If you’re an ambitious and driven person who has their heart set on achieving a highflying executive role in a large corporation, there are lots of steps you can take in order to get closer to your goal. For example, you could find yourself a mentor who is already working in the sort of role you’re hoping to get, undertake internships at the sort of companies you’re hoping to work for, or attend events related to the sort of industry you’re hoping to be employed in. One of the biggest advantages you can give yourself however, is taking an MBA.
You’ve probably already heard of this qualification – after all, it’s perhaps the most respected and prestigious degree available in the business sphere. Yet you still might not be sure about many of the finer details regarding the different programs that are available, the type of curriculum you’ll follow, and the study experience itself. This article will talk about all of those topics, as well as go into more detail about the benefits of doing an MBA and how to apply for one. However, before this happens, you might be thinking, is it the right decision to go back to college as a mature student? The short answer is absolutely. Whether you choose to do a distance course like the online MBA Michigan or a traditional program delivered on a college campus, it has huge benefits for you. Therefore, don’t be put off by the fact that you will be a mature student and embrace this great opportunity. This is easier when you know what to do.
Top tips for going back to college as a mature student
Returning to formal education after a number of years can be a daunting experience, even for highly successful businesspeople. Here’s some advice to help make the adjustment easier:
Study space and time matters
First of all you should schedule in study time just like you would a work meeting or other business appointment. This signals to your brain that it’s important and makes sure that you stay on track with your learning. It can help if you’re taking a distance course like the online MBA Michigan, set up a productive study space at home where you won’t be disturbed. This will do wonders for your focus. Make sure you have adequate lighting, an ergonomic setup, and enough space for all your materials.
Don’t leave assignments until the last minute
By starting early, you’ll give yourself enough time to not only meet the deadlines, but also to fully understand the material and complete your projects to the best of your ability. If you lack motivation, it can help to set up a study group with other members of your class (either in person or virtually if you’re doing the online MBA Michigan). This extra accountability can be a great motivator!
Make the most of college support services
They’re not only for undergraduates, and, in fact, many are specifically designed to meet the needs of mature students.For those who are enrolling on the online MBA Michigan but have no experience of distance learning, try signing up for a free short online course in advance. This will help you get used to the learning style.
Now that you know how to be successful with your online learning, it is time to look at the course itself.
Unpicking the MBA
A Master of Business Administration, better known as an MBA, is a graduate degree that aims to prepare students for the highest level job roles in business. This could be in any company and in any industry. The idea is to give you a strong foundation in all the key business practices and processes in order to kickstart your career and fast-track you to the top. You normally need a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for the program; however it can be in any subject.
These days you have the option to study your MBA on either a part-time or full-time basis. For part-time students, you can expect to take two years to complete the course, whereas for full-time students, that drops to one year. Likewise, there are programs held on college campuses where you attend classes in person, and also virtual learning programs such as the online MBA Michigan. All these different study modes are considered equally valid by employers, so the only factors you need to consider when choosing which to enroll on are your personal preferences and existing commitments.
What are the different types of MBA?
There are actually a number of different versions of the MBA available for you to study. The one that’s right for you will depend on a variety of factors such as your current level of experience and your future career goals:
General MBA – this is the standard variation of the program and offers a very broad curriculum that covers many different aspects of business. It’s usually intended for students who have at least 3-5 years of relevant work experience; however, some colleges may have programs suitable for new graduates or those switching careers from a different field.
Executive MBA – this program is specifically designed for older students who already have substantial experience or are currently working in a senior management position. Classes tend to be arranged on evenings and weekends to fit around your job, and the curriculum is intended to help prepare you for the highest leadership roles.
Specialist MBAs – there are a number of MBAs which focus more narrowly on a certain industry or aspect of business and thus make a great choice for those people who know exactly which sector they want to work in. Possible concentrations include everything from marketing and international business to healthcare administration, engineering management, and entrepreneurship.
What will I study on an MBA?
The answer to this question will depend on the college you enroll with and the specific type of MBA you choose to take, as each will have its own unique curriculum. Having said that, some modules will be mandatory, whereas you’ll be able to choose others from a selection of electives. You might also be required to complete some short primer courses on topics such as finance, math, data analysis, or plagiarism before starting your first semester.
What is the study experience like on an MBA?
Regardless of whether you choose a general MBA or a specialist concentration, or whether you take a campus course or a distance one like the online MBA Michigan, the study experience you have will be similar. This degree is a very rigorous and academically challenging one, which is part of the reason why it’s considered so prestigious. You can expect a fast pace and heavy workload, but also to learn a lot.
Similar to other graduate degrees, you can expect to attend lectures, seminars, and tutorials during your MBA, as well as complete assigned reading and written assessments. What makes this program more unique is the strong emphasis on participation and real-world application. You should anticipate lots of presentations, group work, case studies, and projects where you tackle genuine problems that are affecting real companies. This is why the program is so effective at building your skills and preparing you for the workplace.
Your studies will normally culminate in a team or individual project. This is true regardless of whether you do a distance learning program like the online MBA Michigan or a campus equivalent. In it, you will put everything you have learned into practice and work on a key issue relating to a real company.
Whjat sort of person will do well on an MBA?
Enrolling on an MBA is a big commitment in terms of time, money, and effort, so you want to make sure that it’s the right option for you. Regardless of whether you’re thinking about the online MBA Michigan or a traditional campus program, there are certain types of people who are more likely to thrive on this degree than others.
For instance, you must be very passionate and enthusiastic about business because you will be spending a lot of time learning about it. It’s also helpful to have clear goals that you’re striving towards, plus the determination to achieve them. This makes it much easier to motivate yourself to put in the hard work required.
Doing an MBA also involves more interaction with your cohort than certain other master’s courses. Therefore, you should be a good team player who also has strong leadership skills and isn’tshy about speaking up in class. Of course, you’ll work on all these qualities during the program, so don’t worry if you’re not quite there yet. An MBA will do wonders for your confidence!
What are the benefits of having an MBA?
Doing an online MBA Michigan can bring you a whole wealth of advantages both in your career and your personal life. It’s a qualification that is highly regarded all around the world and will open many doors for you in terms of job opportunities. This is because the program greatly boosts your knowledge about many different aspects of business. It prepares you for top-level positions that come with correspondingly higher salaries and responsibilities, thereby improving your employability, job security, and financial stability.
Aside from the specific business knowledge you gain, taking an MBA also enables you to develop a wide variety of transferable skills that will be useful to you no matter what job role you go on to have. These include communication, presentation, time management, organization, leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, decision making and problem solving.
One of the biggest advantages you gain from doing an MBA is the opportunities it provides for networking. You’ll be studying alongside equally ambitious and driven people, many of whom will become lifelong friends, colleagues, or even business partners. You’ll be learning from experts in the field, plus have the chance to meet industry professionals at special events or while working on consulting projects. This is still true if you study an online MBA Michigan rather than a program based on campus because these days, there are all sorts of fascinating virtual events you can attend.
Finally, studying for an MBA can offer you many more opportunities than just networking. There might be competitions you can enter, chances to study abroad, internships you can apply for, and much more besides. The more effort you put into your education, the more benefits you will gain – so give it your all!
How to apply for an MBA
When it comes time to apply, the first step is to thoroughly research the programs that are available. The main factors to consider are:
Do you want to do a general MBA or one with a specialist concentration? If the latter, what would you like to focus on?
Does your experience make you better suited to a standard MBA or an executive one?
Do you want to study a part-time or full-time course?
Would you prefer to study on a college campus or take a distance course like the online MBA Michigan?
What are the specific modules each program offers, and which interests you the most?
Do you meet the entry requirements?
How highly regarded are the colleges and courses you’re looking at?
Is the program accredited?
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, pick your favorite three and start putting together your applications. You’ll normally be required to fill in a form, which you then submit along with supporting materials such as your resume, certificates and transcripts from your previous qualifications, and two or three professional references. You might also have to achieve a certain score on the GRE or GMAT.
Most colleges will also ask you to submit a personal essay about why you want to take an MBA and what your career aspirations after graduating are. The idea is to prove to the admissions tutors that you are suitable for the program and capable of successfully completing it. So let your passion, motivation, skills, and talent shine through! Remember that if you have any questions, it’s best to contact the admissions tutors in advance so that your application is as good as it can possibly be.