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Things wot I have lerned from my first 6 months Exec MBA'ing

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Intern
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Joined: 03 Mar 2012
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Location: Germany
Concentration: General Management, Operations
GMAT 1: 670 Q44 V38
WE: Project Management (Transportation)
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Things wot I have lerned from my first 6 months Exec MBA'ing [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2013, 07:55
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Hi

I thought I'd give a taster (as best I can) for anyone who's still umm'ing and ah'ing about doing a MBA re what my thoughts are - not on the teaching itself, more on the impact to my life. I'm at Cranfield doing an Exec MBA (i.e. I still hold down a full time job). We started in Jan. If any other current students at other schools see this and want to chip in, please do! :)

The good.

Our library is excellent, and very well aligned to our curriculum. Online resources/databases are far more than we could ever possibly need - at times overwhelmingly so but the librarians respond via email rapidly to help you drill down to what you want. Textbook lists are deliberately kept small to avoid you splashing out a ridiculous amount of money on books you'd rarely touch. Despite that I already have 9 textbooks...!

Networking is a great opportunity (which is a big part of anyone's MBA); I've met some great fellow students from all sorts of different sectors - consultants, marketeers, financial specialists, recruiters, operations specialists, etc etc. Cranfield uniquely also has about 20% of its class from the UK military.

The social life is what you make it yourselves, it's up to you as a cohort. Seize the opportunity.

In Cranfield's case - the careers section is fabulous, ranked no 2 in the world apparently (I can well believe it, they're extremely organised, and we get a huge amount of 1-2-1 time - hours of it, which is a big task for them when you multiply it out for every single student).

You're given a lot of opportunities and introductory texts for you to go over and above the minimum to pass if you wish to deep dive into a subject that holds particular interest for you. In our case, the lecturers are highly accessible and willing to help you build your knowledge as you wish.

Business segments on the telly (as well as the magazines, and FT) are making more sense and becoming more relevant and interesting everytime I visit Cranfield for my lectures. The other day I was in a posh supermarket in Germany which has coin counters to dispense change (instead of a human handing it over), and I was calculating how much more time it took, and how inefficient it was, and how they should do away with them and go back to being low tech!

The bad

A part time MBA is bloody hard work. I pull a 50 hr job (I try to keep it down to no more than that), but it's tough getting home knowing that you really need to sustain an average of 20 hours per week revision/assignment research/assignment writing/revision on top, every week. I'm single (no wife, no kids), and am impressed by those that have both - they must have a particularly tolerant spouse and still no spare time for themselves. You become great at time management - if I want a weekend away to see friends for example I have to plan 2 weeks MBA work around it to not fall behind).

MBA durations vary, but ours is 2 years (being part time). It's a long time to sustain a restricted social life. Some of your friends will understand, and the others who don't probably don't deserve you as a friend long term anyway.

The ugly
Catering at Cranfield leaves a fair bit to be desired, being in a village there ain't that many options, and fewof the options are wonderful.

The on campus night life is also poor, but to be honest your chances when onsite as an exec MBA student are rare - a good week seems to be 2 nights in the 8 days we have for each session (I'm modular so do big blocks, others do smaller more frequent Fri and Sat's - sometimes we are together for a week, sometimes not). Still, Milton Keynes is only 15 min away by taxi. I didn't go to MBA school to get frequently drunk anyway - I'm not a 18 year old fresher any more :)

Sometimes you won't want to do anything on your MBA, you're not in the mood and/or too tired. Yet you have to keep ploughing away. Think of the benefits it'll give you (and not everyone surprisingly to me is in it for the salary).

As I said I'm single, but it will put pressure on your relationship. Make time for your other half and/or family whenever possible. They're just as important.
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Re: Things wot I have lerned from my first 6 months Exec MBA'ing [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2013, 20:15
Expert's post
Thank you for sharing! Really appreciate your feedback and perspective.
Are you looking to switch jobs/careers at the end of the MBA?

How long is the EMBA in Cranfield? Is it 18 months or longer?
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Re: Things wot I have lerned from my first 6 months Exec MBA'ing [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2013, 23:24
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bb wrote:
Thank you for sharing! Really appreciate your feedback and perspective.
Are you looking to switch jobs/careers at the end of the MBA?

How long is the EMBA in Cranfield? Is it 18 months or longer?


bb, I presume it is 2 years from this:
Fwoggie wrote:
MBA durations vary, but ours is 2 years (being part time). It's a long time to sustain a restricted social life. Some of your friends will understand, and the others who don't probably don't deserve you as a friend long term anyway.



Fwoggie: Though I'm not preparing for exec, I feel this is great insight. Thanks for sharing.
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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 03 Mar 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Germany
Concentration: General Management, Operations
GMAT 1: 670 Q44 V38
WE: Project Management (Transportation)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 0

Re: Things wot I have lerned from my first 6 months Exec MBA'ing [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 13:01
Hi bb - the Cranfield Exec MBA's 2 years.

USP's (Unique Selling Points) in its favour:-

1) Triple Accreditation
2) Good score on the brand new Economists Exec MBA ranking (for what MBA ranking's are worth) - http://www.economist.com/whichmba/executive-mba-ranking
3) Very strong careers department.
4) Very strong on ops/supply chain/logistics.

jumsumtak - am I looking to move at the end? I'll pick my words carefully; If you'd asked me at the beginning in January I'd have said definitely not, that would be crazy. Now I'm thinking about it a bit, but it's still relatively early days of course.
Re: Things wot I have lerned from my first 6 months Exec MBA'ing   [#permalink] 06 Aug 2013, 13:01
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