Starting in January 2021, the UCC Executive MBA provides personal, organisational and career benefits.
The two-year UCC Executive MBA is designed to prepare its participants to become organisational managers, innovators and leaders.
That journey is structured by the Leadership Development Framework.
“Our MBA is designed to develop people from being mangers, into organisational innovators and leaders, and that journey adds value both to themselves as executives, and to their organisation’s ability to respond and adapt to change. Our students develop an appreciation of how all aspects of a complex organisation interconnect, and an appreciation of the role each function must play in delivering on organisational goals,” said Professor Matthias Beck, MBA Director.
MBA students study organisational decision-making and strategy and the associated key roles of operations management, organisational behaviour, and human resources management. They examine how financial analysis and performance frameworks are used, how business innovation and transformation happen, and how sustainability and resilience strategies need to be built into business models.
But it goes beyond that to look at each students’ innate preferences in key personal leadership areas. “Through individual coaching sessions, workshops and reflective reporting our students will discover more about how they critically analyse challenging situations, about their decision-making process, and how they undertake relationship building within organisations.”
The UCC Executive MBA has been an invaluable support in building the business confidence of its many successful past participants, including John Buckley, who was awarded the Deloitte UCC Executive MBA Graduate of the Year Award 2019. John is the Head of Supply Chain Operations with Ervia in Cork.
"In my extensive career, I have worn many hats and performed many roles and been inspired by plenty of competent and resourceful managers," said John Buckley "However, I lacked the conviction and confidence in my skills as a senior leader.
"The UCC Executive MBA challenged me on all fronts including my thought process, critically analysed my leadership style, and brought together all my prior experience and validated it by giving an academic underpinning. The MBA has given me confidence in the management decisions I make when solving complex problems in my organisation."
John said that he was extremely surprised that some of the most valuable and lasting learnings he enjoyed from the MBA were gained through working with his fellow colleagues on the programme.
Every programme participant brings a different perspective of the business world. The project and workshop scenarios were invaluable. In practical terms, John said he also really benefited from figuring out how to enable teams of diverse personalities to work effectively together.
"Our mutual support helping to create a collaborative learning environment helped us all to be successful," said John. "These dynamic colleagues are now great lifetime friends. I am also very grateful to my employers for investing in me and giving me this opportunity, this experience was personally and professionally, the best decision I have made for my self-development and career advancement."
MBA students are asked to explore their own development as managers and leaders.
“We ask them to think about their horizontal development, which is acquiring and applying new skills and competencies, and their vertical development, which is about bigger perspective, systems thinking. We ask them to consider the issue of adaptive leadership that looks at their ability to diagnose and respond to new challenges, and crucially, how they lead people through a process of change.”
Prof. Beck feels that this is particularly relevant to our increasingly uncertain world. “Organisations are operating in more volatile and complex environments. The task for organisational leaders is to support, challenge and facilitate their teams and employees to work collaboratively, foster innovative thinking and to expand their sense of what is possible. That is why we also focus on soft skill areas like communications, negotiations, and team building, each of which is a critical tool for the organisational leader.”
This brings direct benefits to the organisation.
“By having one of their managers on the UCC Executive MBA, an organisation is making a two-year investment in key managerial and leadership talent,” said Prof. Beck.
The MBA student’s involvement with the Leadership Development Framework gives their organisation a more dynamic approach to decision-making and judgement and introduces an increased capacity for critical thinking and mind-set change.
“An organisation then has an executive who can lead a move to a broader strategic emphasis, allied with a focus on leading innovation within the organisation. They can develop and lead more agile approaches to problem-solving, with a strong emphasis on effective team-based approaches.”
For the MBA students, the career development benefits are obvious. “The UCC Executive MBA qualification will benefit your career by identifying you as an individual with a high level of leadership ability.”
Over the past decade and more, it has helped give successive participants the strategic frameworks they needed to take on lead roles in many of Ireland’s leading companies and organisations.
Past participants have gained the skills to take on senior management roles within global multinationals, Irish SMEs, financial services, healthcare, education, and the not-for-profit sector.
The UCC Executive MBA is structured to allow its students to work and study at the same time. It is delivered in four parts across two years, with lectures taking place on Fridays and Saturdays during semester time.
Modules on the programme are delivered by senior academics from the Cork University Business School in UCC, while also availing of teaching partner and industry practitioner expertise.
The next cycle is starting in January 2021. Lectures are held in the UCC Centre for Executive Education, Lapp's Quay, Cork.
See UCC Executive MBA for further information.