skills. Understanding balance sheets, cash flow and income statements and their underlying nuances becomes easier which comes handy while conducting, for example, SWOT analysis of business plans and essentially solving complex business problems. Some of the top employers of the program belong to sectors like Consulting, Finance and Marketing with Accenture, McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and Amazon, etc. forming the bevy of companies that usually recruit through this program.
The cumulative work experience and advanced business knowledge garnered through a part-time MBA program widen the opportunities for those aspiring to be entrepreneurs. On the other hand, additional knowledge, skills and network gained via a part-time MBA program make you eligible for senior positions thereby accelerating your career progression. Employers lay a considerable premium on soft skills like leadership, interpersonal skills, teamwork and communication that you can particularly harness and build during the course of this program. Such programs are designed to foster a thriving peer network as you rub shoulders with like-minded, driven and accomplished professionals. The flexibility of the program further allows you to prioritize and achieve multiple tasks during the course of a day, pegging you as a favorite for leadership positions.
Expanding Your Professional Network
Limited face to face interaction is a commonly perceived feature of a part-time MBA program. However, with increased digital networking, you can engage with peers, professors and business leaders across the globe and build a strong network as well as understand the key complexities of driving projects at an international scale. On-campus recruiting may not be a standard for all schools that offer Part-Time MBA programs. So, be proactive and obtain necessary information from your career services center about the various networking avenues. The best way to grow your network is by attending social events like mentorship programs, clubs and career treks. For instance, joining clubs like Kellogg’s Business Leadership and Business Strategy Clubs offers interaction opportunities with thought leaders and eminent industry executives. These clubs are active centers for regular seminars, workshops and discussions on leadership and career approaches. You can also try engaging with recent graduates via mentorship programs organised by several schools like the Tepper School of Business to expand your network and yield insights on the professional environment through their experiences. Participating in career treks is also a fruitful way for part-time MBA professionals to forge new connections with recruiters through company visits and learn about job opportunities. Connecting with peers, thought leaders and alumni of the program through respective groups of interest on LinkedIn is another useful option to build your business network.
Paying due importance to your resume while pursuing the program is absolutely crucial to your career journey. You must detail and quantify the impact on your resume, while making use of strong action verbs (for eg. “Managed”, “Led”, “Engaged in” instead of simply “Worked”) as these terms demonstrate your suitability and position you as an attractive candidate for leadership and management jobs. Preparing for interviews along with work and studies requires extra effort and time, however, the multi-tasking skills you garner through the process pegs you an expert at organisation, compartmentalisation and prioritisation. Make sure to clearly explain your decision of pursuing a part-time MBA at your job interview and illustrate the impact of skills acquired through the program on the prospective job role. Obtain customised guidance on marketing yourself and exhibiting your cross-functional skills to strengthen the impact of your resume and interview preparation on the SMART VMock Platform.
Balancing Work And Studies
Granted, it is not easy to manage work and study at the same time. After a long day at work, investing yourself in the classroom may be challenging, especially, if you’re married or a working parent. Another advantage of part-time MBA is the flexible class schedule. Most colleges offer choices of weekend, evening and even online slots. However, as the program progresses, it may become strenuous given the changes in circumstances and personal situations over the course of time. Schools like Warwick Business School and Strathclyde Business School, provide students with the option of extending part-time MBA upto 6 years as well as the choice of whittling it down to less than 3 years. At the Kellogg School, Northwestern University, 87% of part-time MBA alumni advanced in, or switched their careers within three years of graduation, while all of them experienced a compensation raise.
A part-time MBA sure is an adjustment to your life, and it might take some time to find an optimal routine that works best for you. Learning to juggle the challenges of a part-time MBA along with a full or part-time job as well as fulfill personal requirements, demands ample planning and resilience. Endeavouring to strike a balance through it all, though, can help you arrive at an enriching junction of your career journey after you graduate.