I was coasting towards the end of an MBA programme which was strictly online when I decided to enroll for the executive MBA programme at the Lagos Business School of the Pan-Atlantic University. The major decision driver for registering for the online MBA was the cost. Students are allowed to pay in monthly installments. There is also the issue of convenience as students can finish the course at their pace. A fellow student finished his programme within a four-month period! And the MBA programme had a global focus.
But then months into the programme, I noticed something. It appeared the word about the ease of the online MBA spread round and hundreds of students literally enrolled. It quickly dawned on me that the MBA degree of that institution may no longer be distinct as lots of individuals gravitated towards gaining that certificate.
One of the major reasons for enrolling for an MBA programme was to boost my chances of getting employed, based on the knowledge I would garner from the courses. However, brandishing the same certificate as others – hundreds of others – may not make me so distinct. The barrier to entry for that online MBA was low, so anyone with the requisite qualifications could enrol. Most students were also scoring As in the courses. I came to a point where I knew I had to take a decision.
My first option was to abandon the programme altogether. But then, I was already mid-way into it; and truth be told, I really learnt a lot given the global perspective of the online MBA. The second option was to enrol for another MBA, this time with a school which had a higher educational ranking and global recognition.
I did not consider any tertiary institution in Nigeria. I got a Masters Degree in Public Administration degree immediately after graduating. I really did not gain much from those 18 months, except the bragging rights of laying claim to a Masters degree. The other MBA options I found were pretty expensive, while others had bad reviews from current and prospective students of those institutions. One in particular which I was considering after I was done with my programme majored in Public Relations and Marketing which are the fields I currently operate in. But then my desire was to broaden my horizon and gain more knowledge, especially in the area of finance. I then stumbled on Lagos Business School MBA programme but was deterred by the cost. I later had a change of heart and enrolled.
I thought it would be a walk in the park. I thought my still on-going MBA experience would be brought to bear in my studies. I thought it would be easy to cope. I thought I would be able to stretch myself and overcome the various tasks, maybe not with ease, but not with so much difficulty either. I thought I would be able to find time to read. I thought I could combine the heavy academic load with the demands of my job. Four weeks later, I’m almost at the point where I have thought wrong. It’s far from being a walk in the park! Has giving up crossed my mind, lately? Yes! But then if others are doing it, and I sincerely do not know how they are coping, I am just convincing myself that I can.
Before you enroll for any of the MBA programmes at the Lagos Business School, make sure you are mentally prepared. Its by far the most stressful adventure I have ever embarked upon in my life. And I have experienced stressful scenarios in my life!