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What Are The Benefits Of A Professional MBA?

Being busy doesn’t mean you can’t invest in yourself. Professional MBAs allow you to develop your management skills alongside your work—and that’s just the beginning



Tue May 7 2019

Flexibility is the word of the day in the MBA market. And the kinds of programs on offer to MBA candidates have become intertwined.

Whereas MBA programs were once clearly distinguished by full-time, part-time, and online formats, schools are now increasingly combining these elements, providing people who work full-time with a variety of ways to pursue their MBA education.

For Kyle Winchester, a current student on the Kelley-Manchester Global MBA, flexibility was key. With a senior international role at multinational company Ingersoll Rand and three children under six, the program needed to fit both his personal and professional life.

The Kelley-Manchester MBA—a dual degree offered by both Alliance Manchester Business School at The University of Manchester and Kelley School of Business at Indiana University—offers a two-year blended learning program, which combines online learning with three residential sessions in locations around the world.

While half of the learning—including core courses in Strategic Management and Business Planning—is delivered online, students visit Indiana and a choice of Manchester, Dubai, Hong Kong, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, for residential workshops.

The program can be categorized as a Professional MBA, defined by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) as including aspects of part-time, flexible, executive, and online MBA programs.

A Professional MBA demonstrates your bandwidth

This flexible structure of the Alliance Manchester Business School MBA program was not only useful in facilitating Kyle’s learning—he says that the program’s blended format in itself prepares candidates to stand out from the crowd in job applications.

“Demonstrating you have the bandwidth to perform in a demanding job, whilst studying a challenging MBA curriculum and balancing this all with family life highlights how impressive you are as a candidate,” he explains.

Kyle keeps a disciplined schedule in place to ensure a healthy work-life balance: between 8-to-10pm Monday to Thursday and 1-to-4pm at weekends is when he studies.

“Without this structure I’d miss key aspects of my kids’ life, whether it’s sports games or just reading them a bedtime story,” he says, “And I wouldn’t have time to maintain a strong relationship with my wife.”

In today’s digitalized, global work environment, Kyle says that the skills that students pick up by having to apply themselves in group settings virtually is pivotal.

“Tech can augment in-person interactions very well through video chats, so body language and facial expressions are still crucial,” he affirms.

Networking on international learning trips

While the online courses deliver key digital skills, the program’s in-person elements nurture other skillsets.

When the program launched, the whole cohort travelled to the Kelley campus in Indiana to experience introductory workshops and classes.

Kyle’s class recently returned from a trip to Manchester, and he cites his favorite experience of the MBA so far as a three-day trip to Singapore where he worked in a group to develop and apply a business model to an Asian company.

From the strategic pricing module taught by the Kelley, Kyle says he could directly apply what he was learning on the course in his job back home.

“The passion that Professor of Marketing Rockney Walters brought to the class has really stuck with me,” Kyle recalls. “Outside of coursework, I’ve reached out to him and his insight has benefited business decisions I’ve made in my job.”

Applying your learning to your current role

Students on the Kelley-Manchester MBA experience both British and US-style business and management education and receive an MBA from both institutions, which can benefit professionals working for multinational organizations.

The program involves two applied learning modules: The Simulation Project where candidates learn to think and act like a CEO, and the Live Business Project which gives MBAs the opportunity to pursue an entrepreneurial venture.

This exposure to varied business problems helps students diversify their skillset and have a more rounded view of how a company runs—a clear asset for future employers when they do seek to change role.

Chris Healey, head of MBA recruitment at Alliance Manchester Business School, says professional experience is the key area the school focuses on when recruiting for the program.


“Both the face-to-face and online classes are highly interactive where students not only learn from academics but also from each other. That can only happen when you have students who are working in senior roles, across different industries and functions from around the world,” he explains.

“Students typically have 10-to-15 years of experience on average, but we are seeing less experienced but still very high calibre applicants apply as they question the opportunity cost of full-time MBA programs,” he continues.

Alongside the Kelley-Manchester MBA, Alliance Manchester Business School offers a standalone Full-time MBA and a blended delivery Global Part-time MBA which comes in a 24-month format or 18-month accelerated formats for professionals with at least eight years work experience or specialized backgrounds in finance.

MBA degrees will always be intense, and it’s no mean feat to juggle work, study and family life, but Professional MBAs support candidates on that journey.

Combining online and offline study, Professional MBAs have emerged as a strong option for those in middle management positions who don’t want to take time out of work, but also have an eye to move upwards.

Student Reviews

Alliance Manchester Business School




On Campus

The course structure

The course is well structured and organised effectively. Every subject in the field of international business is covered in the course module. The lectures are of excellent quality and are simple to comprehend.   ·      The lecturers are also very knowledgeable about their subjects, quite thorough, and very helpful when it comes to answering questions and giving additional information on their subject.   ·      Students can easily access the assignment, lectures, and seminar content thanks to the blackboard technology. Students also benefit greatly from the reading materials that are posted on the blackboard.




On Campus

Practical Business Experience

3 live consulting projects, Non-for-Profit consulting, Commercial Business Consulting and International Business Consulting projects within the programme, provide us with a great opportunity to exposure to the real business world.




Quality education and student support system

What I love about The University of Manchester is the fact that, alongside with the excellent education it provides, it also takes care of the well being of the students and supports them throughout the year.




Endless networking opportunities!

I would 100% recommend this university! Throughout my 4 years there I received endless guidance and support from the amazing staff; both professors and student support teams. A particular highlight was the insightful guest lectures, networking employability events and career meetings, these significantly helped in preparing me for my future career.




Fantastic University!

AMBS provides excellent teaching and outstanding facilities, both of which combine to make a great learning experience. The teaching staff make sure we have plenty of resources to aid our learning, and always make sure we are making the most of our studies. The business building itself is the most impressive on campus, and provides plenty of places in which we can work.




Great facilities and support

It is a great university that provides extra support for its students. The teachers are very helpful and willing to support you and the environment is just great. It offers good facilities, study spaces and workshops that can help in your experience as a student.




New building, innovative teaching methods

The staff is very well prepared and pays a lot of attention to the student. The building is new and full of updated facilities. Teachers propose intriguing learning methods and there are plenty of international students to learn from.




It's an amazing University!

I think that AMBS is among the most well rounded universities in the UK. The cultural diversity among the students as well as the faculty is what catches my attention the most. The campus is very new and beautiful and has all kinds of facilities.




Quality and QS World Ranking

AMBS has the diverse set of batch where the students get the opportunity to mingle with the students coming from different parts of the world. The group of faculty is also very diverse having different skill set. I'd always recommend it for studying masters in business analytics.