How Brighton laid the foundation for his MBA

Although Brighton had the requisite university degree to enrol immediately for an MBA, he was advised to first do Henley’s postgraduate diploma – a decision he never regretted.

Brighton Zinyakatira was in a place in his career where he sought to solidify his position in his industry, and tuck a qualification under his belt to augment his experience. A friend with whom Brighton had previously studied, had completed a PGDip at Henley a few years ago and, when Brighton told him about his intentions to dive into an MBA course, this friend suggested that Brighton first complete a PGDip at Henley – despite the fact that he had the requisite university degree to be able to enrol.

The MBA course is notoriously tough, but students who have completed a business school PGDip receive a good grounding in personal mastery, which puts them into the correct mindset going in. It’s found that these students cope far better with the MBA’s rigorous demands.

Learning that this would be a good launching platform and foundation for his planned MBA and, being as Henley is a triple-accredited university that’s affiliated with Redding, Brighton’s confidence was further bolstered.

“When my results came in, this friend was the first person I called. I thanked him for his advice, which was the best thing he could’ve ever have done for me. The experience has been worthwhile and very rewarding.”

“In general, I’m a very positive person, so when I took on the qualification, I was quite confident that I would navigate it. However, I would be lying if I said that it didn’t involve hard work and tenacity. The assignments come thick and fast. The block classes are quite exhaustive. You also need to manage the team dynamic through the actual learning project.”

Working in the PGDip’s team environment taught him to be more open-minded and resilient. “It’s only nine months, but you need to manage yourself, work hard, and remain committed. If you can do that, you’ll be able to submit your assignments, even when the workload is is crazy. Just remain resolute.”

Brighton speaks highly of the way in which the business school model refined his analytical skills, and constantly related these theoretical models back to the realm of his work and studies: “You look at conceptual models to solve problems, but – most importantly – you get to test them in the real world.”

Brighton is convinced that the PGDip has made him a more rounded professional, and strengthened his leadership qualities, putting him in a better position to enact transformational leadership within his work environment. “Innovation, though exciting,” he says, “always presents workplace challenges, and the PGDip course has helped me to take these developments in my stride. For example, we are having to integrate artificial intelligence into my industry (investment management), and work out how to fit it into our own investment processes. All these processes were learnings in the PGDip, and I’ve been able to apply them, and so further enhance my already existing skill set.”

Like students the world over, Brighton had to undertake his PGDip in the virtual environment that Henley has created in response to lockdown strictures, and he’s found himself impressed with the school’s virtual infrastructure and connectivity. But, more than that, he didn’t feel the alienation that one so often feels in virtual environments. “It felt as though I was right there, in the room.”

Brighton has just recently launched into his MBA studies at Henley. His PGDip experience at Henley proved to be a very positive one, so it made absolute sense for him to continue within the environment that has richly enabled him, and that he now trusts completely.

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