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My First MBA Semester During the Coronavirus Pandemic

My First MBA Semester During the Coronavirus Pandemic main image

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on applicants and students across the globe.

In the first half of 2020, many b-schools around the world were forced to shift to online learning – a decision that affected all aspects of the MBA experience, from admissions and life on campus to the job market.  

However, now that many campuses around the world have reopened for the fall semester, students are getting a taste of normality again after months of lockdown restrictions.

We’ve caught up with a number of first-year MBA candidates to find out their first impressions on going to b-school during the coronavirus pandemic.

Apoorv

Apoorv is a full-time MBA student at Durham University Business School.

After years of experience working in business operations and sales, Aproov decided to take the next step towards a managerial career and apply for an MBA.

He said: “My short-term goal is to take up a managerial position in the sales and marketing function of a leading, multinational firm. But my long-term goal is to eventually utilize my knowledge to expand a firm worldwide.

“To realize my aspirations, an MBA from a coveted university like Durham seemed like the next logical step, as it will help me attain managerial knowledge and supplement my existing acumen and knowledge.”

Apoorv is currently living on campus, an opportunity he is grateful for and is not taking for granted.

He said: “In these unprecedented times, I knew that it would be challenging for myself and the university [to live safely on campus]. Surprisingly, I’m getting a better experience than what I hoped for, and I really appreciate the amount of hard work the team at Durham are putting in to give us the MBA experience and ensure our safety.”

Apoorv says the MBA cohort has received plenty of career advice, emotional support and encouragement from the faculty and staff so far.

In terms of teaching, Apoorv says Durham has implemented measures for students to take advantage of in-person learning opportunities, including weekday lectures with interactive teaching and networking events with this year’s cohort and the school’s alumni community.

He said: “Overall, my MBA has been a positive experience for me so far. I’m looking forward to building a strong network with alumni and faculty who can pave the path for my future, as well as building lifelong relationships with students and the Durham community.”

Morgan

Morgan is a first-year MBA student at Imperial College Business School.

Before embarking on her business school journey, Morgan worked as the lead of operations for a non-profit start-up dedicated to addressing the under-representation of women in the technology field – an experience she says helped her develop new skills and push herself out of her comfort zone.

She said: “This period [at the start-up] awakened my intellectual curiosity in innovation and entrepreneurship, and it persuaded me that pursuing an MBA at Imperial would be a chance to explore my interest, strengthen my existing skills, and gain new experiences in a progressive environment that I’ll lean on for the rest of my career.”

Morgan is currently based in London. She says that Imperial has taken a “mixed” approach in regard to the MBA experience, with two to three classes a day four times a week, digital learning opportunities, networking events, club activities and career research.

She said: “Imperial, in my opinion, has clearly exerted an enormous effort to enable our cohort to be on campus as much as possible. Creating an engaging learning environment in the midst of a pandemic is an incredible juggling act, and I’ve been impressed by the school’s adaptability and ingenuity.”

In the upcoming months, Morgan hopes to fill her skill gaps, learn more about B2C Product Management and, most importantly, develop long-lasting relationships with the rest of the MBA cohort.

She said: “In these crazy, challenging times, I’m fortunate and excited to be grounded in one of the most innovative universities in the world.”

Written by Linda Mohamed

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 

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