More online MBAs and other insights from Sheffield Business School’s Cindy Wang-Cowham

Global MBA

Why is an MBA relevant today and how might it evolve? We spoke to Dr Cindy Wang-Cowham who leads The Global MBA at Sheffield Business School for her thoughts and to learn more about her role. 

Please introduce yourself and your career to date.

I am a Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University. Prior to my academic career, I was a Human Resource Practitioner in a global US Company for seven years. I started my academic career after I completed my PhD in 2007. Since I started working at Sheffield Business School, I took on a number of roles including course leader and international recruitment. I am now leading the Global MBA course and have been for a few years.

What do you enjoy most about your role at Sheffield Business School?

I enjoy working at Sheffield Business School. Working here is not about working in a silo; it is about working together and achieving together, whether with people in the same department, the school or in the wider settings, on teaching quality, student experience, consultancy, outreach projects, external partners, and more. I find that the roles not only enrich my professional experience on collaborating with different stakeholders, but also develop leadership, the resilience and the ability to handle difficult situations. Being able to overcome challenges and perform well on the tasks gives me a great pleasure, whether alone or in a team. I like helping people, too. Seeing students achieving their goals and awards gives me great satisfaction.

Why do you think an MBA is relevant in today’s business landscape?

In my view, having business acumen is important to everyone. The ideology helps one understand how the world is connected and how business is run. An MBA provides a holistic view on all aspects of business operation, marketing, people, logistics, strategies, and more. It enables a world view when making important strategic decisions. We now live in a globally connected world. New technology and scientific discovery come out at a very fast pace. Knowledge and experience gained from an MBA can help a tech start-up for example achieve its potential and maximise its potential in terms of clientele, accessibility, digitalisation, commercialisation, fund raising, and much more.

Global MBA

Dr Cindy Wang-Cowham, Leader of The Global MBA at Sheffield Business School

What are your hopes for Sheffield Business School MBA graduates?

Upon the completion of an MBA here at Sheffield Business School, our MBA graduates have a good all-around knowledge of business and management in general and specialist knowledge of their chosen areas, also gaining extensive practical experience on problem solving and strategic decision-making. They would have had the experience of working on consultancy projects with real clients.   

A short answer to this is that I hope that they are successful in whatever they do. My immediate hope is that they will be able to fare and compete confidently with other applicants in the job market. The labour market is very competitive now. I believe what they have learned here will help them shine and stand out. In a long term, my hope is that they will achieve their full potential in their chosen field and be a leading figure.

How do you think the MBA might evolve in future?

MBA programmes have already been diversified over time in terms of routes, from generalist to specialist, in terms of delivery mode, from full time to part time, and in terms of targeted students, from executives, senior manager, junior manager to fresh graduates. MBA courses are designed to suit a wide range of student profiles. They are now delivered all over the world by the universities and their associated partners.

In future, I foresee further development in two areas. One is the provision of online MBAs. A taste of remote learning during the Covid Pandemic generated an appetite for online learning. It offers students greater flexibility in terms of time, space, and location. Traditional face to face education has its undeniable merit, people also start exploring the alternative ways of learning aided by advanced digital technology.

As digital technology advancement continues, the quality and experience of virtual interaction and remote learning experience will have advanced as well. At Sheffield Business School, we will be launching our online MBA this September. We will be offering a generalist online MBA, but also offering specialist routes on Finance, Healthcare, Human Resource Management, Project Management, Psychology, and more. Our online MBA course will be open to people wherever they are. It reaches out to people who want to study with us.

The other area is the extended MBA provision via the Transnational Education (TNE) Partnership. Many universities have already run a list of courses via TNE partnerships in different delivery modes, e.g. flying faculty, host delivery, etc. I envisage that MBA courses will be added to that list.

For additional insights, trends and perspectives about MBA programmes, visit the conversation here.

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