Managing a work/life balance while studying the EMBA may seem challenging, but for Ievgen Mamai (EMBALJ 2021) and Dajana Grandic (EMBALS 2021), it was even more complicated with a lengthy commute. Despite this, a vast majority of EMBA programme attendees travel on a bi-weekly basis not only from further parts of the UK but also internationally. We asked our recent alumni to share their experiences and tips for juggling the programme whilst based in another country.
What part of the world were you commuting from during your time on the programme?
Ievgen: At the beginning of the program, back in 2020, I was commuting from Kyiv, Ukraine. I was commuting from Rome, Italy, in the middle of the program. At the end of the program, I moved to London, UK.
Dajana: Usually from Rome, Italy, however, it depends since I have frequent business travels at work, sometimes from other locations worldwide, departing depending on the assignment and location at that particular time.
What was the key factor that encouraged you to make such a big logistical commitment?
Ievgen: When I was considering doing my Executive MBA, it was essential for me to find a suitable schedule for the program so I would be able to balance my full-time job with extensive studies. I observed several top-rated schools; LBS had the most convenient schedule with modular weeks when, once in two weeks, there were full, busy days on Friday and Saturday, meaning I would only miss my job 2 Fridays per month, which my employer was very happy with. Other schools had mostly block weeks every month, which would have a much bigger impact on the job. It was also easy for me to get to London with a direct 3-hour flight on Thursday evenings and back on Sunday mornings.
Dajana: Willingness and strong commitment towards getting an executive MBA from one of the best Universities worldwide. I am proud to be part of this community that feels like an extended family to me.
What advice would you give to someone who’s also commuting for the programme?
Ievgen: I would strongly advise you to travel to London the day before lectures and back from London the day after lectures. The schedule is busy, and lectures are intense. There will be many readings and assignments to prepare, so not being in a rush is critical to getting qualitative outcomes from the program.
Dajana: Try to plan as much as possible, and prepare your family, friends and colleagues for your temporary different lifestyle that consumes a lot of time. The better you plan and prepare your steps, the easier it might be for you to have people who better understand you and strongly support you throughout the journey – it is crucial.
What was one of the challenges that you faced as a commuter on the programme?
Dajana: Once, I travelled from Kyrgyzstan (where I had a business mission) to the UK for my class. However, the flight was postponed due to the bad weather conditions. I stayed overnight at the airport and arrived a day later at the class, exhausted and ready to take some exams. Get ready for some oscillations/ turbulences since not all will go as initially planned, but if you have a goal in front of you, all is possible. Pushing your boundaries will get you out of your comfort zone, the perfect opportunity to learn /grow further as an individual, expand your network and open yourself to new opportunities.
As we can see from our alumni stories, commuting to LBS is achievable and should not prevent you from achieving your dream of joining our EMBA programme at London Business School!
For more information about our EMBA-London programme click here.