Deciding to study for an MBA is a significant step for young managers and professionals. But making such a decision in the middle of a global health and economic crisis can be more challenging than usual.
This September, 49 aspiring managers resumed for the Lagos Business School Full-time MBA with a resolve to progress in their career despite the crisis, and for good reasons. The business landscape is uncertain. The job market has evolved, and professionals need to be amply prepared for the new demands of companies and industries.
For Chung Tsz, a citizen of Hong Kong who has experience in building Africa-focused NGOs, “technology-enabled businesses and de-globalisation will be the themes to watch in the post-pandemic world. The world will desperately need globally-connected experts, to move businesses and ideas across Africa, Asia, Europe and America.” He believes that the LBS experience will be a game-changer for him, as he will build up a valuable network in Africa and potentially create more impact across the globe.
The most experienced member of the class, Adetola Okunola plans to relaunch his career as a management executive after the pandemic. He said, “the industries I have in my purview include Energy (Integrated Oil and Gas) and Management Consulting. LBS will avail me the technical know-how and emotional and moral fortitude required from management executives. These and other skills gained from LBS would be integral in the attainment of my objectives”.
Joining the class with experience from KPMG, Olamide Onaolapo said the effects of the pandemic on the job market influenced her decision to join the programme. “A lot of organisations have not been recruiting because of the pandemic. And since I was transitioning, I decided to acquire more knowledge as the world deals with a new reality. I believe LBS can prepare me for the future of work by imparting knowledge and imbibing in me the culture to enable me to adapt and meet the demands of the post-pandemic world.”
The Full-time MBA 19 class is an impressive mix of professionals across industries – banking, professional services, law, oil and gas, and so on–including an Obama Fellow from Cameroon. On why she chose Lagos Business School, Faith Mpara said, “The primary reason that I chose LBS is that it is in Nigeria. I have deep admiration for Nigerians and their exploits in business. I also chose LBS because it is one of the few schools that offered extensive support during the application process. I had staff call on Sunday and assist me for hours when I had challenges with my submission. This is uncommon because I have completed applications with several schools and could not proceed because support was absent.”
Mpara, who is a beneficiary of the LBS Scholarship Scheme, also added, “LBS has an excellent reputation and financial support system for students. Apart from the scholarship scheme, the rest of my tuition needs are catered for by the Mandela Institute of Development Studies (MINDS). LBS’ reputation made this easier than it will have otherwise been.”
Also sharing his experience about the support offered by the School, Chung said, “I appreciate how far the team at LBS go to see that we get the most out of our MBA experience. For example, a former employee reached out to me to offer advice at the point of leaving his role at LBS. That says a lot about the School.”
Although the delivery format of the Full-time MBA requires students to attend physical classes every weekday, the new-normal demands that they take courses online until it’s safe to gather again, but some candidates do not consider this a challenge. One of those is Olufisayo Olowo, who admits that COVID-19 has changed world dynamics but expects LBS to retain all the benefits of the Full-time MBA even as it holds online. She also sees an opportunity. “As seen with major corporations, work will forever be a mix of online and offline interactions. By adopting these teaching methodologies, LBS prepares me for the world of work”, Olowo said.
Lagos Business School’s Full-time MBA is highly ranked. The two-year programme offers young professionals the opportunity to gain managerial skills and competencies to jump-start their career and business in emerging economies.