5 Minutes with MBA Graduate Shaun Van Wyk
When we sat down with AIB Graduate Shaun Van Wyk last year, he shared why AIB was his first choice to complete his MBA, and how he is able to practically apply the MBA in his position as Marketing Manager.
Why did you decide to study an MBA?
The MBA has been on my to-do list for about 15 years now. I’ve worked in management at various levels for a number of years, and although I’ve got the experience, I’ve always felt that I needed to bolster my academic knowledge. One of the main reasons I studied the MBA is because of the fact that it does give you all the skills and knowledge to fast-track your career.
Why did you choose AIB over other higher education providers?
Flexibility was important to me, as I’ve got a young family and I travel quite a bit for work. There’s no way I would have been able to attend classes, so distance learning worked for me. With AIB, I was able to structure my studies around my work and family.
You also want a provider that’s going to be respected both in your work and out in the marketplace as well, so AIB’s credibility was important.
Finally, affordability was a factor. Gone are the days where companies pay for MBAs en masse. As it was something that I was paying for, I needed it to be an affordable investment.
How have you applied the MBA in your current role?
I use the MBA in a number of ways. In my role, we’re responsible for product conception and bringing the product to market, so New Product Management gave me a whole lot of tools to use. We’re also responsible for the strategic direction of our product portfolios, so both Marketing Strategy and Strategic Management have been invaluable in that regard.
How has your MBA experience had a professional impact?
Having this new knowledge has given me increased confidence, both internally when having meetings with colleagues and discussing big projects, and also with regards to the skills and tools that I use to analyse the market externally.
Both my colleagues and management have mentioned that my learnings have been invaluable. In fact, I’ve used a couple of the assignments to directly impact my workplace.
How did you find the support when studying with AIB?
The support was absolutely fantastic. When you needed to speak to somebody, there was always somebody there. An example is when I was completing the subject Financial Management. For this particular subject I was hoping, after having a look at it, to get through with a pass, but because of all the support I received from Academics, I got a distinction.
After such a challenging subject, I was over the moon to achieve such a good result, and there’s no way I’d have been able to do it if I didn’t have the ongoing support from AIB’s academics and professors.