Last fall, Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business launched the Professional MBA (PMBA) program to enable working professionals accelerate their careers and obtain their MBA, while continuing in their jobs and having a schedule that allows balance.
And, because students in the program are seasoned professionals with diverse backgrounds, the classroom environment is dynamic and enriching. Students gain a network that extends beyond their professional circles, and exposes them to different perspectives and approaches to solving problems.
“That is what makes the PMBA unique,” Zain Haider, a current PMBA candidate and a medical imaging technologist, said. “There is always a way to link the content to your own experiences when discussing with others.”
“We can also leverage on each other’s expertise, and this enriches and solidifies what we are learning in class.”
While Gbenga Aliu – another candidate and assistant controller at FreeBalance Inc. – added: “We have built a healthy interactive relationship amongst ourselves and that has helped a great deal.”
This environment, and structure, is also providing students with access to a range of resources which they wouldn’t otherwise have access to, Gbenga explained.
Structured in an intensive format over a 16-month period, the program’s courses are delivered every second Friday and Saturday to accommodate demands of work and life. Breaks are scheduled in around key times for family as well, such as March Break.
The curriculum delivers strategic management concepts and develops skills for complex decision making, with a significant focus on applied, real-world learning through a variety of approaches that include case studies and client-based projects.
“The program has been profound,” Mujidat Durodola, a candidate and a supply chain business analyst at the Chevron Corporation in Nigeria, said. “Learning from seasoned professors and experienced classmates has been the highlight for me – it has influenced my thought processes positively.”
“And, because learning is experiential, I have identified feasible solutions to some pain points within my organization; I look forward to more responsibilities as a supply chain professional. Also, I am learning more about business structures and operations and I hope to apply some of these insights to my new non-profit – Learners’ Purse – for underprivileged African children with limited access to elementary education.”
Zain also credited the focus and commitment to applied learning – along with Carleton’s student-centric approach – as the reason for choosing this program in the first place.
“The experiential learning has allowed us to tackle areas needed for improvement while leveraging on others’ expertise and knowledge. It is quite rewarding when we have to crack these cases and get perspectives from various professionals,” he added.
Regardless of their background, this program is also designed to help students enhance their skills and knowledge, while providing them with an integrated management education.
“I have been working in the medical field over 10 years and coming to business school required adapting to the languages and expertise of others,” Zain said. “It is a lot different than what I was used to.”
“But I found a huge parallel between the business and health areas – how you develop your people skills, yourself, critical analysis in complex cases, etc. It’s not that because you come from a different background, you won’t be able to solve a business cases in experiential learning – your experiences will be key to achieving this.”
Applications for Sprott's Professional MBA are being accepted until July 1 and are reviewed on a rolling basis. Please visit the PMBA website to learn more.
Sprott School of Business
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