Today we interview recent Online MBA graduate Njáll Andersen, from Iceland, who completed the Online MBA program in leadership this past June. Andersen has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and currently works as production manager at VHE, an industrial goods and services company.
What do you think are the benefits of studying online?
Having a full-time job and a family while doing an MBA was obviously challenging. But the Online MBA program grants you the flexibility to work in your own time. The on-site programs I looked at before choosing the EU program all had the disadvantage of requiring attendance, meaning that I would miss days from work during the program. My geographical location also meant that I would have to travel each time. An online program also has the added advantage of having a very diverse student body, which is another source of valuable lessons.
What has your on-campus experience been like?
The on-campus weeks are an important part of the networking aspect of the EU Online MBA program. They take place in 3 of EU’s 4 campuses: Geneva, Munich and Barcelona. Besides the excellent industrial visits, the informative guest lectures and meeting fellow students, it has really been a unique experience. Each on-campus week brings different lessons and memories, friends and opportunities.
What advice would you give to a student wanting to complete an online program?
Unless you have a lot of spare time on your hands, then I suggest going for the online part-time program. It is half the pace of the full-time one, but can be a handful at times nonetheless. As appealing as it is to get the job done in a short period of time, you have to sacrifice something (family, friends, hobbies). You are here to learn, give it time.
Has the EU Online experience influenced your career goals?
I don’t think any of us would be here if we did not have any expectations regarding our careers. The program opens up a world of leadership and management, providing you with the tools to tackle real-world issues and advance in your professional career, whichever one it might be.
What are the three main lessons you learned during your studies?
Each week, apart from homework and business case assignments, we had forum discussions in the learning platform, Moodle, for each course. This is where the different opinions from the international diverse student body shined. It is a wonderful opportunity to broaden one’s horizon and learn from other students’ perspectives.
As Andersen himself noted:
“I feel that in order to become an effective and respected manager, one needs to balance three aspects of life: The professional life, the interpersonal life, and the private life.”