© J. Francois Barnard - April 29, 2021
My MBA is in full swing now, and I am having fun! I enjoy the weekly routine and, yes, even the pressure. Having a full-time job and doing an MBA full-time is challenging, to say the least. But that is what I signed up for. My strong commitment to completing my BSBA has been extended into this MBA program.
But what are the differences between doing a BSBA and an MBA? Are there any?
To that, I say an unequivocal YES!
When I started with my BSBA (Bachelor in Science, Business Administration) at UoPeople, the university chose my first two courses. That was still the same when I started my MBA (Masters in Business Administration). The university also chose two courses for me to take for my first semester. From the second semester onwards, I can choose which courses to take. The first three courses are part of the "foundation phase," and all credits for it count towards your degree.
But what are the differences?
We still log into the same Moodle platform, but now with a new student number. You do not retain the student number of your previous studies at UoPeople. The Moodle platform still functions the same, but I noticed some cosmetic changes.
I noticed that the activities are: Learning Guide, Discussion Forum, Written Assignment, and Portfolio Activity. The latter used to be called the Learning Journal, and that part still functions the same. It was only the name that changed.
The MBA activities do not include Self Quizzes, Graded Quizzes, Review Quizzes, or Final Exams. Yes, Week Nine (Exam Week) is not there.
Where the bachelor's program has a nine-week semester, graduate school has only eight weeks. But do not be fooled. The load is not lighter. To the contrary! The bar has been raised!
In 2017, the 6th edition of APA was still active, and during the first few courses, the instructors drilled the requirements into us. In 2019, the APA launched its 7th edition. I sensed a new focus on APA requirements from the instructors. Still, nobody explicitly informed us about the 7th edition and why we had to adjust the formatting style of our assignments.
At the start of the MBA, one instructor published his guidelines on APA requirements and instilled the fear of God into us if we did not follow them.
I complied. Or at least, I try my very best to do so.
In BUS 5112 and BUS 5113 (Marketing Management and Organizational Theory and Behavior), we started with about 30 students per group. We experienced unusually high plagiarism in the Discussion Forum and Written Assignments in the first two weeks. The strict instructors addressed the problem and warned many students (more than 20) that plagiarism was unacceptable behaviour. By Week 3, the student numbers dropped from 30 to 11 in BUS 5112 and from 30 to 5 in BUS 5113.
A few students told me that the pace was too high and that they dropped the second course because the work was just too much to handle. I understand that. However, what I saw from the quality of assignment submissions was that a few students were not ready to do an MBA.
There is a lot of focus on authoring quality papers, and not everyone is geared to transfer thoughts onto paper.
While I feel sorry for those who dropped out, I appreciate that the standard is high enough and that the instructors maintain it. It enhances the value of this MBA qualification.
Will I recommend it? Most certainly!