There are a great number of qualifications available to you within the business sphere, but perhaps the most well-known and prestigious of these is the MBA. MBA stands for Master of Business Administration, and it’s a postgraduate business degree specifically designed to provide students with a broad overview of many different key business practices and processes. Quite often, many people envision this as a degree for people who have ambitions of climbing the corporate ladder all the way to the top within a large established company. They wouldn’t be far wrong.
The main aim is to prepare you for highflying executive roles within any company or industry, and the program generally requires applicants to have a few years of relevant work experience in order to enroll. Therefore, if you’re an entrepreneur with dreams of setting up your own business, you might feel that it’s not a suitable program for you. In reality, however, this is far from the case.
Of course, there’s no strict requirement to have any particular qualifications in order to start your own company, but you’ll find that having an MBA can give you a distinct edge in the competitive world of entrepreneurship. If you are keen to know more about this type of business degree program, who it is ideal for, and why it could be beneficial to entrepreneurs and make it more likely that you and your startup will succeed, keep reading.
What topics does an MBA cover?
One of the best aspects of studying for a course like the online MBA Michigan is the sheer breadth of topics that you get to cover. The idea is to give you a strong foundation in as many different areas of business as possible in order to prepare you for any number of high-level roles after graduating. You will complete a series of modules, some of which will be compulsory and others that you’ll choose from a much longer list of electives.
The exact curriculum you follow will differ according to a few different factors. Firstly there is the college you study with because each institution will be responsible for creating its own business degree modules. Secondly, there is the type of MBA you choose. There are general courses that follow the widest curriculum and also a range of specialist programs that focus more heavily on one particular aspect of business. For example, this could be marketing, management, accounting, international business, or entrepreneurship.
Others might focus on strategic planning and management, or leadership, while another student might opt for the brand management module. Take some time to look through what the course you have selected offers. If you are only just inquiring about taking an MBA, then why not get in touch with the university to see what modules are on offer. You might find that taking a module in the trends in healthcare administration and management or organizational consulting interests you and sways your views on which school to study at.
Many of these modules are just as relevant to entrepreneurs as they are to those working in established companies. They will be taught using a variety of methods such as lectures, seminars, tutorials, consulting projects, group work, assigned reading, written assessments, and so on. If you choose to enroll on the online MBA Michigan or another distance learning course, you’ll enjoy the same high standard of teaching, but it will be delivered via a virtual learning environment instead.
Choosing Your Course
Choosing courses such as the online MBA Michigan tend to attract older students in comparison to more academic master’s programs. The average age of the students is not the only way that an MBA differs from other master’s courses. It’s also much more interactive and participatory and involves a lot of presentations, group work, case studies, and project work on actual problems that real companies are facing. Generally speaking, you can complete a full-time program in one year and a part-time program in two years. You also have the choice between courses held online and on campus.
Why Choose an MBA?
Now that you have a better idea of exactly what this qualification is and the sort of topics you’ll learn on the online MBA Michigan, let’s take a closer look at how a graduate business degree can be of use to you as an entrepreneur.
As we’ve seen, taking an MBA is a fantastic way to boost your knowledge in a wide range of relevant areas. Of course, some topics will be more relevant to entrepreneurs than others, so tailor your curriculum in that direction when picking your modules or choose a business degree program that specializes in entrepreneurship. Having said that, almost every module available on the online MBA Michigan will be useful to entrepreneurs to some extent. This is because setting up and running your own business requires you to wear a lot of different hats and be responsible for a huge variety of tasks.
You could argue that it’s possible to learn everything you need to know via self-directed study or to operate on a trial-and-error basis as you set up your company. This is true to some extent and might be a good choice for those who can’t afford the high cost of MBA tuition. However, for those who can, this type of formal education gives you an unbeatable foundation. Plus, learning these topics in a supportive academic environment rather than in the real world where the success or failure of your company hangs in the balance can be a lot less stressful!
Unlike a lot of purely academic master’s programs, when you do a course like the online MBA Michigan, you will have the opportunity to work directly with external companies. This will mostly be on group and individual consulting projects, where you assist with solving genuine problems these companies are dealing with. In addition, there may well be a number of competitions you can enter, events you can attend, possibilities to study abroad, or internships you can apply for. As such, it’s a fantastic chance to gain a lot of relevant experience in a short amount of time, much of which will be helpful when it comes to setting up your startup. Make the most of it by saying ‘yes’ to every interesting opportunity that comes your way!
Of particular relevance to entrepreneurs are the MBA business degree modules that enable you to test out your product ideas, work on concept development, practice pitching, and engage in a number of other similar experiences. Through these, you can receive constructive feedback from peers and professionals in a supportive environment, with many resources at your disposal. This will prove invaluable when it’s time to try it out in the real world.
Taking an online MBA Michigan or other MBA program doesn’t just boost your knowledge; it also helps you to develop a wide variety of useful transferable skills. For example, you’ll work on your communication and presentation skills, both of which will be key when it comes to pitching investors or marketing your products and services to potential customers. Likewise, you’ll improve your time management and organization, which will enable you to better juggle all the different tasks and deadlines involved with setting up your own business.
Other abilities you’ll develop include critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills, all of which will make you a far more talented and successful entrepreneur. Finally, doing an MBA will do wonders for your confidence and leadership skills as a result of the many presentations you’ll do and group projects you’ll work on. These will prove invaluable when it comes to approaching potential business partners and leading a team when your company is large enough that you need to hire your own employees. Never dismiss the importance of being able to channel some inner confidence. It could be the key to your business being successful or allow you to climb the ladder by achieving those promotions.
Networking is a huge part of doing an MBA. This is true regardless of whether you do a course that’s held on campus or a distance learning program like the online MBA Michigan. You’ll meet a diverse range of people in different positions and industries who have all sorts of life experiences and skills that you can learn from. Firstly there are your fellow students, who will all be like-minded, ambitious and driven people that will help push you to achieve your full potential. Not only will many of them become lifelong friends, but you could also meet a future business partner.
In addition, there are the faculty professors that you’ll be studying under. These will all be experts in their particular field, who you can learn a lot from. Beyond that, you will also have the chance to network with alumni and other professionals from external companies during your course. This could be at virtual or in-person events or through working with them on consulting projects. Many more opportunities will be open to you as an MBA student compared to being a solo entrepreneur, and you could find yourself rubbing shoulders with potential mentors and investors on a regular basis. If you can gain experience like this, you have an advantage of those businesses entrepreneurs that don’t go through such a hands-on business degree program.
An MBA is an undeniably prestigious business degree qualification. It’s recognized all across the world and in all different industries, and having one is a great way to show potential business partners and investors that you’re dedicated to your field. It proves that you’re willing to invest time, effort, and money into your personal development and that of your company and will make other people feel more confident about working with you.
Completing a course like an online MBA Michigan can therefore help you to stand out from the ever-increasing entrepreneurial crowd. This is especially true if the college and business degree program you choose has a strong reputation in the industry. It will help to open doors for you and make it more likely that your new startup will succeed. What more could you want as a budding entrepreneur?
How can I fit doing an MBA around starting my own business?
If reading this post has convinced you of the benefits of doing an MBA as an entrepreneur, you might now be wondering how you can fit your studies around all the tasks and responsibilities involved in starting up or running your own business. One option is to take the business degree courses before you launch your business; however, if you don’t want to wait or have already started then the following tips might help:
- Study part time
This will mean a longer wait until you graduate but will decrease the amount of time you need to spend in class each week – giving you more time to spend on your business.
- Study online
Taking the online MBA Michigan gives you more flexibility around when you study and also cuts out any commuting time as there’s no need to travel to a campus. This makes it easier to fit your studies around your business obligations.
- Set up a study schedule
Analyze your existing commitments to see what times you can set aside for your online MBA Michigan business degree and then stick to that schedule as best you can. If unexpected meetings or problems arise, make sure to rearrange the same amount of study time so that your grades don’t suffer.
- Get support
Make use of your college’s support services, and ask your professors for advice if you need it. They may be able to help you figure out how you learn best. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer to hole up in the peace and quiet of your home office or embed yourself in the creative bustle of a coffee shop. Just find what works best for you so that you can be at your most productive when you study, making sure to take advice from your support system.
- Take care of you
Take care of your mental and physical health. Doing regular exercise and getting plenty of sleep might feel like it’s taking up time you could spend working or studying, but those activities will help your brain to function at full capacity, and, therefore, you’ll be more efficient and productive both in your startup and on your online MBA Michigan.