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When is the right time to study an MBA?

Balance studies, life & work

Have you ever considered undertaking an MBA? For many, the decision to undertake an MBA is often put on hold or put off because you feel it just isn't the right time.
In truth, there’s never really a “right” time to follow your dream of studying an MBA. You just have to go for it. All of the preconceived challenges and obstacles that may be holding you back can be overcome.

Challenge 1 – Balancing Personal, Professional & Academic life

Balancing personal, professional and academic life is one of the biggest perceived challenges of an MBA. Many prospective students think they need to wait a few years until their lives are calm enough to let them focus on their studies. However, juggling family, personal life and/or work with MBA studies is achievable.
Can't commit to spending time on campus week in and week out? Consider pursuing an executive MBA programme like the U.L. MBA where you only need to attend campus once a month. Remember, the lecturers of MBA programmes understand, and are willing to work around any struggles you may encounter while managing study as well as work and/or family life.

"As every parent knows, when you have two kids with extra-curricular activities, it feels as if you are running a taxi service. As my wife was working long hours, I had to pick up the slack. Thankfully, the lecturers on the MBA were as flexible as possible and open to discussing extensions to assignment deadlines."

Mark Condon, UL MBA Graduate, Class of 2013

Challenge 2 - Uncertain of your career path

Many candidates put off studying an MBA until they are sure of their career path. However, undertaking an MBA can actually help you achieve clarity on your career goals. It challenges your thinking and helps you both develop new skills and strengthen current skills. You are given a unique opportunity to gain insights into several other industries and explore different aspects of the business environment. You'll also find that you gain new perspectives on your current organisation or industry sector.

"Studying the U.L. MBA made me ask more questions, challenge more and change my thinking. It ultimately led me to consider that I was in a transition phase from public to private sector. Post graduation, I left a comfortable pensionable position to join a private organisation as its CEO."

Francis O’ Donnell, UL MBA Graduate, Class of 2010

Challenge 3 - What if something happens?

Many of us put off studying an MBA until a significant milestone has passed - marriage, a job promotion or our children starting school perhaps. However life events will continue to happen during your studies. Births, marriage, job promotions, job losses, illness, divorce and deaths can take us by surprise at any time. Life happens during an MBA.
Lecturers will be understanding you may have to defer some elements of the programme, or require deadlines be moved in order to graduate. If this is a concern for you, simply talk to the course provider before you commit to the MBA for reassurance.

"During the course of studying the UL MBA, I was diagnosed with Addisons disease, an autoimmune disease. Deadlines were moved, and support was offered. Lecturers were accommodating, flexible, and understanding. As a result, I was able to complete and submit all assignments."

Mark Hussey, UL MBA Graduate, Class of 2014

Challenge 4 – It's a Sizeable Investment

The sizeable fees involved can deter people from pursuing an MBA. However, it’s important to remember this is an investment in your future and it's one that will serve to pay off several times over. A high proportion of students from the UL MBA have achieved promotions and salary increases either during the course or soon after completion.
Flexible fee payment plans help make MBA courses more accessible while your employer may also provide sponsorship to assist your education. After all, your employer will directly benefit from the perspectives, skills and knowledge you will acquire through studying an MBA programme.

"My MBA has been instrumental in my promotion at work to a new role. I had a deep understanding of commercial aviation finance, however, through the U.L. MBA experience I developed an understanding of the importance of strategic focus and operational excellence in a competitive environment."

Denise Mangan-Fahy, UL MBA Graduate, Class of 2011

Challenge 5 - Lacking Belief & Confidence

Do you feel you do not meet the grade or profile of a "typical" MBA candidate? The common belief that the ideal MBA candidate is a “corporate power player” couldn’t actually be further from the truth. MBA candidates come from a variety of backgrounds, industries and positions. MBA programmes attract a mix of professionals from areas like the civil service, engineering operations, retail, finance, aviation, non-profit and even science backgrounds.
No matter your background or personality, you’ll bring valuable insights to your course and really contribute to the learning of your classmates. As a result, you'll find yourself more confident in your ability to make an impact in your organisation and industry.

“I need the external validation an MBA would give me. It gave me a lot of confidence going into interview situations to get the next job.".

Siobhan Ryan, UL MBA Graduate, Class of 2014

Just like many major steps in life, there is no "perfect" time to study an MBA. If you want to achieve career progression, add to your skills, open your mind, challenge your thinking and broaden your perspectives, you just need to go for it. Take the first step to achieving your full potential. Add to your list of personal achievements. Go get that MBA you've always wanted.

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