Navigating the intensity of a part-time MBA

Tobias Schweizer is a German student currently completing a part-time MBA at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. He’s also working as a Project Manager for Deutsche Hospitality. Having grown up in a small town in Germany with parents working as hoteliers, Tobias always knew that he was interested in the hotel management industry. He tells us why the COVID-19 pandemic ended up being a good time for him to do an MBA, the benefits of a part-time MBA format, and the importance of being mentally ready before undertaking an MBA.

In short

Why the COVID-19 pandemic can be a good time for an MBA

After an annual review conversation with his manager, they both decided that it would be a good idea for Tobias to pursue an MBA in order to further his career goals and position within the company. 

He explains, “It was four years after my bachelor’s degree, so I thought it would be a good time to pick up education again and dedicate a larger part of my life to learning something new.” (01:56)

Tobias started the part-time MBA program at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though it doesn’t seem like a global pandemic would be a good time to start a new academic pursuit, Tobias feels that the situation ultimately worked in his favor.

First of all, Tobias works in the hospitality industry, which was one of the areas that got hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. He suddenly had more more free time, which limited distractions and made it easier to balance his studies with his work.

“Doing the MBA in that time was really ideal because I had a large focus on my studies besides working, which can sometimes be challenging, and that worked out really well,” Tobias says. (02:54)

The benefits of a part-time MBA program

There are a couple of key reasons why Tobias opted to do a part-time MBA program over a full-time MBA program.

First of all, the idea of Tobias taking an MBA program originated during a conversation with one of his managers. It made sense to both of them that a part-time MBA would be ideal so that he could continue working while taking his academic qualifications to the next level.

Tobias also explains that part-time MBA programs are useful because they allow students to instantly apply what they learn in the classroom into a real-world work environment. He says, “You can implement straight away what you learn on the weekends at school and then you can bring that into life in business settings. That’s really what I find quite fascinating and really powerful.” (04:43)

Having a workplace where he could test out what he was learning in real-time not only enriched Tobias’ learning experience, but it was also beneficial to his professional team.

Why you have to be mentally ready for a part-time MBA

According to Tobias, “for an MBA, you really have to be mentally ready for it.” (09:39) You have to really know who you are, be ready to face challenges, and be willing to undertake deep self-reflection. That’s the best way to feel prepared and get the most out of your studies.

He states, “You need to be…at a mature stage, so I’m not sure if it would have been a good idea [for me] to do an MBA two or three years before because I’m not sure if I would have been in the position to honestly reflect on myself.” (10:23)

Tobias also points out that it’s even more important to mentally prepare yourself for a part-time MBA program because of the intense organization and time management it requires. More specifically, “you need to be ready to make sacrifices and to give up some of your free time besides work, because you have a second job.” (10:51)

How an MBA can help your career progress in the hospitality industry

The hospitality industry refers to a wide variety of businesses that relate to people’s recreational and leisure time. They can be divided into the following sub-categories:

  • Food & beverage
  • Travel & tourism
  • Events
  • Lodging
  • Recreation

If you want to dedicate yourself to a high-level career in hospitality like Tobias, it’s important that you have wide-ranging business and economic skills alongside experience in your chosen speciality. That’s where an MBA comes in handy.

It’s easy to see why Tobias started a part-time MBA at Frankfurt School in order to propel his hospitality career forward. Here’s a selection of just a few of Frankfurt School MBA courses that would be invaluable in the hospitality industry:

  • Innovation & Change Management
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Financial Management & Accounting
  • Performance Management & Sustainability Reporting
  • Organizational Behavior

All in all, part-time MBA programs are fantastic opportunities for prospective students who have reflected deeply about the commitment they require and are ready to take their academic and professional qualifications to the next level.

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