The positives and negatives of being an MBS Staff member and a student.

When I tell people that in addition to working in the Careers Centre, I’m also a student, I generally get mixed reactions. Full-time students generally view part-time students with a certain amount of pity, having to manage a job, study and keep a wife/partner happy whilst you dedicate a large part of your life to MBA study. Whilst it is financially easier to study an MBA part-time there are also quite a few downsides. The study experience a full-time student gains is far richer, the ability to discuss, debate and carry out further research around a topic of interest, enables full-time students to do more than just scratch the surface.  Part-time students have to try and squeeze in reading and lecture preparation, fulfilling the minimum criteria of not appearing an idiot if asked a question in a lecture.

So what are the positives and negatives associated with my dual role at MBS:

Positives:

  • I understand what students go through whilst studying for an MBA, I was after all a student before I became a member of staff.
  • I don’t have to travel far to get to a lecture.
  • I know the full-time cohort as well as part-time students
  • I get to now the academics as colleagues as well as teachers
  • I get to see and hear how decisions made by the school affect the student body
  • I have a pretty nice office at the school which I can use for study at the weekends
  • I get to do the MBA for free
  • I get to build a great network as part of my job.

Negatives

  • I have to maintain a neutral position when students start complaining to me, some of my part-time colleagues find this frustrating, “Ed you’re agreeing with everything MBS is doing!”
  • Full-time students view me as a member of staff, part-time ones view me as a student.
  • I spend a lot of time advising students on their future career, I am still not sure what the future holds for me!
  • If I talk to Full-time students generally the conversation revolves around careers and the job market.

All in all, I think I have a pretty good deal!

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3 Responses to “The positives and negatives of being an MBS Staff member and a student.”

  1. Ed I think you make some valid points. So, even though you “have a pretty good deal”. Would you rather be a full- or part-time students? Before doing your MBA at MBS did you complete your BA full-time?

    I recently completed my Masters which I studied part-time. Personally, I thought this part-time study was a far richer experience, since I was able to apply all the things I learned while still having the time to absorb all the information. It gave me a far greater appreciation for what I learned.

    • edcookmbs Says:

      Hi Xavier, at the risk of sitting on the fence. A couple of the students I started with have switched between the two, they studied part-time for a year, then went on exchange and finished off the MBA full-time. In my view this would be the best way to complete the course. I do agree with you regarding the application of theoretical knowledge, this does depend on the receptiveness of your current employer to being treated as a consulting assignment! When I first started my MBA, I was working in an extremely bureaucratic work environment, studying best-practice theory and not having the authority to implement it, exacerbated the frustrations I had with the organisation. Cheers, Ed.

      • JRieusset Says:

        Hi Ed,

        Nice blog.

        I completed a Masters degree part-time at Melbourne Uni a few years ago.
        I have also had friends and family go through the MBA program at MBS.

        I see a few clear advantages of taking any business related Masters degree part-time:

        – Part-timers are often sponsored by their employers. Particularly in the current economic environment, I believe that this says a lot about the quality of the candidate.

        – You get to immediatley apply what you have learned in the workplace. (Obviously to varying degrees, depending on your situation.). This combination of theoretical and practical learning is unbeatable. I don`t think you would find many people that would `honestly´ disagree with this statement. It certainly makes for an interesting lecture when students can share their experiences of how they have applied the `theory´ to the `real world.´

        – It provides a great opportunity to sharpen your time management skills. Many employers recognise the huge amount of effort and stamina required to accomplish such a feat.

        Taking my masters degree part-time was one of the most challenging, exhillarating and rewarding experiences of my life. I`d recommend it to anyone. 🙂

        Best regards,

        John Rieusset
        Zug, Switzerland

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