Ms. Areej Nassar is a Brand Manager at Johnson & Johnson in Dubai. She recently joined the company from Reckitt Benckiser where she progressed quickly to become one of the company’s youngest Brand Managers. She is due to graduate from Bradford University School of Management’s Executive MBA in Dubai in September 2011.
I had always considered doing an MBA after gaining a few years experience in business but was progressing quickly in my role at Reckitt Benckiser and needed to find a programme that wouldn’t get in the way of my hectic professional lifestyle. Distance learning was an option but I wanted the benefits of a prestigious qualification from a well-established academic institution – and also the opportunity to be taught by world-class professors and work with other successful business people from different industries. I was funding myself so it was a huge commitment financially, mentally and on my time which made it even more important that I chose the right programme.
After much consideration I chose to embark on Bradford University School of Management’s Executive MBA based in Dubai where I live and work. Here’s why
1. Academic credentials of the MBA
I’m from a very academic family – both my parents have PhDs. So it was particularly important for me to choose a programme with excellent academic credentials. Bradford University School of Management is part of a well-established, major university which offers a range of highly acclaimed degree programmes delivered by world-class academics. The Executive MBA programme is ranked in the top 100 globally by the Financial Times.
2. Focused MBA study
The fact that classes were an intense three day period every five weeks meant that the MBA wouldn’t interfere with my day-to-day job and I could use vacation days and weekends to focus exclusively on my studies. Also, the executive programme was structured around the traditional academic calendar with a summer vacation which allowed for some down time and the opportunity to travel. Most importantly, the timetable was communicated at the beginning and rarely changed which meant that I could plan ahead and manage my time effectively.
3. Flexibility of the Executive MBA
Bradford’s Executive MBA programme is designed for working professionals and, apart from the contact time, you can easily manage your time around your job. I enjoyed the good balance of independent learning and classroom contact with excellent professors and fellow classmates. When I interviewed for my new job, I was able to demonstrate that I was flexible, could multi-task and was able to excel in both my education and work life simultaneously.
4. International perspective on the MBA
Because Bradford University School of Management has a global reach and professors are flown in for lectures, students can gain an international perspective on business issues. This was particularly useful for me as someone who works in a global industry for a multi-national company. The programme is also AMBA and EQUIS accredited giving it additional credibility.
5. Collaborative working with MBA colleagues
Doing an MBA gives you time to step back and think more deeply about business problems but also learn from others in different industries that you wouldn’t otherwise come across. My fellow classmates on the programme were professionals from range of different industries. Bradford is very good at organising group work and encouraging collaboration – you are not just lectured at. This meant that we could share knowledge and expertise from different perspectives, which made me a more versatile and forward thinking candidate when I went for my new job. I was the only one in my class from an FMCG background so I like to think I brought something new to the table from a market that anyone can relate to.
Before embarking on an MBA do your research and ensure that you are choosing a programme that meets your needs and will give you the best possible opportunity to boost your career.