Combine study and work with a Durham Online MBA    

September 1, 2018

Colin Allen is studying the Online MBA while working as national lead – sport and operations at TASS, which helps student athletes balance their education and their training. Here, he discusses his experience

Durham University Business School’s Online MBA is designed to enhance students’ key business and leadership capabilities to enable them to achieve their career aspirations. It consistently appears in a wide range of prestigious listings and is ranked second in the UK and 5th in the world in the Financial Times Ranking 2018*

One of the many benefits of the Durham Online MBA is that students can continue their careers whilst studying. Students typically work in senior roles, shoulder a lot of professional responsibility and therefore cannot take a career break in order to pursue their studies. Working and studying also enables them to tailor their learning to their working environment.

Students also find the networking opportunities within the programme very beneficial. Interactive elements and technological enhancements, as well as social media tools, help students to personalise their learning experience and maintain active networks.

Durham Online MBA student Colin Allen is studying the Online MBA while working in his role at Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), an organisation that helps student athletes balance their education alongside their sports development. Here, he discusses his experience of the Durham Online MBA:

Why did you decide to undertake an MBA, and why did you choose the part-time programme at Durham? 
At TASS, we’ve been fortunate to receive government funding for the whole length of the scheme but we’re heavily reliant on government funding. I’m keen to hone my skillset to see if I can help us become more self-sufficient.

I’ve been in sport for the whole of my career so far and I felt the MBA would be a way to transition to a different role or industry if the opportunity arose in the future.

What has been the biggest highlight of the programme so far?  
I wanted a programme where I could have some physical contact time at the university and didn’t want to do a fully online course where I never got to meet my classmates. Learning from others on the cohort is one of the biggest highlights as there’s such a breadth of backgrounds and industries and levels of experience, and the value they bring to my learning has been great.

What have been the pros and cons of studying while you’ve been working?  
For me the biggest pro is being able to apply the learning straight away, taking the learning straight back to the office the following week. For example, I’ve been able to apply the marketing module with TASS already, presenting a report to my director and then starting to implement some of those suggestions and plans.

I’ve recently taken on more line management roles as well, so the leadership and management modules gave me a much better awareness of other people’s needs and how to adapt my leadership style to that.

However, time management becomes a challenge, fitting in the assignments and reading in the weekends has meant I’ve had to be very disciplined and sacrifice a bit of free time. That’s been the biggest con, but it was one I anticipated.

Durham University Business School 
To find out more about the Durham Online MBA programme, visit:

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