It was in the second quarter of 2020, a few months after the world had been hit by the covid-19 pandemic, when, on a casual day of social media interaction, I came across a LinkedIn post from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
The post called for applications for an MBA in International Healthcare Management. Mind you, I have trained and, to a large extent, have been working my whole career as a raw technician in public health programming and health metrics. I did, of course, pick up some skills and competencies along the way which most MBA programmes offer, but have always felt a need to receive formal training in this domain.
Well, the programme title caught my attention. It implied that the MBA programme has a focus on healthcare management, and implicitly on public health, and has international relevance. I work in a global health sector and my current role requires management and leadership skills to complement technical aspects of it, and the programme resonated well with my career positioning and goals at the moment.
So, I looked up the MBA, applied, went through the admission process, and was admitted into it– a dream come true. I had been doing some casual research on a variety of MBA programmes a few years prior, and this one seemed to offer what I wanted – A well-rounded business education that offers a blend of core business concepts and how these can be applied in healthcare and public health on a global scale.
Fast forward to when classes started in September 2020, the experience has been oddly uplifting despite what is going on around the world during the current covid-19 era. I personally had some anxiety at the outset about how and whether Frankfurt School would be able to deliver the curriculum within the context of the persistent pandemic.
Thankfully, Frankfurt School has put in place mechanisms to ensure continuity of teaching and learning. It goes without saying that the learning experience is different compared to years prior to the pandemic. The curriculum has thus far been delivered using a hybrid teaching and learning approach, and of late strictly via online platforms, even for modules that traditionally have been delivered abroad physically in selected countries.
However, despite these adaptations, and three modules later into the programme, in my view the learning process has surprisingly been interactive, exciting, and informative just as I imagined it. In programmes such as these, human interaction is important and somehow me and my cohort, have found alternative ways to stay in touch for peer support and networking. This adds value to the new modality.
One of the strengths of the MBA I am pursuing is, in my view, its balanced curriculum which caters for the variable learning needs of professionals working in the realm of international healthcare. As an employee of the World Health Organization working as a global health facilitator in the domain healthcare improvement science and quality of care measurement, my learning needs have been significantly met through several topics delivered in the last 3 modules.
Some of the topics that equipped me with the knowledge that I can use in the short-to medium-terms include health economics, comparative analysis of healthcare systems, cost and management accounting, accounting principles, finance, and strategic management. Looking into the future, there is a lineup of modules which will potentially offer additional knowledge and skills that can help me as an aspiring strategic thinker, leader, and manager in my line of work.
I very much look forward to modules on innovation; strategy and project management; quality and process management; HR, organization & change management; leadership and ethics; supply chain management; and of course, the MBA thesis.