Online MBA Turns IT Professional Into Business Leader

With an Online MBA from the University of Birmingham, Kathirvel Balakrishnan was able to translate his education into quick, tangible success.

The frantic world of work means the option of returning to education is simply a pipe dream for many professionals—one that is clogged with a build up of work and family commitments.

Balancing just those two things is a headache in itself. Luckily though, one UK business school has developed the mother of all ailments.

The University of Birmingham’s Online MBA was the world’s first 100% online MBA to be accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA)—it offers prospects an entirely-online MBA experience, free from the troubles an on-campus program entails for busy working professionals.

Among them, Kathirvel Balakrishnan, an experienced IT professional who embarked on Birmingham’s Online MBA in search of the augmentation of skills needed to prosper in today’s modernized world.brumpic

He’s now a lead data architect for a British multinational electricity and gas utility company, leading projects in excess of £100 million.

“I needed an effective time split between work and studies,” he says. “Taking a break from work was not a financially viable option due to personal and family commitments.

“At senior level, IT is not like it was before,” he continues. “It is a must to understand other areas such as finance and accounting, global operations, sales and marketing strategies, and people management.”

Kathirvel adds that the nature of the program, that allows students the flexibility to work and study simultaneously, helped him with quick wins at work as he was able to put his learning to the test straight away.

“I am able to articulate the issues, problems, and messages in a clear and concise manner now,” he says. “I understand the business much better, and am now able to provide evidence-based responses to the teams more often—which helps for completing a thorough analysis of items at work.”

Throughout Birmingham’s Online MBA, fortnightly live sessions connect tutors, lecturers, and groups of students in an interactive, online learning environment—the sessions are two and a quarter hours long.

Kathirvel explains that you study and collaborate with students who are located all around the world, working in a plethora of disciplines.

This, he adds, means that there is a better understanding of the modules, context, and their applicability in the real world as the students you interact with are placing their knowledge straight back into their daily working life across a wealth of industries.

“There is a need to focus not just locally but across geographies,” he explains, “as most of the corporates I work with are multinational companies.

“This brings in its own set of additional challenges for a professional like me,” he continues, saying that due to the diversified nature of the business world, it’s vital to understand how different cultures work.

For Kathirvel, an Online MBA should be a go-to for anyone who interacts with business on a regular basis.

“The Birmingham Online MBA has supported me in my transition into the world of business,” he says. 

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alumni and programmes at Birmingham Business School - University of Birmingham.

Birmingham Business School - University of Birmingham

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