Online student and development co-ordinator Valentina Maggiulli reflects on her learning journey as she nears completion of her Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme at the University of Roehampton, London Online.

As if working to improve the lives of marginalised groups in the Palestinian territories wasn’t challenging enough, Valentina Maggiulli decided to add studying for an MBA to her list of endeavours. The Swiss-Italian development co-ordinator knew she’d need a special type learning model to ensure she could increase her knowledge base whilst continuing to work in the field.

Valentina was no stranger to online study and was looking for a reputable, accredited institution with a background in quality research practices. In October 2014, she enrolled on the online MBA programme with the University of Roehampton.

With fellow classmates from across the globe, including Africa, Europe and North and South America – many working for smaller companies, NGOs or large corporations such as Coca-Cola, and from a variety of backgrounds including engineering, human resources and middle management – she found peer-to-peer support and collaboration invaluable.

“What I enjoyed most about studying online with Roehampton was the interaction with my fellow students; it was very enriching and fruitful. I learned a lot from practitioners around the world, including their approaches to solving problems and developing innovations.”

Studying online can become almost addictive. Valentina found herself entering the classroom almost every day, spending an average of twenty hours per week studying. She carried an iPad with her at all times and made use of those minutes waiting for meetings to start or sitting on public transport to catch up on prescribed reading material.

“My motivation for studying an MBA online with the University of Roehampton is threefold. Firstly, I wanted to gain new skills, broaden my mind and develop myself; and secondly, I was interested in backing up my practical experience with knowledge of theoretical concepts and current research. Lastly, studying online was the perfect opportunity for me to broaden my horizons while maintaining a busy and demanding full-time job.”

During her last module, she was appointed Development Co-ordinator for a development corporation based in Switzerland dealing with Israel and the Palestinian territories. This fortuitous and unexpected career move meant that not only did she have a new role to get to grips with, but she was based on a different continent. Valentina believes that the fact she was enrolled on an online MBA programme had a positive effect during her interview. Luckily, her move did not impact her studies as she was able to carry on to the next module.

Valentina was also surprised by the supportive and responsive nature of the faculty members at Roehampton online.

“They get back to you in a very timely manner. This came in particularly useful when I was having difficulty with the finance module, which is not my strong point. The faculty member was really responsive and explained things in greater detail, which made concepts easier to understand.”

She has since been able to apply what she has learnt to her own working practice. She now has ability to set indicators and measure success when managing projects, and has also gained confidence in financial planning and budgeting. Roehampton Online’s programme structure and learning model suited her and meant that she could manage her work and leisure commitments around her studies.

She said, “I hope that through the knowledge acquired during my MBA studies I will be able to do my work more efficiently. An important aspect in my line of work is sustainability, so by knowing how to plan strategically and by taking stakeholders’ needs and risk factors into consideration, I can deliver the expected results.”

Valentina has recently completed her programme and is looking forward to attending the graduation in London in February 2016, proving that it is possible to fuel your passion for your work and profession through online study.

Watch this webinar to hear more about Valentina’s learning experience with Roehampton Online.

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