In today’s competitive corporate environment, hard work is often not enough to realize your career goals. In addition to a good work ethic, you also need specialized knowledge of your industry, business and entrepreneurial skills, confidence in your abilities as a leader, and the right credentials.
For this reason, earning a Master of Business Administration can play a crucial role in helping you advance in your profession. Not everyone has the freedom to drop everything and enrol full-time, however, which is why more and more students are opting for part-time study.
The following profiles of recent MBA graduates Melanie Agopian and Sharon Steele are an excellent illustration of how the part-time MBA can be a vital step toward fulfilling your career goals.
Flexibility for Work—and for Life
Melanie Agopian, now VP of Fresh Merchandising at the supermarket giant Loblaws, knew getting an MBA would be an excellent way to jump-start her career and build concrete skills that would prepare her for leadership positions both in her community and in the corporate workplace.
She also knew that taking time off to pursue studies full-time would be extremely difficult, which is why she opted for a part-time MBA that gave her room to adjust her course load and pursue studies on a timetable that worked for her.
The flexibility that came with the part-time study option meant that she was able to take as long as she needed to finish. This meant that when she graduated in 2017, she had the expertise to take on a serious executive role.
But this flexibility wasn’t just about the opportunity to pursue studies while working; in many cases, the years when students are getting grounded in their career are also the years when they are starting to put down roots of another kind. Having access to a flexible program gave Agopian the opportunity to start a family while pursuing her studies and working.
Continuing Education Shouldn’t Disrupt Your Life
If you are a mature student you may want to learn how to fit an MBA into your schedule because you understand the importance of continuous learning for career development. In this way, you aren’t much different from Sharon Steele, another 2017 MBA grad who was primarily drawn to the program she chose due to the fact that it allowed her to pursue an MBA without leaving her home city or family.
Unlike other graduate programs, MBAs often attract older students who already have years of experience in their field but who want to hone their skills or move up in the corporate world. An MBA provides lots of opportunities to specialize in skills like marketing, accounting, financial management, and even supply chain management, which can dramatically enhance your earning potential post-graduation.
But while mature students often understand how an MBA can advance their career, and may not face the same financial restrictions that younger students do, they often don’t have the ability to simply up and move to another city for a year while they pursue their studies.
For students like Steele, who wanted an MBA but wasn’t willing to uproot her family to get it, the ability to study locally while benefitting from world-class education is one of the most appealing aspects of a part-time MBA.
Getting an MBA requires grit, determination, and hard work. But for those who finish the program, the knowledge and connections it provides can be life changing. If you want to move forward in your career but aren’t at liberty to leave your job or home city to study, look into whether or not a part-time MBA might be right for you.