Launched in late 2020, the WHU Global Online MBA is a relatively new offering from Germany’s #1 business school. However, this online format brings its highly ranked and reputed MBA program to an even wider international audience. For those looking to boost their career while at home, during travel restrictions, or those juggling work with family life, an online MBA can be the perfect solution.
Despite being just its second intake of students since its launch, the program has already seen a surge in interest and attracts professionals worldwide. In March 2021, 15 students joined the Global Online MBA spring intake, including those from Romania, Kazakhstan, and China. With an average of nine years of work experience and an average age of 34, they represent a wide range of industries and academic backgrounds, including medicine, engineering, and the arts.
Wissam Abdel-Samad is one of those 15 students, currently a marketing manager for INFINITI and Renault in Qatar. He started his career as a brand manager, with other roles in sales and events, until his current position in marketing, which he has held for the past seven years. “I want to broaden my knowledge with regards to business,” says Wissam. “I want to take the next step in my career, and joining an MBA seemed to be the perfect opportunity for me to do that.”
While online studies have been around for some time, they have only recently been accepted as a reputable way to upskill. This has accelerated since the start of the pandemic; with many business schools adapting their on-campus programs and developing their virtual teaching methods, many are of the same quality as the on-campus programs and offer a greater level of flexibility. “I chose an online MBA because it was important for me not to have a gap in my career and to be able to work at the same time,” explains Wissam.
With many online offerings from top business schools worldwide, it can be difficult for an international student to decide. For Wissam, however, it was the personal touch from the start of his contact with WHU that left a lasting impression. “I started the process of looking at MBA programs about a year ago. With WHU, it felt different to others that have (for example) 200 participants – you don’t feel like just a number. The first contact I had with WHU was so enthusiastic and positive. They left no gaps when providing information like some other schools. They often leave you to find the information yourself or ask additional questions. I was able to join the live sessions with current students as a guest, which played a large part in my decision-making. As a student myself, the continued support and response from the program team and professors is quick and easy. I’m very grateful for these seamless interactions as a student.”
Wissam lists the pandemic as another reason for considering an online MBA, particularly as an opportunity to invest in himself and his career during a time of uncertainty. Choosing a European business school, however, was closely tied to his interests. “With my passion for the automotive industry, I naturally have an emotional connection to German brands. So, while Germany was high on my list, I was impressed by WHU’s prestigious reputation, and its ranking supported this as a #1 MBA program.”
What Wissam has been most pleasantly surprised by since the program's start is the level of connection he feels to his classmates. “It doesn’t feel like a virtual program,” he laughs. “I meet my team for the group work often two or three times a week and usually for hours at a time. We also meet on a social basis, and it helps you feel more relaxed as a group. I now know them all so well - you never feel alone. There is always someone there to help and support you.”