The path to success is not without its share of challenges, and sometimes, making mistakes with your MBA programme is part of that journey. What may seem like a disaster is not always insurmountable however. The good news is that if you are aware of some of the mistakes made commonly by MBA students, you can also learn to avoid making them yourself.
One of the biggest causes of mistakes is often a lack of preparation. Deciding on a whim to complete your MBA can put you at risk of being unprepared for the challenges ahead. You might rush things that should not be rushed, or skip things that really should not be skipped.
In today’s blog post, we take a look at some of the most frequently made mistake when doing MBAs online in South Africa.
Avoid Making These MBA Programme Mistakes
Top mistakes to avoid during your MBA application include the following:
- Ignoring the overall application
You have put thought into your essay, carefully updated your CV and considered your recommendations, but what about the overall application itself? Does the application read well? Do all the elements flow logically in a way that is easy to read and understand? Have you selected stories and skills that are aligned with your CV and experience? Is any information repeated, or is the application clear and simple? Looking at the broader picture will help you notice anything that needs to be revised.
- Misunderstanding volunteer experience
It is great that you took part in a recent social media blanket drive. It’s fantastic that you donate to local charities. But what business schools are really looking for when it comes to volunteer experience is whether or not you have displayed leadership during your volunteer efforts. There is quite a big leap between donating old clothes or money and organising a clothing drive or food relief campaign. If you are in the process of gaining volunteer experience, keep this in mind and look for ways that help on a deeper, more involved level.
- Submitting an impersonal, dull essay
Your MBA dissertation gives you the opportunity to truly shine, but sadly, not all students take advantage of this chance. Business schools are certainly looking for achievements that you are highlighting, but that does not mean that they want to see a dull, impersonal account of all the things you have done in your personal and professional life. What they want to see is something that gives some indication of who you are, what you are all about and what your dreams are for the future. Remember that it will be actual human beings reading your essay. To keep it interesting, don’t be afraid to use your own voice, weave in some stories, make it humorous (appropriately so!) and most of all, make it personal.
- Lack of research when applying for schools
Another thing to remember is that your essay should not be a generic document that can be used to apply to multiple schools. Hopefully, you will have put some thought into the type of school you wish to attend… long before writing your essay. If you are looking for a flexible, advance school that offers distance learning MBA opportunities, you might consider the remote learning aspect in your essay. You could talk about the challenges you have faced in your journey, your responsibilities and dreams and how a distance learning campus would allow you to make those dreams happen.
- Choosing your recommenders poorly
Do not choose recommenders on title alone. While some may have the benefit of having a mentor or boss who is at a senior level and willing to write your letter of recommendation, others may be tempted to choose someone who seems better on paper rather than someone who is truly able to give you a solid endorsement. What matters more than title is relevance and authenticity. A junior partner or peer who you have worked with closely, and is able to give honest, glowing feedback about your skills would be a far better choice than a senior who only knows you vaguely.
By putting a bit of thought into your MBA application, you will be in a far better position to not only avoid making these mistakes, but also get the best chance of MBA programme success.
Business Management is an ideal choice for anyone wanting to fast-track their career or learn more about the realities of starting or managing a business. By exploring the various facets of management within the business sphere, from finance to communication and marketing, students are given a broad understanding of the skills needed to succeed in business.
One of the best business management courses to consider is the Higher Certificate in Business Management. This year-long course aims to build critical skill for better productivity, efficiency and performance in the world of business. It is ideal for undergraduates wanting an introduction into business, as well as those wanting to change career paths or improve resumes through by increasing crucial skills.
What exactly are the main benefits of studying Business Management, and why is this course worth considering for your career?
Why Consider Business Management Courses?
You might decide to take Business Management courses if you encounter one or more of the following challenges…
- Your work experience is not enough to get ahead
Your own experiences may have gotten you this far, but whatever your chosen career path, it is virtually impossible to know everything from experience alone. In the world of business and management, theory, development, strategies and insights can far surpass on the job experience. You may have built up plenty of experience in one side of business, only to realise that you are notably lacking in another side. A course that is designed to give a broad, encompassing overview of ALL sides of business will allow you to gain the understanding you need to get where you want to go.
- You are being overtaken by changing technology
How well do you think you understand the latest technology in processes, communication and business? You may not think so, but as technology continues to reinvent processes, change (if not replace) existing job roles and create new roles, it is more important than ever before to stay abreast of the changing landscapes of business. If you are not actively trying to learn and stay on your toes, you may find that you get left behind. Studying further to arm yourself with all the knowledge you need is the best way to keep up to date on your skills.
- Your understanding is limited to your current role
Those who work in the financial side of a company seldom understand much about what the marketing people do, and vice versa. In today’s competitive arena, being able to get a bigger picture of how businesses work, across all areas of operation, is essential. If you have dreams of starting your own company, or moving up the corporate ladder into a management position, this is especially important. Taking a year out of your life to study while you are working is a small investment when you consider the benefits that it could offer in the way of growth.
- Your understanding is limited to practical experience
We know that nothing can replace the value of practical, hands-on experience in the real working world. But, much like you need that experience to know exactly how a business really operates, theoretical knowledge and experience can be equally valuable. In fact, the most powerful combination includes both practical and theoretical knowledge. By learning current strategies, concepts, ideas and best practices, and getting access to case studies that indicate the best way to make decisions in business, you will be equipped with a well-rounded, holistic understanding of business.
- You are lacking insight and interaction from peers and mentors
You may have been working for some time, learning a bit as you go and making do with what you have. But perhaps you are feeling stuck or unable to grow. The value of studying further goes far beyond the information you learn. It also includes the insight and interaction from your peers – fellow students who have plenty to offer from their own experiences. It also includes the chance to find mentoring opportunities through lecturers and even fellow students. Studying remotely at a distance learning school does not limit this opportunity. As any business school graduate knows, networking is a major part of the studying process, after all.
By looking at what you stand to gain from Business Management courses, you will soon see just how much these courses have to offer.
The road to MBA accreditation is not always the easiest, but it is certainly one of the most rewarding. If you have big plans to get ahead in the world of business, this programme is a must. One of the most commonly asked questions that future MBA students have often comes down to what steps are needed to get there.
From an admission point of view, basic requirements include an appropriate Honours Degree or professional Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent). In addition, applicants must be 25 years or older with a minimum of three years’ work experience. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) students may also be accepted in South Africa.
But over and beyond the bare minimums, there are quite a few things to consider when preparing to do an MBA programme.
How to Prepare for MBA Admission
Some tips that will help you plan for your MBA admission include the following:
- Focus on your language and communication skills. Read as much as you can, every day. Newsletters, publications and other enriching reading material will help you improve your vocabulary as well as broaden your horizons. Another tip is to use a dictionary and thesaurus often to ensure that your communication (written and verbal) is error-free.
- Get used to the idea of public speaking. Learn from respected television news anchors on serious programmes, and start practicing your expression and speaking abilities. If you get nervous about the idea of speaking out loud, start by reading the newsletter aloud for a few minutes a day. For best results, use a mirror so that you can observe your body language.
- Maths is non-negotiable, not matter how much you hate it. It starts in high school and continues all the way through university and beyond… learning to master maths is the only way to ensure that you are equipped with an often challenging MBA programme that uses maths AND language. If you struggle, start taking extra lessons as soon as possible. If you dropped this subject in school, pick it up as an adult so that you catch up.
- Many students have a background in engineering or maths. This does not mean that others who do not have strong backgrounds in these subjects will be disqualified. It does however show just how important numbers and logic are in this programme. It also shows that you will have to work extra hard to build any skills you may be lacking. One way to enhance your logical skills is to start working on puzzles and quizzes on a regular basis.
- Determine what pre-courses are needed. Invest in good quality C.A.T and G.M.A.T preparation books and start preparing yourself mentally. Even your study choices after matric can affect your chance of MBA success… choosing a course such as a Bachelor of Business Administration will give you a good framework for things to come. Coaching programmes can also be very useful.
- Determine your weak areas and strive for continuous improvement. Yes, you have strengths, too, which should never be discounted. Knowing your weaknesses will help you get proactive about any and all challenges that you could face. It will also give you the best chance of succeeding, by determining what areas you need to focus on the most.
- Get advice from those who’ve done it before. If you know any seniors and friends who have been admitted to business school, ask them for their advice about the admission process and what is required. This can greatly simplify things if you know what the school is looking for in applicants. It will also help you prepare properly.
Still have questions on the MBA process? Check out our MBA FAQ to get useful information on the Regent MBA Programme.
Business management courses are ideal for anyone wanting to get a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in the business world. As a distance learning qualification, a course such as the Higher Certificate in Business Management from REGENT Business School gives you an overview of business management theory as well as practice.
This course is ideal for those who wish to pursue a career within business related fields, as well as those wanting to expand their skills within their current careers. It is also excellent for small business owners and entrepreneurs who wish to learn more about running a business from a financial, marketing and management point of view.
What to Know About Business Management Courses
Essentially, business management courses offer insight into the world of business. Students will increase understanding of the various facets of business, while developing key skills to help them increase productivity, efficiency and performance within the often highly competitive business environment.
Some of the key focus areas of this type of distance education certificate include the following:
- Learn how to apply the fundamental principles of business within a real-world working context;
- Learn how to analyse and implement financial data for effective decision making;
- Learn how to use financial management tools to obtain and manage resources;
- Learn how to use communications and IT systems for better communication;
- Learn how to recognise major success factors when running small businesses;
- Learn how understand the role of entrepreneurs and their role within small business;
- Learn how to create and plan marketing strategies for optimal business growth.
The typical admission requirement for a Higher Certificate in this field is a national senior certificate (Matric) with minimum admission requirements. As it is a distance learning qualification, you will be able to study part-time while working your current job, or while raising children if you are a stay at home mom wanting to advance a career. If you live in a more remote area, you do not have transportation or you prefer the flexibility of e-learning over traditional institutes, studying through distance programmes can be an ideal way to increase your skills. This sort of course is also a fantastic investment for companies who wish to grow a team of skilled employees. As the course gives a well-rounded view of business, it can help greatly to grow future managers and leaders.
Small business owners benefit greatly from this type of course, but those who studied in a non-business focused field, and now want to increase understanding of business studies, will also benefit from one of these courses.