Combining study and remote work in a pandemic: The LBS EMBA perspective

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Combining study and remote work in a pandemic: The LBS EMBA perspective

“I am relieved that the pandemic is not impeding my programme as badly as I initially envisaged.”

Adesola Mabawonku is a student on the Executive MBA (EMBA 24) class at Lagos Business School, who like every other MBA student at the School, is compelled to continue the programme strictly from home due to the pandemic. 

The Lagos Business School (LBS) EMBA is a two-year programme that targets busy professionals who want to gain new knowledge and apply the same in their workplaces simultaneously. It has a reputation of being an intense but rewarding academic experience, but its demands have undoubtedly been turned up a few notches considering the limitations of the pandemic.

For students on the EMBA, a new host of challenges have arisen. For Kazeem Shitu, the biggest of those is “the absence of physical interactions and the rich experience that derives from being in a classroom”. Like combining studies with full-time work wasn’t taxing enough, Kazeem and his classmates now have to combine online education with work-from-home and other responsibilities required of them as adults with families. 

Adesola attests to this struggle, “balancing an enclosed life with work and online studying demands some readjustments; as I now have to combine more roles simultaneously due to the lockdown. I no longer have a quiet space for myself, and there is more demand for my attention, especially with the children’s online schooling”.

While LBS may not be able to solve the challenge of balance for its students, it can ease the stress by providing them with a smooth online learning experience. So before the Nigerian government announced a lockdown of activities across the country nearly three months ago, the School had acted by taking measures to ensure that its students do not experience a study gap while adhering to social distancing rules. Classes transitioned online seamlessly, and resources to sustain interconnectedness were provided. 

Commending the level of proactivity, Kazeem says, “One of my greatest fears during the announcement of the lockdown was the postponement of classes. I have to commend the way LBS quickly implemented the online classes, as I am currently working on a tight schedule and any delays to the EMBA would have a direct impact on my plans for the future”.

On the potential of the pandemic to affect her plans, Adesola is positive that the effects, if they exist at all, will not be significant. “The world in itself is changing, so being adaptable is essential. The uncertainties envisaged for the future has enabled me to place my plans into a better perspective,” she stated.

The future remains mostly uncertain, and in addition to surviving the unprecedented reality presented by the pandemic, LBS is unyielding about delivering an exceptional and productive learning experience to participants across all its programmes. From repurposing existing seminars to designing new online programmes and sustaining the quality of its MBAs, the School remains steadfast in its mandate to solve Africa’s business problems. 

 

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