MBAs for construction executives

Eunice Maytorena of Manchester Business School on the benefits of MBAs

Eunice Maytorena.
Eunice Maytorena.

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During her visit to Dubai, Eunice Maytorena, programme champion for the MBA for Construction Executives offered at the Manchester Business School (MBS), explained how construction companies can benefit from sponsoring their staff to enroll on specialist construction courses

How would you describe the course content?
The MBA for Construction Executives is aimed at suppliers, contractors, clients, architects or anybody that works in the construction sector. It has the same core modules as any MBA, such as financial management, but there are construction specific electives available. It is a part time course that runs for three years but it usually extends to four years because students are working full-time while they are studying.

What are the entry requirements?
You have to have a good first degree and this applies to any course at Manchester Business School. You need to have a minimum of six years of work experience, so you will be around 27 years of age or above.

Also, you need to speak English well because all the courses run in English. Usually, the students that come on the course are very experienced and are managers or senior managers. We have a mix of backgrounds currently on the course including architects, solicitors, commercial managers, clients, people from the oil and gas industry etc.

What opportunities do students have once they have completed the MBA?
Usually, graduates with an MBA from MBS get higher salaries and they get promoted quickly. It helps people who want to have a career in the industry and develop to a senior level position.

They can develop their leadership skills and their strategic management skills. The people coming into the workshops are from varied disciplines and the discussions really help enrich an understanding of what they are all trying to do collectively.

How high is the demand for construction courses like the MBA you offer?
In terms of the MBA for Construction Executives, I know that the intake of students has increased year-on-year.

Of course, with the financial crisis, we have seen a drop in numbers, but the numbers are actually starting to pick up again. I think, at this point in time, organisations really need to start investing in education and training if they want to have a competitive advantage over other companies and gain momentum. They need to focus on their core capabilities.

Is it quite expensive to enroll on this course?
Not really. I have spoken to students and they have said they are getting value for their money. Also, some of the students are being sponsored by their companies to take the course because they see the value in it and the contributions candidates will bring to their organisations once they have completed the course.

How do you hope to improve the course this year?
For this year, I would expect to see the number of people attending the workshops and enrolling on the course to rise a little bit in the UAE. I hope organisations in the UAE will take notice of the programme and see that it will help improve their businesses.

The programme started in January 2007 and was launched in Dubai in July 2007. The content has changed since then and we have enhanced the courses. Starting from July this year there will be two courses that are enhanced, one is called ‘creating a sustainable built environment’ and the other one ‘strategic management and projects’ – if students want to become CEOs they will have to start thinking strategically.

Eunice is a Lecturer in Construction Project Management at MBS (Manchester Business School). She has taught on undergraduate, master and executive MBA programmes and is currently programme champion for the MBA for Construction Executives, offered in Dubai. An architect by training her work experience includes architectural design and consultancy, research in various aspects of the built environment and project management.

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