Earning your MBA when you’re (really) busy

Posted by David Jenkins

monash south africa

Dr Ludi Koekemoer,
Head of Department: Management, School of Business and Economics, Monash South Africa

Most of us know that a reputable Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can fast-track your business career, whether you’re an entrepreneur or working your way up the corporate ladder. Good MBAs give you extensive training in business theory, practical know-how and new ways of thinking. The result? You become an innovative problem solver in a world of complex business challenges, earning more than your colleagues, and growing into senior and international roles faster.

But there’s a catch: earning a rigorous MBA is hard. The course content is hard, to be sure, but even harder is trying to study part time when you’re already balancing a busy corporate managerial role with personal responsibilities like a family, a social life, and staying healthy.

No one doubts that you’re driven to succeed and grow your career. But after-hours study and compulsory group work is difficult. And in case you think you can ‘cheatsheet’ your knowledge with the many MBA-in-a-month pocketbooks found in the business sections of local bookstores – you can’t. Those books only broadly reference some well-known business case studies, and are no substitutes for learning in order to critically and creatively apply in-depth theory to real-world scenarios.

A new way to do an MBA

Newer MBA programmes are designed to be both academically rigorous and as flexible as possible, helping you to learn through challenging, but not crippling, coursework. These newer programmes offer things like:

  • Anytime enrolment, allowing you to start the degree at the right time during the year. Too many professionals are pressured into a once-yearly enrolment, even if they’re facing a time-sensitive deliverable at work or a newborn at home. This sets them up for early failure.
  • On- and off-line learning, where you’re guided to self-study online with VoIP or email support when needed, while gaining all the benefits of face-to-face time with your peers and lecturers on selected dates and time. The result is less frequent, but more focused, trips to campus.
  • Daily support in the form of a module or course pacer, telling you what to study by when.
  • A part-time MBA can, and should, become your biggest competitive advantage, since you’re applying course theory in your everyday work environment and gaining on-the-ground experience from day one. The key is to choose a programme that’s designed to heighten that advantage, not hinder it.

Dr Ludi Koekemoer is the Programme Manager for the Monash South Africa MBA which is launching in April 2016 with first classes beginning in July.

About the Monash South Africa MBA:

The MSA MBA also offers maximum flexibility to part-time students, accommodating the time demands of work and family. Students can enroll in the MBA anytime during the year, since subjects are offered in 5-week blocks, one subject at a time. Students can miss blocks and complete this at another stage, therefore the degree can therefore be completed in 18, 24, or 36 months.

The MSA MBA is a fully accredited NQF level 9 degree with the South African Qualification Authority. To qualify for admission, prospective students must possess an HEQSF level 8 qualification, for example a four-year degree, a Postgraduate diploma, or an Honours degree. Alternatively, if students have an NQF level 7 qualification, relevant work experience and other credentials they can apply to enter via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).The application deadline for 1 July 2016, and enrolment for the first classes should be completed by 13 July 2016.

Visit for more information, call +27 11 950 4009, or email [email protected]


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