WORKING professionals might find going back to school difficult. But for Mr Tony Ang, 43, the journey towards obtaining his Master of Business Administration (MBA) awarded by Australia’s Southern Cross University (SCU) in 2011 was worthwhile.
He even received the top academic achievement award from the university. “The current business climate is evolving to be more challenging. Therefore, to continuously acquire knowledge and skills is essential if you want to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition,” says Mr Ang of his decision to go back to school.
SCU’s MBA programme is conducted locally by the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS). Comprising 12 modules spread over 20 months, it covers foundations of management, strategic management, project management, strategic knowledge management, human resource management, accounting and finance, international business and marketing, leading and managing people, organisational behaviour as well as information systems. Class sizes are small to encourage more effective learning. The students come from a broad range of cultural and corporate backgrounds, giving participants ample room to debate and learn from each other, with coursework requiring teamwork, group discussions and presentations.
“A vast amount of the programme is focused on developing our management skills. It has helped me to better analyse situations and issues and has improved my ability to make critical and effective decisions,” adds Mr Ang. The lecturers bring their experience from the corporate world into the classroom, incorporating real-life lessons into their lectures. As a manager, Mr Ang found the strategic management module useful. “Every organisation needs business strategies in order to move the company in the intended direction, grow its business and improve its financial and market performance,” he says.
“With strategic approaches, you can steer a company ahead of rivals to win a sustainable competitive advantage.” The course is structured for those who prefer to study part-time while working full-time. Mr Ang says it was challenging to juggle his studies, his work and frequent business trips in addition to finding time to spend with his wife and three children. “Lots of discipline, determination and perseverance are needed to get you through this programme,” he says.
“Fortunately, my wife and my boss were very understanding and supportive, and with the help from my lecturers and classmates, I was able to overcome my difficulties.” Having graduated from the programme, Mr Ang brings knowledge and renewed confidence to his work as the regional sales manager of a global professional audiovisual products manufacturer.
“I can complement my knowledge with the vast experience I have over many years in the industry to value-add to my company as well as my business partners and customers,” he says. Mr Ang feels that those who are willing to leave their comfort zone to return to learning in a bid to scale new heights in their career can benefit from the SCU MBA. “Knowledge is priceless. Further education is definitely worth the investment. After all, with better qualifications, your market value will be higher too.”
FOUNDED in 1956, MDIS is Singapore’s oldest not for- profit professional institute for lifelong learning. Besides the SCU MBA, MDIS also offers other MBA programmes, including one with the University of Sunderland. This MBA programme starts in September this year. The British university is renowned for its high standards of teaching and research and has strong industry links and collaborations with leading global companies. With Sunderland ranked the best new university in north-eastern England by the Guardian University Guide last year, the internationally recognised MBA is aimed at graduates with significant business and management experience seeking to enhance their capabilities to function as senior managers within a wide range of commercial and service organisations.
Students can expect to develop their strategic management knowledge, competence and problem-solving abilities, and be familiar with international management practices and the development of effective business cultures and performance enhancement. The full-time programme will take a year to complete while parttime students will take 18 months. MDIS is committed to high quality standards of education. Its achievement of the EduTrust Certification (four years), awarded by the Council for Private Education in 2010, attests to the institute’s exemplary education and business excellence standards. MDIS is also in the first batch of Private Education Institutions to be registered under the Enhanced Registration Framework. For more information, visit www.mdis.edu.sg/academic-programmes/mdis-business-school/ master-of-business-administration-awarded-by-theuniversity- of-sunderland-uk.
- By Douglas Chew
Source:[The Sunday Times 30062013] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited.
Reproduced with permission".