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How An Online MBA Can Fast-Track Your Professional Development

Nottingham Business School’s Online MBA, a world top-50 program, offers a fast-track option that helps professionals like pharmacist, Soo Fang Lim, grow in their workplace in just 18 months


Wed Apr 7 2021

Online learning has been a distinct reality for so many during 2020 through 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed classes online and kept students away from campus. Since 2020 online MBAs have soared in popularity, allowing people from all over the world to study, develop their career, and work from home. 

According to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s (GMAC) Application Trends Survey, 84% of online MBA programs saw an increase in applications in 2020. Soo Fang Lim is one such student benefitting from online education. 

Soo is a recent graduate from the Online MBA Fast Track at Nottingham Trent University’s Nottingham Business School. The school's distance learning MBA has recently been ranked among the top 50 Online MBA programs in the world by QS 2021.

Thanks to the fast track option, which equips students with the core knowledge of the on-campus MBA in the shortest time possible, Soo was able to complete her degree online in just 18 months.

A manager for a local community pharmacy, Soo was able to balance work while also studying and applying her MBA knowledge directly into her job day to day, fast-tracking her professional development.

Continue to work while studying

Before starting the Online MBA, Soo had worked her way up into a position where she was running the pharmacy, ensuring a steady and regular provision of NHS services to patients, and consistently hitting performance targets. But she wanted more. 

“Over the years, I had been keen to pursue an MBA to further develop my management skills in this ever-changing business climate,” she explains. “I considered an MBA as a major investment in my career and personal development, as it would not only help to fill my knowledge gaps but would also provide me with a platform for the next steps in my career.”

She decided that Nottingham Business School was the perfect choice for her because of its reputation and double accreditation from AACSB and EQUIS. The school is also a United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) Champion, and holder of Small Business Charter accreditation.

It was particularly useful for Soo to be able to learn at a distance—the content delivered on NTU’s Online MBA is to the same standard as that taught on their campus program, but with the added benefit of students being able to study around their current life commitments.

Topics in the course cover globally relevant subjects such as operations management, global marketing management, and the management of people. There are also workshops and activities covering professional and leadership development, which allow students the opportunity to connect with others in their cohort, as well as faculty and other professionals from across the business world.

Online learning, Soo says, “provides numerous ways to learn and interact through video lectures, real-life case studies, and group assignments. The online platform also provides convenient access to all learning materials and connection with peers and tutors. The experience is comparable to the on-campus MBA but in a more flexible format that allowed me to study anytime to fit around my busy working schedule.”

Though Soo studied the core MBA curriculum over 18 months, NTU offers students the opportunity to dive deeper into the data-driven side of business.

The school’s Online MBA with Data Analytics provides an analytical grounding for students looking to harness the power of big data within their business framework. Like the traditional Online MBA pathway, the Data Analytics specialization is also offered as an 18-month fast track option.

Apply your knowledge directly to your career

During the course of the Online MBA, Soo says she learned theories and frameworks that focused on the complex nature of organizational change. She was able to apply in real-time what she had learned and implemented multiple change projects that improved the operations of her organization. 

“These skill sets are valuable as they are highly transferable in any organization and I think it adds tremendous value to my long-term career aspirations as a leader,” she explains.

Both the Online MBA Fast Track and regular Online MBA offer these opportunities for progression and development, just at slightly different paces. With a focus in the program on responsible leadership, values-led organizations, business information and decision-making, and strategic change management, the needs of leaders in a variety of industries can be met.

The students who take this course have an average of over 12 years of business experience and Nottingham Trent’s international representation is broad. NTU’s online students come from 78 different countries all over the world, making it a global melting pot of experience and opportunity.

Simulations and consultancy projects allow those already working in industry to apply case learning to their current roles. The online MBA programs at NTU combine professional development, theoretical knowledge, and better workplace understanding with the day-to-day experiences of your job.

“The program helped me to develop my personal and professional values and decision-making skills,” Soo explains. “I learned the skills of critical thinking and self-awareness as a leader; I have also been able to incorporate reflective learning to improve my leadership capability day in day out.”