Degrees and courses for international students
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Case study: Irene Adler

Irene Adler, Austria, MBA graduate, General Manager of Global Marketing

“I come from Austria and hadn't studied economics nor technology, and I am not in the banking sector either. So I guess I am not classic MBA material.

After A-levels I studied languages at a business academy in Vienna. Since 2001 I have been based in Germany, and work in marketing and corporate communications for international mechanical engineering companies. After several years in management for Marketing Asia and Europe for Mori Seiki, a Japanese machine tool manufacturer, I was promoted to General Manager of Global Marketing in 2011.

I decided to do an MBA for two main reasons: I wanted to avoid “tunnel vision” in my day to day work whilst enhancing my ability to think outside the box. Plus I wished to broaden my general business knowledge and my leadership skills. 

In the end I chose The Open University Business School because I wanted to study in English and at a triple-accredited European business school.

Irene Adler, MBA graduate

Despite being in a senior role, I managed to complete my MBA at The Open University in three years. Receiving the degree at London's Barbican Centre in March 2012 felt really great!

Because I’m on business trips most of the time, the flexibility of distance education is very handy; I did not need to lug heavy books around and often learned by downloading digital versions of the study materials onto my iPad or logging onto The Open University’s online study site. When I needed to talk to someone about my studies, I never felt alone. My tutors were there when I needed them, and I could exchange experiences with fellow students I met during tutorials in Munich and at several residential schooling sessions in Brussels. While travelling, I used email, telephone or the OU’s online student platform to communicate. At home in Munich, I met fellow students several times to study together and also to occasionally socialise.

During my studies, Mori Seiki began a strategic partnership with a German machine tool manufacturer, and I was appointed by our board to join the internal team that managed the merger and acquisition process. I was very proud to be charged with a task that goes beyond marketing.

My MBA studies certainly played a major role in the appointment, in addition to my sound knowledge of the company, my language skills, as well as my understanding of working between and with many different cultures.

The decision to study for an Open University MBA was definitely the right choice; I have developed my knowledge beyond marketing, which took my career to the next level, and I have gained experience in an international global M&A process, being involved in corporate strategy first hand. After all, I was the first woman to be promoted to General Manager in the history of the company.”

Read Lauren’s case study.