How I Am Progressing With My Online MBA

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I have completed six out of the 12 modules (courses) in my online MBA program. And I have seen the results of five already. Despite the last minute tactics I use in completing my assignments/projects, I still managed to get very good grade. I am waiting for the result of the sixth module I completed early this month but the results of the other five are:

  1. Organisations & HR Management    77%
  2. Business Economics 77%
  3. Decision Making Methods & Tools 81%
  4. Strategic Marketing           73%
  5. Financial & Managerial Accounting 89%
The sixth I am expecting the grade of is Corporate Strategy. And I am currently doing the seventh module, Financial Management.

It seems I get great scores in the mathematics heavy courses: Decision Making Methods & Tools (which was more like business statistics) and Financial & Managerial Accounting (accounting mathematics).

If I keep up those grade range, I will be ending up with a distinction in the program. Unfortunately, it won't be of any use to me as I won't be applying for any job with it.

The real (useful) progress I have been making is in my understanding of how business works and should be run. I have learned a lot about business strategy, marketing, organizational management and decision making; areas I knew nothing seriously useful about. I have been forced to analyse my company several times in the projects and assignments I did, which has been very eye-opening for me. I have gone through lots of business cases and strategy analysis that I now have my head stuffed with too much theoretical knowledge.

On November 8, 2012 I bought "Personal MBA: Master the art of business" book that advocated skipping MBA (and its expenses) by buying and reading business books. If you asked me then, I was sure I wasn't going to do an MBA. I was confident I could learn whatever it is they would teach me on my own, faster and cheaper.

Now I know better. The main benefit of doing the MBA is the pressure it puts on you to learn a lot more than you would have done on your own. There were weeks I had to write up to 10,000 words research assignments. I would do it from morning to night and not sleep well at night thinking about the assignment. There's no way I would have done that if I was doing self-study! I am sure that if I had enrolled in a paid intensive French class I would now be fluent in French instead of using my laid back self-study approach.

The MBA program has forced me to read materials I would never have come across on my own. They've curated the best (at least way better than what I could have and a million times better than what Personal MBA curated) business and management materials. The courses are synergistic and make you a rounded business man (in theory, first). And unlike the Personal MBA list of books, you end up reading books from professors who have spent decades of their adult life consulting and researching in the field they write about. People like Michael Porter, Philip Kotler, Peter Drucker, Michael Armstrong, Henry Mintzberg and Andrzej Huczynski. Not the for-profit (often, crap) writers that dominate the Personal MBA list.

Finally, you should take my opinion with a grain salt. It is highly subjective. I have been well bribed by good grades and the need to view my MBA expense as a worthy investment. So it's just natural that I be in praise of it. But seriously, if you want to have a well rounded knowledge of business, doing an MBA is way better than learning on your own, even if you have your own business.

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