Success starts with determination

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 February, 2007, 12:00am

There are no shortcuts to a degree, and for busy executives time management plays an important role

COMPLETING AN MBA programme is a major commitment, and for struggling executives there is no shortcut.

Determination and self-learning will make the difference between success and failure for people taking MBA programmes, according to Esther Li Ling-yee, associate professor and associate co-ordinator for Executive MBA with the Department of Marketing and International Business at Lingnan University.

'To be able to study effectively is all about whether students take it seriously. As long as you give the programme priority in your schedule, you will find the way out,' she said.

'Personal involvement and participation in class discussions and group learning exercises are important. Students should contribute their part while learning from teachers and classmates in the process. You will be amply rewarded for your efforts.'

Allan Chan Kit-kwong, associate dean of the School of Business at Hong Kong Baptist University and director of MBA programmes, said students should be aware that MBA courses always emphasised interactive learning.

'It is not just about textbook knowledge or listening to teachers, but how to enhance business acumen and think strategically to address everyday management issues. To perform well and complete MBA assignments more effectively, students must work proactively together in class and be prepared to study problems from new perspectives.'

Professor Chan said despite all the hard work and time involved, students rarely dropped out in the middle of a course and their success rate of completing an MBA programme was very high.

'In our experience, less than one of out 40 students in a class would quit an MBA programme every year. Ability is not a concern, although some students may find it harder to complete quantitative studies because they are so technical,' he said.

'The high demand of their profession is the major factor affecting their studies. Many are working under an extremely tight schedule, or being redeployed to destinations outside Hong Kong.

I think everybody is busy with their work, so the MBA course

also offers a good opportunity to train participants' time management skills.'

Professor Chan said his school allowed students to complete their MBA course within three years. Some students opted for a suspension of six or 12 months in the middle of the course, but these cases accounted for a very small percentage of the university's class.

Professor Li said students' easy access to information on the internet and the supporting services in school would facilitate their research for MBA or Executive MBA assignments.

Executives taking MBA courses should also pay attention to the flexibility of the programmes, such as the class scheduling, so that they could complete the study effectively and get the most out of it, she said.

Getting there

There is no shortcut to success; determination and self-learning make a big difference

Actively participate in class discussions and group learning exercises

Have good time-management skills