Screencap from Module 9: Pricing — The Van Westendorp Model

Should I do a Mini MBA? 5 takeaways from mine.

1. Legitimacy

The primary thing that held me back from doing this sooner was not really understanding and therefore respecting what a Mini MBA is. I was concerned by anything “fast-track” in learning. A Mini MBA comes in many different formats. Some try to cover all MBA learning in a few months, some cover one topic in a few days. I chose one focussed one of the dozen or so topics (eg HR, business ethics, financial management etc) that is normally covered by a full MBA. In short, it is MBA-level education, focussed on the marketing vertical only, over 12 weeks. I chose it based on furthering my knowledge and skills in Marketing and the legitimacy of the Professor and materials.

2. Knowledge

My biggest attraction to a Mini MBA was, of course, learning — gaining new knowledge and developing new skills; broadening my view of the whole industry, beyond the myopic perspective of marketing that agencies have view of. My biggest concern (perhaps arrogantly) was that after 15 years, I’d already be au fait with a broad share of the modules (particularly Brand, Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning, Research, and Media Mix). Both these points turned out to be true, but the concern was unfounded.

3. Structure

The course breaks the wide purview of marketing into a manageable structure. As a strategist, I rely on models and processes to simplify the complex but without training, learning about marketing has always been fragmented and usually through osmosis — learning on the job. The whole marketing role had never been so simply broken down into something intelligible and practically applicable. I’m now armed with a wide view of the marketing role enabling me to diagnose a challenge and resolve it. Structure is simplicity.

4. Qualification

In an industry where training is woefully lacking, it’s good to have a formal acknowledgement of a knowledge-base and skillset and perhaps even important when job-hunting given the majority of candidates won’t share MBA level credentials. Surprisingly, given the course is named after a qualification, I found this the least fulfilling of the takeaways, though this says more about those other takeaways than it says about getting a certificate. (Or perhaps I’m just being a bit too British about it.)

5. Community

This was perhaps the most surprising element for me in a virtual course: being thrown into a group with unknowns, even online, was fun and hugely rewarding. The ongoing LinkedIn alumni group discussions are useful, but when the exam kicked off the community aspect came into its own. I found myself working with dozens of others from different backgrounds, different industries, different geographies, across different platforms that students had set up for knowledge sharing, study sessions or drop ins, from WhatsApp to Slack to Discord (take your pick). Everyone had each other’s back to get to the best answers, but also beyond — my WhatsApp group even helped each other with job interview prep and continues to share advice today. The twelve weeks are rewarding but depending on how much you integrate into the community, it can also create relationships that can last far beyond the course itself (and may even present career opportunities).



Brand strategy lead working with the c-suite to grow brands with award-winning strategy and creative execution.

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Stephen Pirrie

Brand strategy lead working with the c-suite to grow brands with award-winning strategy and creative execution.