Studying at the University of Birmingham from across the world
The University of Birmingham had its first intake of online Masters of Business Administration (MBA) students last year (2015). Andrew Lavin, who previously studied Accounting and Finance on campus (2002-2005), has now been on the online course for 12 months. With just over a decade passing since he graduated, we’ve asked what it’s really like to study for an online MBA and why he decided to ‘virtually’ return to Birmingham.
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After graduating I went to work for Mazars LLP on an ACA graduate training programme and then worked for KPMG. After 7 years I decided it was time to experience working in industry and so joined Aggreko – a world leading company in temporary power generation solutions. I have since worked in numerous operational roles and am currently the Global Head of Asset and Fleet Management, based in Dubai.
Choosing the degree:
I decided to study for an MBA because I quickly realised the importance and global recognition this type of qualification carries - it is something I wanted to add to my toolkit. I then chose to study online mainly due to my travel commitments: I spend a large proportion of time on aeroplanes and in hotels for work, so it gives me adequate time to complete both reading and assignments. I chose the University of Birmingham mainly because I had already experienced the world class teaching from my previous degree - I was sure I would be learning some of the latest developments the MBA arena would have to offer.
So far, the course has introduced me to many new concepts and terminology I had not previously been aware of. Now I can use these terms and apply them to my role as I have the confidence to engage and challenge thinking in many areas of business. This is also backed by sound academic theory, which I would not have otherwise had.
The online study:
The most surprising aspect (about the online MBA) is the amount of work and the high degree of academic rigor attached to it. I always have to put time aside to complete the weekly reading material, assessed work and end of unit assignments.
I would recommend an online MBA to anyone who does not have the time to commit to a residential type course as it gives you much better flexibility. It also suits people who favour a ‘course-work’ based approach to exams.
In the future I hope that the course will allow me to learn more broadly about functions in areas of the business which are not my field of expertise.
Find out more:
The University of Birmingham offers a range of online degrees. If you are interested in returning to study via distance learning, please click here for more information.