August 7, 2013 11:15 am

The MBA – jumping on for the ride

Gavin Hildick

Gavin Hildick

Open University Business School

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IN Applying to Business School

There comes a time when you feel the need to complete something you may feel is completely out of your reach. You have two choices, to believe it is out of your reach or jump on for the ride.

I finally decided in Jan 2012 that I wanted to complete an MBA programme. My main driving factor was professional frustration and also to increase my overall business awareness. I needed to start pushing myself again and the MBA was the key.

Over the coming months I completed the usual searches on the internet. I looked at the MBA rankings, course length, delivery method as well as cost. I listened to many students talking about the top business schools, dropping names into conversations as if this was the main driving factor. For me this couldn’t be further than the truth, I have a family as well as a very busy job which can keep me on the road for four to five days a week. Taking this into account, a full-time course was out of the question. The distance learning option was the only real choice, flexibility being a key driving factor.

When it comes to distance learning you would think the choice of MBA programmes would be quite limited, but you would be wrong. A third of all MBA applications are made for distance learning programmes according to The Intake and Graduation 2012 survey from AMBA. I looked at the various distance-learning programmes, which all varied in content delivery, length of course and one of the more important factors, cost. But at the end of my investigations, the only one real option that floated to the surface was The Open University Business School MBA programme.

MBA blog

MBA Blog

MBA students from business schools around the globe write about their experiences

I studied the prospectus in great detail, joined the relevant groups on LinkedIn and asked plenty of questions. On the advice of a LinkedIn member, I paid Ebay a visit and picked up the learning material for the first year of study, which also included the OUBS MBA Study Handbook. This made for good reading and would give a good insight of what to expect during the first year of study. At this point of the journey I also found the FT MBA blogs and started to digest the experiences and points of view of current students.

Finally the time had come and the decision was made. I applied to the Open University Business School, once I had checked that I met the entry criteria. The process was very straightforward, one application form to describe my experience over the past 10 years. I answered numerous questions, provided proof of my education, membership of professional bodies and mailed it to the Open University Business School (OUBS). I received confirmation of my successful application within the week.

I would like to stress at this point that completing an MBA was my decision and not driven by my employer. I was perhaps under the illusion that my employer would take an interest or provide some support. But this was not forthcoming at the time, so the application was delayed one year and will be a subject covered in a future blog.

So finally here I am, application complete. I can’t wait for the start of my MBA programme and also to meet the fellow students who will share my journey.

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