What does it take to become an effective leader? Business leaders obtain hard skills and should have experience in areas like:
- information analysis
- project development
- basic economics
- financial forecasting
- electronic technologies
However, successful leaders go beyond hard skills. They are able to understand the people they work with. Interpersonal skills and empathetic management techniques turn bosses into leaders who have real influence over their employees and the company for whom they work.
An online MBA is an internationally recognised degree that prepares its graduates with the necessary skills for businesses and business management, but not every online MBA teaches the personal and professional skills required to be successful outside of school.
The Aston Online MBA includes the fundamentals of business, as well as a personal and professional development programme based on the latest thinking in behavioural science to give graduates the “Aston Edge.”
Learn more about how the Aston Edge can boost your online MBA and employment opportunities after completion.
What is the Aston Edge Programme?
The Aston Edge programme is offered alongside Aston University Business School’s online MBA programme. It was designed to help students map out their ideal career and build their coursework around these goals.
The Aston Edge is broken into three phases to help students choose which areas of development fit their needs. The programme helps students create a personal portfolio that will continue to serve their professional development after they attain their degree. Each phase is intended to bridge the gap between an academic setting and a business setting to ensure every student’s transition into the workplace is seamless.
The Aston Edge Modules
1. Aston Edge Future
The first phase aims to prepare students to make the most of the MBA programme by building on critical skills. It requires students to operate with a level of self-awareness necessary to identify their strengths and limitations.
Students will be asked to set goals, reflect on what motivates them, what their ideal career looks like and what obstacles they must overcome to fulfill their long-term goals. The programme values personal career growth and helps students build a custom career management plan.
The Aston Edge allows students to start their programme with a clear intention before moving into the growth phase.
2. Aston Edge Reflections and Growth
Students continue to foster self-awareness during the Reflections and Growth phase of the Aston Edge programme, building on their networking and relationship skills.
This portion teaches students aspects of behavioural science to effectively communicate with others, interact with geographically disparate audiences online and develop acute problem-solving skills that translate into a business setting.
The Reflections and Growth stage of the programme is supported by workshops, one-to-one mentoring and networking events that encourage students to support one another as they build their skills.
3. Aston Edge Project
This final stage is the completion of a hands-on research project where students have the opportunity to showcase the skills and leadership capabilities developed in this MBA programme. Students are able to select a specific organisational challenge and spend time curating the ideal managerial methods, business methods and tools necessary to reach a socially responsible solution.
The project is designed to resemble a common organisational issue students could face in their future workplaces. To simulate a real-life experience, the final project integrates:
- data analysis
- hypothesis finding
- communication styles
- leadership techniques
How Does the Aston Edge Make this Online MBA Different from a Traditional Online MBA?
There are three major differentiators between a traditional online MBA and the Aston Edge MBA programme:
- Flexibility: Tailor the programme to specific needs and goals
- Behavioural science: Learn interpersonal skills that translate to the workplace
- Hands-on experience: Go beyond theory by completing a relevant research project
Read on to learn more about how these features make the Aston Edge programme unique.
1. Unparalleled Flexibility
The Aston Online MBA coupled with the Aston Edge programme grants students the flexibility to customise it to suit their career aspirations. Students complete a series of core modules to build their foundational skills. They then choose from four unique pathways that cater to their specialisation:
- Global Business
- Organisational Development
Aston University does not prescribe a one-size-fits-all online MBA. Every student completes the core modules. However, if the four pathways do not fit a student's needs, the student can mix and match modules that teach the specialised skills they want to learn.
For example, a student that has completed the core modules may prefer to diversify their skill set and select courses that fall under both Global Business and Entrepreneurship. The key to this course structure is delivering students the utmost flexibility to learn skills relevant to their future goals.
2. The Latest in Behavioural Science
Behavioural science is a unique discipline that explains how to effectively, efficiently and ethically influence other people’s behaviours. This science is an accumulation of sociology, social anthropology and psychology.
Behavioural science is now applied to business settings to help companies and leaders better manage people. The Aston Edge programme uses the latest in behavioural science to help its students become influential communicators, effective negotiators, proactive managers and emotionally intelligent leaders.
The programme centres around a series of relationship building workshops that teach students how to interact effectively in a business setting. The Aston Edge programme also teaches students soft skills that many online MBA programmes fail to offer, including:
- intercultural awareness
- negotiation skills
- confident body language
- powerful communication
- ethical awareness
- change management
3. Hands-On Experience
Every Aston Edge programme student completes a final research project where the skills are applied to an organisational issue or challenge. The Aston Edge project goes beyond theory, allowing students to investigate problems and determine strategies and solutions they would apply in a business setting. This project requires students to step into a leadership role.
In line with the programme’s flexible design, the project offers choices based on each student’s career goals. A student with aspirations to become an entrepreneur or small business owner may choose to write a business plan for a start-up, whereas a student interested in global business may complete an internship abroad.
Every project involves research and problem-solving that will be relevant outside of the online MBA programme. The final project could involve the following:
- Completing a consultancy project for a client
- Writing a business plan for a start-up
- Creating a report on an in-company internship
- Committing to an extended research project
Can the Aston Edge Online MBA Increase Employability?
One of the greatest benefits of the Aston Edge programme is its ability to bridge the gap between a degree and a career. From the first phase of the programme, students build a career management plan and tailor their courses to fit this map. The final research project tests students on their ability to transfer theory into application.
This innovative model has been recognised by employers worldwide. In fact, over the last 20 years, Aston University has consistently been ranked as a top university for graduate employability and has produced a network of more than 90,000 alumni. Aston Business University continues to gain recognition for its online MBA.
Learn More About the Aston Edge Online MBA
If you have aspirations to become an influential leader in business, but you’re unsure where to start, learn more about the comprehensive Aston Online MBA and Aston Edge programme.
Develop foundational skills that will help you manage day-to-day tasks in the workplace and the confidence, leadership and communication skills necessary to pursue your desired career.