Part-time MBA: Benefits to my career & the corona crisis
Part-time MBA / 18 May 2020
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Part-time MBA class of 2021
Gerardo is an associate credit analyst at S&P Global ratings with focus on power and gas European utilities. He has an economics background and is a candidate for the part-time MBA class of 2021.

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My generation is likely to be marked by two trends from a professional perspective: Longevity and technological disruption. Growing age expectancy will lead to us having to work longer to remain financially autonomous. We will have to remain resilient and adapt to continuous technological developments throughout our careers regardless of profession.

Through the part-time MBA programme I have become more flexible and adaptable. It has provided me with insights outside of my area of expertise and allowed me to take on new perspectives. The curriculum offers highly relevant electives topics (e.g. sustainable finance, artificial intelligence and digitalization), but it also includes more classical management modules (e.g. leadership, performance and innovation management). This particular combination allows candidates to succeed in an ever changing, challenging business landscape. Equally, a highly valuable part of the experience has been the interaction with top international professionals coming from a diverse range of sectors and industries. The resulting exchange enhances the level of discussion in class and offers many new perspectives. In the process, I have made some very good friends, developed new ideas, and challenged my own.

How the programme benefits my career

I quickly noticed that there are two types of students in the program: the ones who intend to use the program as a platform to make a change in their career path, or those who want to take advantage of the program to progress in their current position. I am the latter. The advantages to my day-to-day work as a credit analyst come from the finance and economics related lectures:

In Corporate Finance I learned how institutional investors are changing their investment patterns to account for sustainability in their portfolios. This is particularly relevant for me as I mostly focus on power and gas utilities, which are heavily impacted by sustainability trends.  (the thesis does not relate to sustainability but to other elements which are no longer part of the paragraph)

Financial Accounting was very relevant for my job and I greatly admire Prof. Dr. Edgar Löw for his accounting expertise. As a credit analyst, I have to dig deep into financial statements every day and I was able to ask him very technical questions, which added a lot of value to my accounting toolkit.

Organizational Behaviour was an equally important module for my professional career. Through Prof. Dr. Patrick Flood’s engaging lecture, I was able to understand how behavioral dynamics are applicable at many levels of an organization. Valuable lessons included the importance of networking and how to master workload while avoiding burnout in order to keep up productivity.

The impact of COVID-19

We are currently navigating very turbulent and unchartered waters. Restrictive governmental policies to contain the pandemic resulted in online lectures. This inherently changed the way of interaction with lecturers and classmates. It triggered sharp economic implications and behavioral change across society, but it also created the opportunity to develop new skills as we move towards a more digitalized business landscape.

Of course, everyone in the part-time MBA class will be facing uncertainties to a different degree throughout our professional careers. The circumstances have changed since we started the programme, but so did we as MBA candidates, being able to rely on a diverse management toolkit to cope with uncertainty and challenging conditions. From understanding financial markets and macro trends to developing strategies to gain a competitive edge. The progamme is designed to increase professional adaptability and resiliency, which is of the utmost value amid rapidly changing conditions.