‘Manchester Method’ for corporate titans
Manchester Business School
The part-time Global MBA programme offered by the Manchester Business School (MBS) is a general management MBA designed to empower and train talented executives to run the world’s biggest companies.
“We want to give everyone the opportunity to transform their lives, organisations and communities,” says associate MBA director Xavier Duran.
The programme takes a practical, situation-based learning approach. “We call this the ‘Manchester Method’, which involves learning by doing. Every project is designed so that students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned immediately.
“The skills students gain will have lasting benefits throughout their career. People who have studied this way stand out. They are confident and assured, and able to get results,” Duran adds.
The Global MBA is highly flexible to meet the needs of busy executives. Students can choose to attend classes in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Manchester, Dubai, Brazil and Miami. Lectures are delivered in intensive blocks and residential workshops last for three full days to cut travelling time and costs.
“If the class schedule clashes with a student’s work schedule, the students are allowed to study in other international centres. The workshops are delivered by our faculty who travel the world teaching at our global centres, so students can get the same, consistently high standard of teaching no matter where they are based,” Duran says.
Unsurprisingly, the programme has a diverse cohort of students. “We have a global community of more than 8,000 students and 40,000 alumni. Networking is the most important part of an MBA. Not only will students learn from leading academics from across the world, they will also be given the opportunity to network with the best executives from over 100 countries, cultures and careers,” Duran says.
“The MBA lasts up to three years, but your connections and networking opportunities with the school is for life. The alumni association is the most active in the region. We have more than 30 alumni activities a year, such as monthly network drinks, the annual and spring dinners, China-study field trips, and charity events.
“With our links to the world’s top headhunters and our career services, we are devoted to helping our students build their own business network and career,” Duran says.
In 2012, the Financial Times ranked the programme as the top British MBA with a direct presence in Hong Kong.
“Our faculty is research-led. Our teachers wrote the textbooks used to teach our students. Workshops are led by senior faculty and a pool of experts from outside the school considered to be leaders in their fields,” Duran says.
Students can complete the programme in three years of part-time studies or extend up to five years. Applicants must have at least four years’ work experience and a recognised degree. “Our students average 11 years’ work experience, mostly in banking and finance, technology and business consulting,” Duran says.
He advises those who are interested in taking up an MBA to be motivated and willing to contribute. “Studying an MBA is different from studying bachelor programmes. You need to be self-disciplined, you need to prepare before attending the workshops. You need to discuss with your classmates and the lecturer, debate on some business issues. Your inputs in the discussion will be mostly appreciated. We won’t spoon-feed you the business theories but we emphasise real business applications,” he says.
Lisa O’Connor, director for RMB internationalisation at Swift, a financial telecom service provider, says she went for the MBS Global MBA because she felt it was time to update her knowledge and expand her business links.
“It had been 10 years since I finished my undergraduate studies. I felt there was a need to refresh my skills. I also wanted to take the opportunity to extend my business network,” she said.
O’Connor says friends who had taken up the MBA had recommended it. She says the flexible schedule is perfect for busy executives like her. “I am usually away from Hong Kong for two to three months on business travel. The programme does not require me to attend classes every day, so I can plan my schedule.”
O’Connor, now on her final MBA year, says studying with a diverse mix of students has been an eye-opener. “The programme has a very active alumni association which allows me to stay in touch with classmates. It offers workshops in different parts of the world and that allows me to learn from people of different backgrounds,” she says.
“I went to a workshop in Dubai and attended a class on corporate governance with students from the Middle East and Africa. Their business and management culture is very different from what I know and it was a great learning experience,” O’Connor adds.