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I have recently started the Smartly Executive MBA, and after about 2 months, I thought it might be useful to drop a note of my initial thoughts. I will then do an update later in the course.

I have always been keen to undertake an MBA (Master of Business Administration) to provide further business knowledge to enable me to provide further value at work. I am an avid self developer always looking to learn and apply more to what I do, be this work or personal focussed.

A couple of downsides to a ‘traditional’ MBA is either time out of the workplace if undertaken full time over a year or so, or the financial burden of either full time (plus lost wages) or part time. It can also be very inconvenient to have to study somewhere which is away from home or disruptive to your lifestyle. Hence I was looking at distance learning courses.

I found out about Smartly, and it seemed to tick many of the boxes I was looking to fulfil. This Executive MBA course allows me to further embed my business knowledge through distance learning and flexible study, which is self paced but with structured learning. The course also mixes self study (modules, case studies, exams, exercises) with group participation projects, presentations, meet ups and excellent support.

Smartly offer a free MBA or a paid for Executive MBA (greatly reduced price to traditional MBAs due to business model of funding by potential recruiters and companies looking to recruit MBA graduates). This is a clever alternative on the market, by altering the business model to reduce costs for students thus making it financially more accessible.

What I also found intriguing was the innovative approach to learning via an app accessible on phone, tablet and laptop. Working in the IT industry this was very appealing, especially as it helped my ‘work anywhere’ mentality and interest in a technology led learning path. This had to be worth a try.

After competing the first couple of modules over 2 months (there is a preset and structured module list, although you can pick and choose if you want to) I can certainly say the approach is working for me, furthering my understanding of terminology, concepts, practical application and recaps. I am able to learn when and where I want to, at home, on the train, in a hotel etc, which was one of my critical requirements so enabling me to flex learning around work and family time – this is excellent, and a major draw compared to having to learn on a campus, flexibility is key.

You can find out more about the Smartly MBA here: https://smart.ly