By Emeka Aginam
Today, information and communications technologies (ICTs) infiltrate classrooms around the world at an exceedingly rapid pace. With the gradual shift to online learning, an ICT entrepreneur and graduate student of Roehampton University's online MBA programme, Chikelue Oji, in this interview with Sunday Vanguard shares his experience on the institution's online MBA programme . According to him, the program has become a means of equipping graduates with leadership skills and strategic analysis. He explained how e-learning has equipped graduates with 21st century skills to face the challenges ahead.
Enrollment at the University of Roehampton Online
I signed up for the University's Masters in Business Administration programme in September, 2013. I chose the MBA programme because I had become interested in business, prior to, and after having founded my own ICT consulting company in 2008. After the recession years back, I became increasingly interested in ethical business leadership and realized that the recession and various business failures were as a result of a lack of sound business knowledge. This has prompted my enrollment for the university's Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programme to invest in getting the requisite knowledge.
Why Roehampton University
I chose the University of Roehampton because the institution has proven itself as one that caters expertly to the needs of busy professionals who cannot leave their jobs and home countries to travel to the UK for the conventional programme.
I enrolled at the university because I had been looking for an opportunity to study for a MBA degree in an internationally-recognized University, without the hassle of leaving my job, business, family, and country to travel to the UK for about two to three years.
Fortunately, when I came across a colleague that was doing an online MSc programme at the same university, I decided to check it out. After running my checks on the suitability of Roehampton to my requirements, I made the decision and enrolled.
Experience in online study
What I enjoy most about studying online with Roehampton include the flexibility of learning, easy access to information and learning materials and the global diversity of students. I am able to go to school on my laptop without the commute associated with the traditional brick and mortar educational institutions; this suits my busy schedule very much.
What has surprised me the most about my online learning experience is the fact that we learn for ourselves. It is a shared experience between the students and the instructors.
Collaboration with students
I collaborate with fellow students through the shared activities. This means of learning from the vast and diverse experiences of my fellow students is invaluable.
Facility at the school
I really enjoyed learning under the instruction and moderation of Dr. Cynthia Phillips in the module Learning and Leading in a Dynamic Era. She always had very explanatory examples and illustrations to drive home a concept. I especially appreciate the way she taught us the need to tie whatever work we did to the academic concepts that we were taught. She also challenged us to be ready to critique hypotheses and theorems and also to analyze various concepts in the light of our own experience and ascertain whether they hold true.
I have found the institution's student support service, enrolment support service and the library to be very useful in my learning process.Yes, I have been able to apply what I am learning to my current career. For example, my concept of leadership has changed significantly. I have also learned how to communicate my expectations effectively and influence people whilst applying different leadership styles and the Pygmalion effect, a phenomenon whereby the greater the expectation I place upon myself and others, the better we perform.
The Programme has equipped me with the knowledge I need to properly carry out my responsibilities in the management role that I currently occupy.I am inspired by the numerous successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs that have created value and a business out of their passion.