Member Article

Starting out with The Open University

Since the first students unpacked their course materials and switched on their televisions in January 1971, nearly two million people have studied with The Open University and, of those, just over 21,000 professionals have studied for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) recognising the value and real difference that such a qualification can make to their careers and professional development.

Businesses of all sizes are recognising the true benefits of an MBA – hiring someone with an MBA equates to hiring an accountant, an economist, a marketer and a strategist all rolled in to one. This is all good news that is welcomed by The Open University whose MBA students work in businesses of all sizes. Many of its students have started-up their own businesses prompted by the knowledge, confidence and skills they have learned along the way and having been given a set of tools that they can apply on the job from day one.

Once upon a time MBA programmes were all about the hard science of analysis and data. MBA students mastered the maths and often ignored the human side of enterprise. Today that has changed as business schools incorporate personal skills development with academic learning to help students master the nitty-gritty of managing. The themes that run through today’s OU MBA programme are exploring ideas, developing capabilities, making connections, managing learning and expanding horizons. This does not mean that the traditional business functions are overlooked. In the first year, MBA students study human resources management, marketing, accounting and finance among other fundamentals.

Richard Garland is a chartered surveyor based in London. He embarked on his MBA with The OU in 2004 and set up Gradient Consultants the same year: “I was working for a large multi-national firm when I started my MBA course and from the outset I knew it was the right course for me and the best way of developing my skills. Studying a mix of subjects from finance to creative and knowledge management to marketing gave me the confidence to try new ideas and taught me how to look at problems differently. I learnt that there is rarely a wrong answer – only that good decisions have to be made. And I knew that I had made the right one when I set up my own business and The OU MBA was certainly the catalyst for that move. My MBA skill set enables me to stay focused, deal with issues and conflict more effectively, and remain in charge, all good skills you need when running your own business.”

To find out more about The OU’s MBA and other postgraduate courses you can attend a free information Open Day on Wednesday July 3rd from 3.00pm – 7.30pm at The Open University in London, 1 – 11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP.

You’ll be able to get advice on the best options for you and talk to faculty staff about specific courses and qualifications. For more information visit or email or call 020 3076 0234

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Michele Bayliss .

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