Stephanie Murphy, currently an interim HR business partner at EDF Energy, has just graduated from the Open University with an MBA.
She acknowledges that the things she learned while undertaking the course have proved invaluable in her work as an HR and business professional. But completing a qualification like this while in full-time employment is not an easy task, and so here, Murphy offers her top five tips to make the process as painless and rewarding as possible:
Really think about where you see your career going over the next five years as, by the time you graduate, the subjects that you originally selected may not be relevant.
Ensure that you tap into all of the online forums, tutorials, residential schools and alumni at your disposal. They will help to give you the confidence that you are on track (and not the only one struggling) and provide some motivation when a looming deadline for assignments seems unachievable. But luckily, the OU is also really supportive and flexible and tutors are contactable when you need them during most evenings and weekends.
Make sure family, friends and your employer understand the level of commitment that you have made as you will need their support and understanding.
Use and implement the theories and models that you learn in the workplace as you progress through your MBA. Doing so will reinforce everything that you learn and will also give you great examples to use in future projects.
Finally, as one of my tutors (Elvin Box) told me: “Enjoy the learning process and be proud of all of your hard work because, before you know it, you will be at your graduation and missing the arrival of that new box of study books and all night assignment writing!”