Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 117
IS A BUSINESS COURSE
PROFESSOR HEATHER MCGREGOR IS HEAD OF EDINBURGH BUSINESS
SCHOOL - HERIOT-WATT UNIVERSITY'S GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
- AND MRS MONEYPENNY COLUMNIST FOR THE FINANCIAL TIMES
If you're thinking of starting
of questions but also know what
a business there are
questions to ask. An MBA helps you to
different courses you can
become a better manager. It also gives
choose. For example, my
you the chance to see if being an
son Robert, a recent
entrepreneur is what you want to do.
graduate, decided he wanted to open a
You should think about doing an MBA
cocktail bar in the Oxfordshire area. He
if you are working in a job but you have a
found the premises but it took him a
medium-term plan to start up your own
year to get planning permission. In the
business. It's what I did 25 years ago.
meantime, he visited the government
Doing an MBA gave me time to think
website (gov.uk/set-up-business) to find
about what I wanted to do.
information on how to start up, and from
I finished my MBA and found a job in
that he went on courses through the
banking, worked there for a decade and
Prince's Trust. These gave him practical
established financial backing, then I
information on everything from how to
bought an executive search business
write a business plan, to marketing and
called Taylor Bennett, which I still own. I
forecasting. If you know what you want
expanded it around the world from a
to do but you are young and you have
nine-person office in London into a
no experience, a Prince's Trust course is
global business that has 60 people in
a really good way of learning the basics.
However, if you aspire to set up
At Edinburgh Business School we
something more complex than, say, a bar
run a distance learning programme
or a beauty salon and are looking for
that is flexible and modular. You can
outside funding, then a master's degree
take it unit by unit, sit the exam when
in business administration (MBA) will
you are ready and there's no time limit.
give you the ability to see the whole
You can also pay per course. The vast
spectrum of the business.
majority of students finish in two and a
An MBA is a management
qualification. It gives you the ability to
The ideal way of starting a business is
look right across the business. To run a
to get completely ready and then do it
business you have to do so many things
when you have the knowledge, and an
and not only be in a position to ask lots
MBA allows you to do that.
time MBA course is two years, but
there are part-time programmes
available if you are interested
in studying while you work.
Many MBA courses also offer
distance learning options, enabling
students to study from the comfort
of their own home or office. This
is a brilliant solution if you have
commitments that prevent you
studying full-time or in regular hours.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS MBA courses
usually require a combination of
previous degree-level study and
prior work experience in a business
environment, typically of at least three
years. This is essential so you can build
on your practical knowledge through
this type of business education.
DID YOU KNOW? An executive
master's degree in business (EMBA)
is available for business managers
and executives who typically have
10 or more years' experience in
business. It covers the same principle
subjects as an MBA but tailors
it to executive-level students.
WHERE NEXT? Check out the
Association of MBAs website for more
information at mbaworld.com.