Ardian Salihu
Online Master Student
Ardian is a Certified Expert in Risk management alum. Currently, he is enrolled in Online Master of ...
International

Choice between Online or Academic master

November 24, 2016
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During the last couple of years I have been regularly thinking about  enrolling   in a Master’s program. I started working full time while I was still finishing  my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Prishtina,  Kosovo. The experience of working full time  while studying, was quite challenging. Soon after, I moved out of the country, working on international projects in development finance in Africa and Latin America. After completing  my Bachelor’s, the thought of pursuing a full time Master’s program was always on my mind. I was not able to make  a decision as I was very  satisfied with my job and was not eager to leave it for a Master’s. I also knew that such a break would undeniably put me behind in  my career progress. Throughout my years spent  working, , I managed to hold challenging, thrilling and important senior level positions in MSME banks of a German banking group called ProCredit, both in Africa and Latin America. This further prolonged  my decision to pursue an academic Master’s program. Hence,  I never regretted not prioritizing my Master’s. The idea of an online program did get my attention, however the experience  I had  during my last year of BSc didn’t really give me the confidence to move on.

First touch base to e-learning

Coincidentally in 2014, for work related reasons, I started a 6-month course on Risk Management (CERM) with Frankfurt School, which was entirely organized on distance, with study materials, study platforms, forums and digital lectures. The experience was outstanding. The course was flexible in the sense that it  easily fit  in with my  busy working schedule. This experience was entirely different from the experience I faced during my Bachelors. The support and guidance from the FS team made the whole experience absolutely pleasant. And not less importantly, through the online virtual platform, the networking and class discussions served as a great channel to get to know everybody, share experiences and work together as a group. Furthermore, the attention of the lecturer was of  the highest standard and very timely.

Decision leading towards Online Master

As a result, with all that positive experience, I had already moved on and  had decided to pursue my Master’s  degree through an online platform which would at the same time allow me to focus on  on my job and my career. As for the program, having almost always worked in  development finance, evidently I wanted to  deepen my knowledge further in this area. The only remaining aspect was to decide on the university as at that time, FS hadn’t yet  launched  their Online Masters; hence I was still searching undecided. There were many options, some very  expensive and some others seemingly focused on granting the degree rather than providing good quality,  high impact education.  Hence, considering that an online master implied quite an investment of finances and time , I was very careful  in my selection, a process which took quite a while.

So far with Online Master of Leadership in development finance

Luckily, earlier this year, as FS alumni, through the regular mailing updates, I got to know about the launch of their new Online Master of Leadership in Development Finance and conclusively my search for a school and a program was over. As a matter of fact, throughout my experience, I got to know about FS, mostly for their international advisory services where on various occasions we would encounter each other while working on similar projects, especially during my time in Africa. However, at the same time, I knew of their high academic excellence, quality and recognition and of their high rank as one of the leading business schools in Germany.

As a result, I managed to secure my seat at quite an early stage of the application process and I have been engaged with the masters since September 2016, with a few courses ongoing and one already finished. The experience so far has been nothing less than exciting. The combination of theoretical and empirical academic background and the experience through advisory services makes the result of the study highly interesting, vivid and practical. The outcome of enrolling in  the online program with FS was the  result of a long search and already,  I am absolutely convinced that in some years from now, looking backwards, the decision to  join the program will be labelled as one of my  greatest decisions  and I am very much looking forward to living that experience.

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