The Road to an MBA: Episode 1

Hello and welcome to episode 1 of ‘The Road to an MBA’ where I will be taking you along with me on my journey in pursuing an MBA. As this marks the inaugural episode, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Fraser, occupying roles as a Lead Data Consultant and Employee Engagement Manager at Cloud Perspective; essentially, I have a passion for data and inspiring individuals towards growth and success. The question arises: what motivates my pursuit of an MBA?

To take the road or not…

I’ve always been interested in the bigger picture, even from my early days delivering papers for the local newsagent. I couldn’t help but think about everything that had to happen before I could pick up the paper from the shop and deliver it to the customer. This big-picture thinking and curiosity are what excited me about embarking on an MBA, so for me, the decision was easy! But how did this opportunity come my way in the first place?

My Journey along our Career Development Pathway

At Cloud Perspective, we have a development pathway to guide us through our careers here. This means that from the moment you join as a trainee, there is a framework available to help plan personal development and build a vision for your career growth. This starts with gaining a few Salesforce and Informatica certifications within your first year, and then obtaining an Agile Project Management qualification soon after this. My journey started in 2020 and I’m grateful to have had great encouragement and support throughout this journey, and I’m proud to say that I added a few extra certifications along the way. I now hold 5 Salesforce Certifications, 2 Informatica Professional Certifications, and my Agile PM badge. After four years of hard work, the opportunity to pursue an MBA is available to me.

My progression into management last year was a real highlight in this journey, and since then I have been working alongside Manisha to help maintain and expand our successful Delivery Team.

Last summer, the management team had a moment to reflect on the success of the team, and we knew we needed to look at formalizing our Growth Strategy. We established the Growth Team soon after this and started working on defining our growth goals and the strategies required to achieve them.

The stars aligned when the Growth Team was established at the same time that the MBA opportunity became available to me. This presented itself as the perfect scenario where I would be able to learn new theories and directly apply them as we grow the company.

Where to take the MBA?

Despite the intense excitement, I wanted to choose carefully. As a double graduate from the University of Manchester (UOM), I naturally leaned towards that comfort zone. After reviewing MBA courses worldwide, I settled on the Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Online Course at the University of Liverpool (UOL), just 35 miles from UOM. The online MBA from UOL met all my criteria – modules, course structure, and start dates. It was an easy decision. Now onto the Application process…

Applying to the University of Liverpool

The application process was seamless; the admissions team was very supportive from the moment I inquired about a course brochure. After going through the application form and adding my relevant documents, it was all submitted. A few weeks later, and I had a confirmed place on the course with a start date of 16th April.

My First 2 weeks

As the start date neared, I felt a mix of excitement and nerves. The induction module was excellent, introducing the student support team that answered all my questions. This boosted my confidence in the course. I then familiarized myself with the learning platform and started on the assigned content.

There were a few highlights to mention after my first two weeks. Firstly, the interaction on the welcome forum was amazing; it was brilliant to e-meet everyone who would be taking the course at the same time as me. I really value knowledge sharing, and being able to discuss the content from different perspectives is a huge win in my eyes, especially when there is a variety of people from different industries and backgrounds.

First feel of online studying

Naturally, when choosing to do an online course, it was always on my mind that there could be a lack of social interaction, which may have knock-on effects on my motivation and ultimately my learning. However, these qualms have been swiftly squashed with the induction module adding emphasis to the importance of collaboration during this study.

There was a clear awareness of this concern. Our first assignment in week two focused on the advantages and disadvantages of online learning, along with strategies to succeed in this MBA program. This activity prompted me to research papers on the topic, like “Studying Online: Succeeding through Distance Learning at University” by Graham Jones. I found valuable tips for my success strategy. The assignment helped me refresh my academic writing skills, especially accurate citations. I am excited to start my first credit-bearing module.

Episode 2 Preview: First MBA Module down, many more to go.

In Episode 2, we’ll cover the first credited module: “Developing as a Leader and Manager.” I’m eager to learn and apply key concepts at Cloud Perspective. I aim to use knowledge from a Leadership and Management Course I attended in Manchester last year. The episode will also discuss balancing this course with full-time work and managing my schedule. In the meantime, please feel free to leave a comment or question below!

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