Managing the pressure

Prof Marlize Terblanche-Smit, head of the MBA programme at the USB
Prof Marlize Terblanche-Smit (LR).JPG

Most managers would argue that time is a priceless commodity. According to Prof Marlize Terblanche-Smit, head of the MBA programme at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), its newly structured professional MBA can help executives cope with the strenuous demands of an MBA.

“We find that MBA students drive themselves very hard so they are most likely already stretching their time to the maximum. At USB we understand this and have structured our MBA to suit the demands of professionals by giving them more flexible study options.”

USB has shortened its offering to one year for full-time study and two years for modular. Modular students attend classes in nine blocks of six days each and also complete their research assignments within the two-year time period. The new formats apply from 2016.

Prof Terblanche-Smit says the high volume of work and the time constraints of study, work and family are all obvious stress factors that come to mind when people think of an MBA.

“An MBA does, in fact, create a high-pressure environment in which many of the challenges students have to face, mimic the leadership role for which they are preparing themselves. Being a business leader is extremely demanding and you need to be able to not only manage your time effectively but also prioritise, summarise a situation in a split second and make sound business decisions under pressure without damaging relationships along the way. USB adapted its MBA programme to accommodate this reality. Our MBA equips students with the mechanisms to succeed.”

“We find that the two main benefits that attract students to our MBA are the school’s triple international accreditation status and its focus on leadership development,” says Dr Marietjie Theron-Wepener, marketing director of USB.

The requirements for enrolment as from 2016 are a four-year Bachelor’s degree or an honours degree or a postgraduate diploma.  USB’s MBA consists of 18 compulsory modules and two electives and students can customise 30% of their programme.

The modules include an international study module at one of USB’s accredited international partner business school. USB will also present an MBA with specialisation in Business Management of Projects during 2016. This will include specialisation in Business Management of Projects via two elective modules, the research assignment, as well the international study module.



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