An MBA in distance learning was the optimal alternative for IT manager Michael Biechele. In his experience report, he tells how he managed to get his job, studies and private life under one roof.
When I was interested in an MBA, I worked as a sales manager in a job that was very demanding and took a lot of time. Part -time studies were therefore out of the question for me. A full-time MBA was also no alternative. In the IT industry in which I work, it is unthinkable to take a year off given the rapid developments. That is why the distance learning offered the best opportunity to realize my further education wish.
TIGHT TIME MANAGEMENT
As a rule, the part-time MBA at the Open University lasts three – a maximum of seven years. I had my MBA after three and a half years in my pocket. But to do that, you have to count on a good 12 to 15 hours a week – two hours of learning a day. Of course, it was not always easy to balance job and study. The most important thing was tight time management. That’s the only way I managed to keep my private life from falling completely short.
Classical frontal instruction is available in the MBA distance learning course. Not. The students develop the necessary knowledge with printed or electronic textbooks according to a “question and answer principle”. The subject matter is then supplemented and underpinned in discussions, in the electronic conference system, in tutorials and in the multi-day residential schools. In the Residential Classes I was able to exchange ideas with many interesting fellow students about different management challenges and thus get to know very different perspectives. I also still benefit from the Open University’s 22,000-member alumni network. I still have regular contact with my former fellow students and like to talk to them.
FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE
One advantage of distance learning was that the teaching material and my practical work complemented each other well. It helped me a lot that I was able to apply a lot directly in my daily work. So-called Tutor Marked Assignments played a major role in the practical implementation of what was learned. These are graded and annotated project work on an application-oriented management question. These elaborations were very useful for my professional challenges and helped me to put the content I learned into practice.
Above all, my distance learning MBA helped me to develop a much clearer understanding of how to solve management problems. I learned to think creatively and to look at things from different angles. These methods have decisively influenced my management work today. As a manager of a branch of an international software company, I have to keep an eye on all business areas – such as HR, finance, operations, sales and marketing. The key to my success today is that during my distance learning, I gained intensive insights into the different functional areas of a company and also learned how they work together effectively. The MBA also opened doors to exciting management positions.
Longmeadow, Massachusetts, United States
Full-time (1 year)
State University of New York (SUNY) Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome
MBA Technology Management, Full Time Accelerated, Online/Distance
Utica, New York, United States
Full-time (1 year)
Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
Part-time (1 year)