The Weekend MBA gives students the opportunity to study an MBA while working full-time. It will help you develop a solid foundation in the core skills needed for business, while building a strong international network of industry contacts.
Itˇ¦s therefore a popular option for working professionals looking to further their careers.
TopMBA spoke to Imperial College Business School student Anna Semjen and Imperial alumnus Shaun Chande to find out how studying the Weekend MBA has helped their careers.
A Weekend MBA can help you discover your next career move
Before Anna started her Weekend MBA, she was working in a large financial company. However, since studying at Imperial College Business School, she has moved to a tech start-up in California, which is a lot more client-facing, challenging and diverse.
Anna largely credits her career change to her Weekend MBA.
ˇ§I believe the Weekend MBA helped me land my job, as well as giving me confidence to take on such exciting career opportunities when they come up,ˇ¨ she said.
Anna was helped by the Careers service at Imperial. At the start of the Weekend MBA programme, all students are assigned a Career Consultant who helps them with career goals. This personalised career service helps students who are looking to advance their careers.
Anna said: "I found the one-to-one sessions quite insightful. Sometimes being asked the right questions can help to guide you in the right direction.
ˇ§I liked the fact that we focused on strengths more than weaknesses. It helped to build up confidence and resilience for the future. Apart from the consultation there are also career fairs and CV writing guidance.ˇ¨
Benefit from strong contacts with industry
Studying a Weekend MBA offers students the chance to build strong relationships with ambitious students, leading faculty and business practitioners.
Shaun used his Weekend MBA at Imperial College Business School to gain the skills and connections he needed to move from technical oil and gas roles to his current role investing in clean technology.
Having completed his first post-graduate masterˇ¦s at Imperial College London, Shaun was already familiar with the school. He wanted to attend an MBA programme at a London university with a good reputation and a strong finance programme.
He said: ˇ§The programme at Imperial had strong links with industry and a clean tech module that was excellent. This, along with the finance courses I took, gave me the foundation I needed to get the role I was looking for.ˇ¨
Today, Shaun manages business development for a UK-focused renewables private equity firm investing in solar, wind, hydro and biomass.
Working while you study allows you to apply what you learn in real business scenarios
For Shaun, one of the main attractions of the Weekend MBA was the chance to work and study at the same time. He says the Weekend MBA programme is great for anyone wishing to study while progressing in their career.
ˇ§Working while studying gave me the opportunity to implement what I was learning on the job. I felt this made the learning more tangible,ˇ¨ he said.
At Imperial College Business Schoolˇ¦s 21-month MBA, students study their Weekend MBA for just one weekend a month, meaning many students choose to work while they study.
Anna wanted to gain the skills she needed to progress in her career but didnˇ¦t want to take a break from work to study. The Weekend MBA gave her the option to do both.
ˇ§It's an intense experience to go back to study and excel at work at the same time. However, the real-life experience combined with the academics is what I found valuable throughout the Weekend MBA journey,ˇ¨ she said.
Anna says a Weekend MBA gave her the best of both worlds, giving her the opportunity to visit campus for monthly teaching sessions, where she can socialise and enjoy campus life, while also applying what she has learnt in her day-to-day job.
ˇ§I frequently test and experiment with the theories learned in class to see how they work in action. I believe it is one of the best ways to learn and master any subject,ˇ¨ she said.
Learn a wide range of skills that you can use throughout your career
A Weekend MBA will teach you a wide range of skills that will be applicable in a variety of business situations.
At Imperial College Business School, students study core modules to build a foundation in business, and then shape their own elective and project portfolio to suit their personal academic and career ambitions.
For Anna and Shaun, it was the broad nature of the course that they found particularly beneficial.
Shaun said: ˇ§I use the skills I learnt almost daily, from financial modelling to negotiations. The MBA is so broad and gives you a great breadth of understanding across a number of different topics that become relevant at different points in your career.ˇ¨
Anna likes the balance between humanities and the more quantitative technical modules. She says she finds learning about economics very useful, helping her gain a better understanding consumer behaviour and the dynamics of different markets.
ˇ§I loved some of the models and theories we learned in class,ˇ¨ she said. ˇ§They are so simple yet so powerful when it comes to applying them to real business scenarios.ˇ¨