(Translated into English from Russian)
(EE) My name is Ekaterina, I am from Moscow. I am an expert in medication technology. I am finishing the first year of the English language MBA and work in a contract research organization. It’s pharmaceutical business.
I work in a company that deals with protection of the environment; we choose technologies for industrial companies to clean up their liquid waste products. In other words, we develop an individual technological solution for each company and then implement it ourselves.
(EE) I work for an international company, so it’s important for me to do the MBA in English in so far as English is my working language.
(OG) I work in a company that works with a large number of international companies – we collaborate with China, Europe, Germany, that’s why I need the language to communicate and understand the experience of European companies, in other words international companies. That’s why I needed the education which would give some knowledge and some sort of confidence on the European, Asian market and markets of other countries.
(EE) And I also wanted to add that The Open University offers a very convenient attendance schedule, particularly for people, who have a job, a family, which is another factor that attracted me.
(EE) Yes, in general I have a very favourable impression. What it has given me is that I started thinking about some things in another way, for example, if I did something that is part of my every day work responsibilities, I was not always thinking what I was doing and how I was doing it and what sort of goal I have ahead. Now study with The Open University helps me to analyse my every day activity and to be clearer on my goals. So in this respect it has helped me a lot, I am very happy.
(OG) I also have to agree with Ekaterina, that you really start to analyse certain simple activities, that you didn’t used to think of what you were doing and got certain results. Now I try to make all my work more systematic, through the time schedule, for example, it is difficult to combine work with study, isn’t it? So I have to think of a way to use my time better, e.g. to postpone something, to come up with a new way of doing something to make it faster, to free up some time for studies and for other commitments.
And one more positive factor is that you meet many new, interesting people, who you have something to discuss and share your experience with. It’s also an interesting and important aspect for me.
(EE)I think that possibly it is not really distance learning in terms of how it’s commonly understood, because actually we have very close contact with our tutors and if there’s a question it will never remain unsolved. If there’s a problem, then there’s a way of solving it. Except that, once a month we have day schools with our Russian tutor in the Moscow Open University office, and our Open University tutor, visits us about twice a year, so certainly, on the one hand, it is distance learning, but on the other hand, we feel that we are supported by the School.
(OG) I think that the course materials and other resources are very well developed at the Open University, which you can find on a website that is sufficient for independent study. And if we have any questions, then in fact we write to the tutor or the Russian tutor to clarify some issues.
(EE) The web site works well and clearly structured, so there are no usually problems in terms using it. But I would like to agree with Olga and stress the good quality of study materials. The books are attractively designed and are pitched at the level, where we currently are.
(OG) Maybe, the only thing is that when we talk about distance learning, then possibly there’s lack of interactivity, which to some extent is compensated by communication with the tutors.
(EE) Well, first of all this course makes you disciplined and as Olya has mentioned, it teaches you to plan your time and as a result you manage to do more, although you’re really busy, you’re busier. As to me, largely due to study with the Open University I have grown professionally over the last year both in terms of my position in the company and pay and of course this is an opportunity to have a more creative and interesting job. So in this sense I only have positive emotions.
(OG) I also have positive emotions due to the fact that I started approaching my work more creatively and assuming new tasks and new responsibilities, which is also welcome by our employers. And when you do something creative in life you get positive emotions and life becomes more interesting.
(EE) I think that my example shows, that if one is busy, if s/he is working for an international company then it’s a very good option to carry on one’s Management education.
(OG) Yes, I’d recommend it to people, but it’s really a matter of individual choice – whether to study or not, it should either suit, as it’s the case with me … I have no time and the course is in English, which is an international language and it is very important. You will be in demand not only on the Russian market, but also will have a good standing in Europe with this diploma, so it’s a matter of individual choice. Of course, I’d recommend it to people I know, but I wouldn’t insist on specific actions … I can only tell them about positive and negative features and it is only their choice what to do next.
The Open University, together with international partners, offers its MBA and many other programmes across the globe.