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Choosing the right MBA for you

Friday, July 3, 2015 - 14:33

Choosing the right MBA program for your career can be a daunting task. So how do you decide which MBA is right for you?

Peter Morris is the General Manager of Chevron in the Philippines, a director of AMCHAM Philippines and President of the Philippine Institute of Petroleum. His career with Chevron has taken him all over the world from Australia to Thailand, the US, New Zealand, Singapore and the Phillipines and it all started with completing his MBA in 2000. We asked Peter about his experience choosing and completing his MBA.  

How did you find the process of choosing your MBA program?

The process of choosing my MBA was a lengthy one. It’s an investment in the long term so you definitely feel the pressure to get it right.

Did you at any point think about putting it off or consider not going ahead at all and if so why?

There is no ideal time to do an MBA. I did my MBA during full time work and I did take one semester off. During my MBA studies I got married, renovated a house and had 2 children. So yes I did think about postponing. But as this is an investment, I needed a payout to afford my new house and new family and that motivated me to just keep going.

What advice would you give someone researching MBA programs?

Don’t under-estimate practical issues and the flexibility a school can offer. The school I chose was close to my work but also has great virtual learning options. The time you can save in travel you really need to complete course work.

How did your MBA choice benefit your career?

My MBA helps me every day. The biggest skill I gained was time management. If you want to succeed in an MBA and do all the other things that life throws at you then time management and prioritisation must be finely tuned.

In his case, Peter had identified the major opportunities within his company and selected his MBA accordingly. 14 years on he’s still reaping the rewards. Peter’s success began with his MBA but this success has also come as a result of a great deal of hard work.

When it comes to investigating the right MBA for you, here are some of the things to consider:

  • Your budget, whether your employers may consider funding it or whether the program can be accessed using FEE-HELP.
  • Recognition of prior learning - For those that haven’t completed an undergrad, consider whether your experience will meet the entry requirements.
  • Alignment with your expertise - using a postgraduate degree to completely change industries can be risky but solidifying your existing skill set with greater knowledge increases your employability.
  • Compliment your current role - If the degree will have significant benefits for your organisation, your employer may offer to pay some or all of the fees while training costs can be tax deductible.
  • The demographic and calibre of those studying with you. You may be surprised at the variations in demographic between one course and another. Considerations might include average age or seniority of the other students.

This article was written by Owen Joyce, Managing Director of Ascent Learning, an AIM Business School Partner.  

Are you considering studying an MBA or management qualification? The thought of returning to a university setting may not be what’s right for you but with the AIM Master of Business Administration you have the opportunity to achieve a highly recognised qualification. Study with like-minded professionals, managers and leaders across a range of Australian Industries in a practical and applied education environment.

Rather than lecture to you, our industry-based facilitators will guide you and your peers through your units, sharing ideas, expertise and bringing your qualification to life.

The AIM Business School MBA gives you the opportunity to expand your skills and knowledge, learn from others and, importantly, have your skills and management acknowledged through a formal qualification. To get started today, visit www.aim.com.au/qualifications/mba

Watch the video below to hear what Kevin Hannon, Business Development Manager at Viscount Plastics had to say about his experience studying an MBA through AIM Business School.