"Anyone who has gone through the dual phase MBA setup here at Otago will know that they are as comparable as chalk and cheese. Phase I tests and polishes a candidate’s time management, team participation and leadership skills.
"Phase II on the other hand is all about self-management. Gone are the intense work schedules and the frenzied syndicate meetings. What the candidate is now faced with is options and lots of them. Much like the real world it is now up to the candidate to draw on his experience and network built over the previous nine months to decide the course he or she would like to steer his/ her career on.
This is the key challenge. All the other decisions are subordinated under this one question… What do I want after this MBA? The answer to this question in some capacity will autopilot the candidate towards the electives to be undertaken, the choice of school for the international exchange, and the type of business consulting project and the industry for the project.
"I came from a hospitality and family business background and was keen to work with larger firms with a focus on tourism. I actively chose a combination of tourism electives and a strategy analysis business project in Phase II. The size and reputation of the client company is important to me. It played a pivotal role in generating employer interest in my profile and provided me with strong references from an industry I aspire to become a part of.
"The organic timeframes and self-management can be a bit deceiving, and it important to maintain the tempo and finish the second phase with the same zest as in Phase I. This is especially true for international students. The end of Phase II also concludes what will be probably the most intensive 15-18 months of your postgraduate student life. Therefore, it is important to anticipate the end and prepare to ease the foot of the pedal near the finish line.
Remember - nobody likes sudden braking after flying lap!"
Tapan Karambelkar, full-time Otago MBA student graduating this year, shares his experience of completing Phase II with aspiring and Phase I students.