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MBA Master of Business Administration

Simon Zandberg

"An MBA offers the most practical skills you should have to get out there – you combine theories with practice. I definitely think it will help me get the management roles that I want in the future."

I'm Simon Sandburg, I'm 22 years old. Recently started my studies at IU university, and I live in the Netherlands, close to Amsterdam.

I [recently] switched jobs, [as] I got promoted last month. So now I'll be working as an executive. That will be in the marketing department; basically, from the products product life cycle management, until deployment. Basically managing the process towards all the steps the product has to go to: from creating, to packaging, to distribution – you're involved with all [of the] different departments.

Why I chose IU

[What made choose to study at IU] is it's internationality, [and the fact that] it's online. It's really self-paced, and it didn't require a pre-master's. It's still pretty much the same content, plus it's self-based, and also pretty good to combine with your job.

Definitely flexibility is one big point. The second big point is that a pre-Master's is not required, so it saves me time.

One of the advantages is that it's really self-based, right? If it's a Master's, normally you would do it over one year – [but at IU] you can spread it over one and a half years, and if that does't work, you could get over two years if you need to. So this flexibility is really something I could use during my studies.

The benefits of IU's interactive coursebook

So you have this, like, interactive coursebook which is really interesting, because after every paragraph you have a few questions, which are open questions and exams; they're mostly multiple choice questions, with a few open and a few case-related open questions. The open questions really make you think about the information you've just read. There are questions in between the paragraphs of the chapters also, which is really good, because it doesn't allow me to skip to the third or fourth chapter. Sometimes I think: “I'm just going to leave this part for later” - these questions don't allow that, so it really gives more structure to my studying, which I find is every practical for me.

The benefits of having an MBA degree

Do I think that IU can help me get the management roles that I want in the future? Yeah, definitely. That's one of the reasons I started [my studies], because I feel like, eventually, well – a Master's degree, they always say: “it's not required, you can grow within the company without it”, but it looks better, right? And eventually, when you look back and everyone who is doing management positions or became higher in a multinational, 9 out of 10 did a Master's, so… I feel like it definitely will help you. First of all because you proved, basically, that you have the knowledge or the capability to learn and to develop; and second of it all, it`s the most practical skills you should have to get out there – you combine theories with practice. I definitely think it will help me, yeah.

My advice for new students

In the beginning, I was really like, OK, it will come, I will get ahead with [my studies], but you really need to set the pace, I think; get into it quickly, give the coursebook just a general read, understand the basics and watch all the videos - understand the basis, and eventually start [answering] the questions. And when you [study] for the quizzes, really [study] for them, instead of taking the quiz right after you`ve read the chapter - because then you can take the quiz again, and you remember the questions partly, so you can pass it easily. Really [study] for the quiz so you can [pass] it yourself with the right answers, because it will save a lot of last minute study pressure.

Of course, you can always postpone your exam – but that doesn't work for me. So, eventually, I need to have tight deadlines to really feel the pressure to start studying a bit more, to give myself discipline and more pressure. I always schedule my exams like two, three weeks. This is what I did for the last exam: scheduled it three weeks before and said: “on this date, I'm going to take the exam, no matter what”. So then eventually that exam is scheduled, and I just go for it.