Aaron Wright is currently studying the part-time Executive MBA at Norwich Business School (NBS) and is clear about what he eventually hopes to achieve when he graduates in 15 months time. Although Aaron declares that it can be tough holding down a full-time job and studying a masters degree at the same time, he is enjoying the coursework for the most part and his employer C A Design Services Ltd, part of the Gardline Group is very supportive…
‘My boss, the Managing Director, was very sympathetic of my decision to take on a part-time MBA whilst continuing my role as the principal accountant at C A Design Services. He might be a bit biased – he did exactly the same MBA at UEA a few years ago! My job description has expanded quite a bit since I started at C A Design Services almost five years ago and my boss and I agreed that it would be good to have some additional experience and business qualifications other than simply my CIMA chartered accountancy certification. Besides which, I can see myself running my own business at some stage and it's clear that my MBA is going to speed up the process of becoming my own boss.'
‘I looked at a few options for MBAs before I applied and chose NBS because of my MD's good experience there and because it's very local to me as I live in Norwich. I knew I'd have to be very careful to manage things properly, studying part-time on top of my job, and I wanted to cut down any travel time as much as possible. I didn't want to move home either, Norwich is great place to live and I didn't want to give that up.'
‘I have to say I am enjoying the MBA coursework at the moment. It's not all perfect, of course, and it can be tough at times, but the lecturers are good and although their styles vary, they are all quite skilled at keeping your attention by making lectures entertaining. On the way to an IT lecture as part of one of our modules last week, I was thinking, ‘Ah, I've done this many times before' - I wasn't particularly looking forward to it. But the lecture turned out to be really impassioned and exciting and I had one of those adrenaline-running-through-you moments which I haven't had for 10 years, well not as a result of a lecture anyway!'
‘It's not just the lecturers who can get passionate about business issues either, the course is set up in such a way that you share your experiences with the other students on the course – and you really have to engage with them in order to do well. There are 20 people in my cohort - they have wide variety of opinions, are great fun to work with and I have got a lot out of working alongside them in my studies so far.'
‘If I had one criticism of the course it would be timetabling. The business school deliberately clusters the teaching into regular four-day blocks so that there is as little disruption to your day job as possible, but there are always conflicts. There's so much to cram in, and there are inevitably clashes with my job and lectures and assignment deadlines.'
‘I am relieved to know that there won't be a dissertation to do by the end of next year. The course has recently been modified so that you do consultancy projects instead. When my MD did the UEA MBA he said the dissertation was one of the most difficult aspects of the course at that time - it was a real burden to achieve that whilst doing a full-time job.'
‘In place of the dissertation, I'll be working as part of a small team to take on two live consultancy projects. They'll be genuine consultancies for real company clients and I'm looking forward to starting these – as I know they'll provide me with some really interesting insights and experiences. They'll be helpful with what I am doing now at C A Design Services and I expect they'll be invaluable with what I hope I may end up doing one day in future - running my own business!'