Coming from the healthcare & pharma industry, a decision had to be made up front: Should I apply for the general part-time MBA or the specialised MBA in international healthcare management. As it was my intention to gain both professional and academic experience at the same time, it was clear to me right from the beginning that I wanted to look into both programmes in order to make an informed decision. Having a background in engineering with a focus on medical technology and having chosen a generalist career path, I finally came to the conclusion that the part-time MBA would be the better fit for my career development. I wanted to gain insights from different industries and learn about new approaches, experiences and business techniques. Almost nine months into the programme, I am happy to say: My initial expectations were even exceeded.
Combining the MBA with a full-time work load
In general, there are always pros and cons to everything: Pursuing an academic programme next to your professional responsibilities, of course results in a double workload, which can be tough at peak times. On the other hand, there is a great benefit in being able to apply new learnings to one’s daily work. For me, especially this transferability of management skills really made a difference and was the decisive reason I chose the programme. Moreover, the lecture schedule is relatively spread out during the 21 months, so if you are a well organised, it is definitely feasible. In all fairness, there are peak times that require a little more time management, but those only come up during limited periods of time and can be endured with a little discipline and will.
Which learnings were most relevant for me so far?
Of course, the amount of added value generally depends on your particular job and the lectures you have, but so far, there have been many valuable take-aways for me. As mentioned above, one decisive factor for choosing the part time MBA was the ability to apply all learnings directly to my field of work. An important part of my job is to expand existing businesses and develop new ones. For that, strategic make-or-buy analyses as well as general business cases (e.g. for production capacity increases) have to be developed. Being an engineer by training and working in a general business position, the financial and strategic insights are highly valuable to me in order to analyse and connect data better, thereby efficiently supporting my decision making process. I was able to gain a better understanding on how to set up and improve operations processes. Overall, the programme helped me to see the bigger picture and the influence of decisions on the entire organisations. Of course, you can learn a lot on the job as well, but joining this part-time MBA has significantly increased my overall business awareness and expertise. In addition, I was able to create synergies with my fellow students – most of them also coming from different backgrounds and industries. Especially getting in touch with top level executives during the “In the Boardroom” executive talks is not only enriching on a personal and professional level, it is also a great opportunitiy to expand one’s network.