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Lizzie Mapplebeck

MBA student

Lizzie M Photo

Lizzie Mapplebeck

The University of Suffolk is geographically close to both work and home, so logistically it has worked well. The support offered to do the MBA as an apprenticeship was great – having a dedicated leader available to answer any questions was an obvious bonus including tripartite meetings with my line manager to ensure my learning remains relevant. The modules on offer as part of the MBA at the UoS were wide ranging allowing a wide breadth of learning that touch each part of the business world.

The course has provided me with additional skills, knowledge and understanding of the business world to enable me to take a more wholesome and systemic approach to work. For example, I now approach the development of Business Cases with a more comprehensive outlook as the course have given me the insight and tools to explore elements that are complex and multifaceted with confidence. Fitting in the MBA with full time work was a daunting prospect but having timetables published in advance and clear dates for critical deadlines has helped with planning around my work and family commitments.

The opportunity to network with lecturers, professors and other MBA students. I have learned so much from my peers particularly in class discussions and debates, the course is very interactive with the lecturers introducing topics and guiding discussions which provides the platform for sharing learning and experience from the real world, theory obviously plays a part but it is this real lived experience that has shaped my learning.

I really love my job so I didn’t apply for the MBA to give me ‘spring board’ into a new role, it was the broad curriculum that appealed to me. For me my main reason to do the MBA was the development of my soft skills and progression towards my bigger goals such as leadership, empathy, setting out strategy, direction and organisational culture and also the practicalities of business such as improving productivity and managing change.

I really enjoyed Strategic Marketing as the classes were really interactive and involved lots of group discussion with the assignment being a real live case – it was a really engaging module. I am surprising myself by saying that Research Methods was also a favourite, this was the module I dreaded the most! I am not a ‘natural’ researcher and data analysis is not something I have really ever been exposed to. However the lecturer was beyond fantastic and eased us into the subject introducing different methods and techniques and giving great guidance on how best to critically analyse, evaluate and interpret data to formulate feasible research questions and present arguments and findings. These techniques will make such a difference to how I approach and present my work.

My advice for other students is don’t think you can do it in half the time. I am a quick worker but the guided hours per module are pretty accurate! I have previously left lectures feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the new information and complex topics but sticking with it is so worth it, it all makes sense in the end! The University has made me feel so welcome, it treats its students with respect and is very inclusive. Regular updates and newsletters are circulated so as a student you always know what is going on and what extra support is available should you need it. I have been so impressed with the library and learning services at the University, they bend over backwards to help – this is definitely an added bonus. Oh and the on-site coffee shops are great too!