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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Education: Business School Expo showcases top MBA schools

Founder and MD of Bid or Buy, Andy Higgins has one. Chairman of Sasol Oil, Maurice Radebe also has one. CEO of the MTN Group, Sifiso Dabengwa boasts one too. These are just some of SA’s top business leaders who have used their Master of Business Administration (MBA) to kick start their careers. 

One of the most sought after qualifications, MBAs help equip a new generation of managers, executives and entrepreneurs with the tools necessary to compete with their international counterparts.

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The 7th annual BSchool Expo, to be held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday 7 August 2012 from 10h00 and 19h00, showcases all 18 MBA-accredited business schools in the SA Business School Association (SABSA).

“Whether you’re wanting to compare different programmes, talk directly to academics or sit in on one of the masterclasses on offer, the BSchool Expo is an excellent opportunity to find out all there is to know about MBAs in South Africa,” says President of SABSA, Prof. Helena van Zyl.

She says to be competitive in business today, leaders and organisations need exposure to global benchmarks, new knowledge, improved leadership and managerial skills. This cannot be achieved through work experience alone and the MBA is a well respected qualification for managers, executives and entrepreneurs aspiring to get ahead.

“A culture of lifelong learning is critical to both individual and business success and the MBA gives a holistic view of management as well as to develop an individual’s leadership and managerial skills,” says Van Zyl. “It remains an excellent departure point for those wanting to take their career to the next level or simply to move out of their comfort zone.”

Visitors to the expo will be able to browse the range of MBA, executive education, short course and postgraduate degree programmes as well as attend mini-events where experts will discuss a range of topics and individual business schools will present their unique strengths. Choose between business schools offering full or part-time, campus or online programmes.

“Faculty, admissions staff and alumni will be on hand to offer advice to individuals regarding career progression, and to assess organisational training and development needs,” says van Zyl. “This is a unique opportunity to discuss and investigate curricula, accreditation, educational philosophies, delivery methods, quality frameworks, admissions requirements and funding options of the different schools.”

When considering a quality MBA qualification, candidates should consider the selection criteria of the different schools, advises van Zyl. “Schools with recognised degrees will admit those students who have practical work experience in their field and who pass the required admission tests,” she says. “The MBA after all is a Masters degree whose value lies not only in the academic qualification, but in the experiential learning that takes place through interaction with fellow students as well as exposure to excellent lecturers and business mentors.”

She says MBAs still focus on providing basic managerial skills such as marketing, project management, operational management, logistics, analytical skills and finance, but many now offer additional modules focusing on entrepreneurship and personal branding.

“Companies are looking at how well graduates can integrate all the facets of management,” says van Zyl.

She says there are a number of considerations when choosing a business study programme. These include whether the course material is relevant and takes into account international trends, whether they offer broad or deep knowledge in one’s chosen area of interest and whether they meet the needs of industry and employers.

The expo presents the many career and business-related initiatives and executive education programmes that are available at the various business schools, including online career mentors, networking forums, career development centres, business support services, conferences, workshops, seminars and research offerings. For visitors shopping around for bursaries and scholarships, information about requirements, eligibility and application procedures will also be available.

The BSchool Expo also offers a quality line up of speakers, products and solutions relevant to anyone working in a skills development, education, training or HR-related capacity.

For further information, contact Anne Wilson at SABSA on  +27 82 828 7300 or go to www.bschoolexpo.co.za. Booking online is free or R100 at the door on the day.

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