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How My Online MBA Is Helping Me Juggle Study, Work, Family, And My Own Business

Munyaradzi Chikwanda is halfway through an Online MBA at Birmingham Business School

Wed Mar 29 2017

BusinessBecause
Munyaradzi Chikwanda is a South African software developer with over a decade’s experience in IT. He started a new job at a leading African financial services group in 2015. At the same time, he decided to launch his own business, training local people in IT. Now, he’s juggling family, work, his own business, and an MBA.

When Munyaradzi was looking at business schools, he knew he’d struggle to study an MBA full-time. Instead, he opted for Birmingham Business School’s Online MBA, the world’s first fully-online MBA to be accredited by AMBA.

At Birmingham, the Online MBA is positioned as a direct alternative to the classroom-based course. Fortnightly live sessions bring distance-learning to life, connecting groups of approximately 25 students together with tutors and lecturers in an immersive online learning environment. The sessions are two and a quarter hours long.

Munyaradzi wants a world-renowned, accredited MBA to help him build his IT training business and take his corporate career to new heights. When he graduates from Birmingham’s Online MBA, he’ll receive the same certificate as students on the full-time course.

Why did you decide to pursue an online MBA?

I wanted to sharpen my business acumen to help me identify and exploit opportunities which would benefit both my employer and my endeavor to establish my own business.

Being the primary breadwinner, my options for study were limited. Studying full-time was not going to be possible. I needed a quality MBA program that would fit in well with my family commitments and responsibilities as well as my hectic work schedule.

Why did you choose Birmingham’s Online MBA in particular?

I wanted an MBA program from an internationally-recognized and revered academic institution, which had a very strong and well-recognized MBA program.

Studying for an MBA from a university as prestigious as the University of Birmingham will open doors and introduce me to new professional networks, thus helping me realize both my career and personal goals.

What sets an online MBA apart from a traditional classroom-based program?

With the connect sessions, we’re able to make use of technology to simulate a classroom environment. In a classroom, shy students do not necessarily express themselves even if they have good ideas. Online, everyone says something.

How did the idea to start your own business come about?

I am passionate about empowering people to innovate and advance themselves using technology. Thus, I have established a training company which teaches people on using different technologies, and how they can benefit from them. I believe that, when applied, this knowledge can be a source of economic emancipation for the many poor people in my region.

What do you hope to achieve?

I plan on growing my training business more to include more services other than training, such as consulting and product development. I am also on a career growth initiative with my current employer, aimed at realized my goal of becoming a CIO later in my career.

The MBA will enhance my skills and knowledge on the financial aspects of business, project management, and risk management, thus increasing the probability of my success in any project that I undertake.

Student Reviews

Birmingham Business School - University of Birmingham

Student

Verified

7/10/2023

On Campus

An amazing experience

Great, knowledgeable faculty with a beautiful campus. Lots of societies and clubs to choose from in accordance with your interest. One can also discover scholarship opportunities here. The course is perfectly designed and the career services at the uni are very helpful

Melanie

Verified

6/10/2023

On Campus

The beautiful campus and teaching expertise.

Overall the University of birmingham is just an incredible institution. From the array of expertise teachings and how phenomenal the campus is definitely enhances its beauty and is enriched with the amazing resources and incredible people that are always willing to help and make you feel welcomed everywhere you go. I would 100% recommend the University of Birmingham to be one of the best universities out there and through not only the various courses that they offer but all the social societies definitely adds to the fun and great opportunities that it provides

chikondi

Verified

4/10/2023

On Campus

Exceptional Support for international Students

Exceptional Support for International Students As an international student, my experience at the University of Birmingham has been nothing short of extraordinary, thanks to the outstanding support provided for international students. I would like to share my thoughts and experiences regarding the exceptional support I've received during my time here. From the moment I arrived on campus, it was evident that UoB prioritizes the well-being and success of its international students. Here are some key aspects of the support I've received: 1. Orientation Programs: The university's comprehensive orientation programs helped me acclimate to campus life, navigate administrative processes, and understand the academic system. I never felt lost or overwhelmed, thanks to the informative sessions and friendly staff. 2. Academic Advising: The academic advisors for international students are incredibly knowledgeable and approachable. They assisted me in creating a personalized academic plan, selecting courses, and understanding degree requirements. Their guidance ensured that I stayed on the right track academically. 3. Language Support: UoB offers exceptional language support services, including English language courses and conversation partners. These resources were invaluable in improving my language skills and building confidence in my communication abilities. 4. Cultural Integration: The university fosters a diverse and inclusive environment, making it easy for international students to feel like part of the community. There are numerous cultural clubs, events, and workshops that allow us to connect with fellow students and celebrate our diverse backgrounds. 5. Mental Health and Counseling Services: Recognizing the challenges that international students may face, the university provides excellent mental health and counseling services. It's comforting to know that support is available when needed, and these services are respectful of cultural differences. 6. Career Services: UoB offers exceptional career services tailored to international students. From resume workshops to job fairs, they've been instrumental in helping me prepare for my career post-graduation. The university's strong network of alumni has also been a valuable resource. 7. Visa and Immigration Assistance: Navigating the complexities of visa and immigration regulations can be daunting, but the university's dedicated staff provided guidance and assistance throughout the process. Their expertise made the experience seamless. 8. Housing Support: Securing suitable housing can be a challenge for international students, but the university offers assistance in finding on-campus housing options with flexible payments. This support ensured that I had a safe and comfortable place to live. 9. Financial Aid and Scholarships: UoB offers various scholarships and financial aid options for international students. Their commitment to making education accessible is commendable, they also provide financial support for graduation through the guild of students.

Student

Verified

16/02/2023

On Campus

student experience

I highly recommend the University of Birmingham. I think the school environment is very friendly to international students. I was able to get guidance and help from students in the school. I was also able to get support and guidance from the professional team on my career path. I would recommend the University of Birmingham to first-time international students and Masters students.

Student

Verified

29/01/2023

On Campus

There is always somebody to help!

The university respects the culture and background of their highly diverse student. It carters to everybody's need and puts its student first. It tries to the make the student feel at home and helps them deal with the university life.

Student

Verified

27/01/2023

On Campus

Variety

I love studying Pharmacy at Birmingham and would absolutely recommend it, especially because of the variety in every aspect of the course. Firstly, the variety of people you meet from all areas around the country, and even countless others from outside the country. Each person has a different background and experiences creating a melting pot of personalities to interact with. Next, the lessons - there are numerous types of lessons we encounter on a weekly basis from lectures to dissections to a computer workshops. Additionally, specific to medical degrees, I have 7 placements annually in hospital, community, and GP pharmacies. The only lack of variety in the pharmacy course is the classrooms since there are limited number we can use and the medical school is separate from the main campus. The only part I don't enjoy about pharmacy is the distances and unreliability of public transport in Birmingham. Living in the vale, the university is a long 25-minute walk away and my closest shop is over 10-20 minutes to walk. Although there are closer accommodations, I really love my flat with its modern decor, large room, and social aspect of the shared kitchen.

Student

Verified

4/01/2023

On Campus

Experience at University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham has been an outstanding university. They have provided complete support during COVID-19. The university is incredible when accessing support with mental health. I currently study criminology at the university of Birmingham. The course has been brilliant, with constant support from lectures and tutors to ensure that you achieve the best grade possible. I could not recommend University of Birmingham more!

John

Verified

2/12/2022

On Campus

Cool

Great campus for studying with kind and professional staff and the campus is very well connected to the city center. There were so many people who wanted to enroll in the course that they had to queue for a new course for six months in advance. The classes were always crowded, but the professors never let anyone through. I love this uni

Joshua

Verified

30/11/2022

On Campus

A very welcoming uni

This university is regarded as one of the best in the world. They provide a welcoming environment that enhances the lives of the students because each one of them has a sense of community and a desire to study.

Beining

Verified

21/12/2023

On Campus

The professor's instructive pedagogical approach.

Professors in the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham tend to employ a facilitative pedagogical approach in their teaching. They guide students in language analysis through the application of discourse analysis and methods of linguistic research, fostering the students' ability to analyze various texts. The overarching goal is to maximize the impact of language. The entire process is characterized by a systematic and gradual progression, infused with a sense of humor and engaging elements.

Student

Verified

7/10/2023

On Campus

An amazing experience

Great, knowledgeable faculty with a beautiful campus. Lots of societies and clubs to choose from in accordance with your interest. One can also discover scholarship opportunities here. The course is perfectly designed and the career services at the uni are very helpful

Melanie

Verified

6/10/2023

On Campus

The beautiful campus and teaching expertise.

Overall the University of birmingham is just an incredible institution. From the array of expertise teachings and how phenomenal the campus is definitely enhances its beauty and is enriched with the amazing resources and incredible people that are always willing to help and make you feel welcomed everywhere you go. I would 100% recommend the University of Birmingham to be one of the best universities out there and through not only the various courses that they offer but all the social societies definitely adds to the fun and great opportunities that it provides

chikondi

Verified

4/10/2023

On Campus

Exceptional Support for international Students

Exceptional Support for International Students As an international student, my experience at the University of Birmingham has been nothing short of extraordinary, thanks to the outstanding support provided for international students. I would like to share my thoughts and experiences regarding the exceptional support I've received during my time here. From the moment I arrived on campus, it was evident that UoB prioritizes the well-being and success of its international students. Here are some key aspects of the support I've received: 1. Orientation Programs: The university's comprehensive orientation programs helped me acclimate to campus life, navigate administrative processes, and understand the academic system. I never felt lost or overwhelmed, thanks to the informative sessions and friendly staff. 2. Academic Advising: The academic advisors for international students are incredibly knowledgeable and approachable. They assisted me in creating a personalized academic plan, selecting courses, and understanding degree requirements. Their guidance ensured that I stayed on the right track academically. 3. Language Support: UoB offers exceptional language support services, including English language courses and conversation partners. These resources were invaluable in improving my language skills and building confidence in my communication abilities. 4. Cultural Integration: The university fosters a diverse and inclusive environment, making it easy for international students to feel like part of the community. There are numerous cultural clubs, events, and workshops that allow us to connect with fellow students and celebrate our diverse backgrounds. 5. Mental Health and Counseling Services: Recognizing the challenges that international students may face, the university provides excellent mental health and counseling services. It's comforting to know that support is available when needed, and these services are respectful of cultural differences. 6. Career Services: UoB offers exceptional career services tailored to international students. From resume workshops to job fairs, they've been instrumental in helping me prepare for my career post-graduation. The university's strong network of alumni has also been a valuable resource. 7. Visa and Immigration Assistance: Navigating the complexities of visa and immigration regulations can be daunting, but the university's dedicated staff provided guidance and assistance throughout the process. Their expertise made the experience seamless. 8. Housing Support: Securing suitable housing can be a challenge for international students, but the university offers assistance in finding on-campus housing options with flexible payments. This support ensured that I had a safe and comfortable place to live. 9. Financial Aid and Scholarships: UoB offers various scholarships and financial aid options for international students. Their commitment to making education accessible is commendable, they also provide financial support for graduation through the guild of students.

Student

Verified

16/02/2023

On Campus

student experience

I highly recommend the University of Birmingham. I think the school environment is very friendly to international students. I was able to get guidance and help from students in the school. I was also able to get support and guidance from the professional team on my career path. I would recommend the University of Birmingham to first-time international students and Masters students.

Student

Verified

29/01/2023

On Campus

There is always somebody to help!

The university respects the culture and background of their highly diverse student. It carters to everybody's need and puts its student first. It tries to the make the student feel at home and helps them deal with the university life.

Student

Verified

27/01/2023

On Campus

Variety

I love studying Pharmacy at Birmingham and would absolutely recommend it, especially because of the variety in every aspect of the course. Firstly, the variety of people you meet from all areas around the country, and even countless others from outside the country. Each person has a different background and experiences creating a melting pot of personalities to interact with. Next, the lessons - there are numerous types of lessons we encounter on a weekly basis from lectures to dissections to a computer workshops. Additionally, specific to medical degrees, I have 7 placements annually in hospital, community, and GP pharmacies. The only lack of variety in the pharmacy course is the classrooms since there are limited number we can use and the medical school is separate from the main campus. The only part I don't enjoy about pharmacy is the distances and unreliability of public transport in Birmingham. Living in the vale, the university is a long 25-minute walk away and my closest shop is over 10-20 minutes to walk. Although there are closer accommodations, I really love my flat with its modern decor, large room, and social aspect of the shared kitchen.

Student

Verified

4/01/2023

On Campus

Experience at University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham has been an outstanding university. They have provided complete support during COVID-19. The university is incredible when accessing support with mental health. I currently study criminology at the university of Birmingham. The course has been brilliant, with constant support from lectures and tutors to ensure that you achieve the best grade possible. I could not recommend University of Birmingham more!

John

Verified

2/12/2022

On Campus

Cool

Great campus for studying with kind and professional staff and the campus is very well connected to the city center. There were so many people who wanted to enroll in the course that they had to queue for a new course for six months in advance. The classes were always crowded, but the professors never let anyone through. I love this uni

Mahoro

Verified

22/01/2024

On Campus

Excellent reputation

The University of Birmingham has a strong reputation for academic excellence and research output that is why I chose to study here. The university boasts a faculty of renowned experts and scholars in various fields who are supportive to students in their academic endeavors. Birmingham offers many opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research across multiple disciplines. The university additionally, has modern facilities and resources to support student learning and research. However, certain classes have large student-to-faculty ratios, making it more challenging to receive individualized attention. The cost of living in Birmingham, especially for international students, may be higher compared to other areas in the UK.

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