Career Advice Higher Learning

Getting on level terms before taking a step up

RDI Management Learning/Anglia Ruskin University

Many people who want to move into mid- or senior-level management jobs are increasingly finding that they have to compete with candidates who have master’s degrees.

To enable them to compete on level terms, the MBA offered by RDI Management Learning, in collaboration with England’s Anglia Ruskin University, is designed to equip managers with the knowledge and skills they need to work effectively at a strategic level in their organisations.

The programme teaches students essential modern management skills and helps them to develop an enterprising spirit grounded on solid business practices.

“We aim to provide students with analytical and decision-making capabilities in order to face different kinds of new challenges resulting from rapid changes in today’s growing business environment,” says Simon De-Lay, lead academic adviser at RDI.

“Students will study tools and techniques that will help them develop and manage products and services that will be competitive internationally.”

The programme consists of eight modules that give students a comprehensive overview of business management.

“The programme caters for students from a wide range of industries, including finance, retail, trading and manufacturing, and from a range of organisations from large to small. There are also modules which will help entrepreneurs who are just starting out that focus on areas such as quality management and financial management, to equip entrepreneurs with the sets of skills they need to make a business idea work,” De-Lay says.

“Modules in human resources management help students become more effective people managers, and the module on marketing management inspires students to investigate the role and function of marketing within the context of changing markets and increasing international competition.”

Those who travel frequently in and out of Hong Kong can choose to study the programme entirely online.

“Students can access study materials online and will also be allocated a tutor for academic support. They can contact the tutor as often as they like by telephone and e-mail,” De-Lay says.

Students are assessed through written assignments and examinations. As well as completing the eight modules, they also need to produce a 20,000-word dissertation to graduate. A personal supervisor is allocated to each student to help them with their dissertations.

The programme can be completed in anywhere between 18 months and four years. Applicants need to have an undergraduate degree from an approved university, plus at least two years’ professional full-time work experience.

“I suggest potential applicants talk to our advisers, who will be able to clarify how they fit the university requirements and advise on how best to present their management experience in their applications,” De-Lay says.

Andy Ho, a senior relationship manager in the finance sector who is currently enrolled on the programme, decided to study an MBA because he believes that it is the key to a brighter future.

After completing a degree in economics and finance in Australia, he worked on the mainland as a business planning manager before taking up his current position as a senior relationship manager in the finance sector.

“I chose to take this MBA because it’s more flexible than other MBA courses and it has a systematic and pragmatic approach, comprehensive resources and friendly administrative support. The course is very diverse and challenges my business acumen, strategic thinking, and ability to work hard,” he says.

“My favourite course is financial management. Financial management is a key segment of the finance industry which specifically concentrates on areas which will benefit those wanting to go into management. It also provides a good grounding in all economic areas.”

Ho was impressed with the practical nature of the programme. “The MBA is structured to make the most out of my current job situation. A large component of the MBA course is practical work exercises and assignments. I am tasked with assignments to gather information and formulate a strategy, or achieve certain goals that improve my understanding of how to run a business,” he says.

Like most students on the programme, Ho finds it challenging to find a good balance between work and study. “I work full time and normally get off work no earlier than 7pm, so I have had to learn how to plan my time well so that I can hand in my assignments on time and prepare for my exams without my job being affected,” he says.

“Having to take an exam in the evening after a full day at work can be a real challenge, but the online study options allow us the flexibility of revising whenever we are free. The course materials also help by being well organised, well structured, very clear and easy to follow.”