Which MBA is the right MBA for you?


When considering following an MBA program, you have different options to choose from. Finding the right MBA format for you, all depends on your lifestyle and study needs.

At MSM you can choose from three different MBA formats - the full-time MBA, the part-time Executive MBA and the part-time Online MBA.

All three formats equip you with the core MBA knowledge and skills following the same curricular. All formats also offer you various expertise tracks to customize your MBA around your career ambitions.

However, apart from the similarities, each format has its unique additional benefits.

Let’s have a closer look at the different formats.

Full-time MBA

If you have the possibility to take a break from your current career to fully focus on your MBA studies, the 1-year Full-time MBA could be a good option for you.

The typical characteristics of the MSM Full-time MBA are:

  • An intense, multicultural class experience, helping you to improve your intercultural communication skills and broaden your international network.
  • Full day classes consisting of interactive lectures, individual and group assignments.
  • Work visits, expert guest lectures, and simulation games are part of the program, and you can benefit from extra-curricular and social events.
  • The program includes an Innovation Week with workshops focusing on Agile Project Planning and Service Design.
  • Optional Career and Personal Development Track to help you prepare for the job market.
  • Opportunity for non-EU students to apply for an orientation year permit after graduation, allowing you to stay in the Netherlands for 1 year to search for a job.
  • The age range of students is 24 to 40 years, with an average age of 32 years.
  • Work experience varies from 3 to 15 years, with an average work experience of 8 years.

To get a better view on why students explicitly choose the Full-time MBA, we talked to Vimbai and Chinmay, two of our recent students. They also shared their experiences in the program and how it contributed to their professional and or private life.

Vimbai Mavhusa

“I wanted the experience of connecting with colleagues and experiencing their world views, thoughts, and brilliant ideas first-hand. I am a people person and an experiential learner, so the full time MBA was a no brainer decision for me, as it provides these two aspects in a nice, neat package.

My most valuable full-time MBA experience was meeting my new MBA family, learning from and growing with each of them, and engaging with the educators who worked to further equip us with skills that will be useful for success in this VUCA world.

I discovered my career passion through experiential learning. From the first course to the last, I learnt a little bit more about myself and what brings me fulfilment in a career setting. In addition to the course materials and learnings, the 6P consulting sessions, with insights from psychometric and personality tests, helped me to finally see, after many years on this earth (compared to most of my MBA colleagues), what job role and industry would benefit most from my particular set of skills and psychological make - up, with the reciprocation of giving me fulfilment in what I do.”

Chinmay Rautmare

“I wanted to gain a cohesive learning experience with my classmates. The physical classroom environment helps in understanding different perspectives in a much better way as there is a lot of diversity among my classmates. It is not just the diversity among students but also among the professors that made me choose the full-time format of the MSM MBA.

MSM opened up a whole new professional frontier for me that I wouldn't have been able to discover otherwise. I think the entire program trains you to work under pressure and cope with new challenges which, I believe, will definitely help me in my professional life ahead. 

Now I do know the direction I want to take in the future. Even on the personal front, I learnt a lot of new aspects of my personality that I never thought existed before. Finally, it's the friends I made during this program, that would be my biggest take-away from this program.”

Executive MBA

If you don’t want to put your career on hold while studying your MBA and still want to enjoy an in-class experience, you might want to consider the Executive MBA.

The typical characteristics of the MSM Executive MBA are:

  • A modular design, consisting of four modules per year of 8 days long, limiting your time away from work and allowing you to combine your study with your family and social life. 
  • The program can be finalized in 2.5 years, but you can take longer if needed.
  • The program focuses on practice-oriented assignments, allowing you to act as an internal consultant to your company, immediately applying your MBA knowledge at work.
  • You share the classroom with experienced fellow students from many different nationalities and job backgrounds, which will broaden your horizon and your professional network.
  • Age range of students is 28 to 55 years, with an average age of 39 years.
  • Work experience varies from 5 to 28 years, with an average work experience of 13 years.
  • You can enjoy course related work visits, expert guest lectures and simulation games.
  • You can make use of MSM’s Career Services where needed.

Recent Executive MBA students Mohamed and Eleonora explain why they choose the MSM Executive MBA and how they benefit from it.

Mohamed Mohamedi

“I picked the MSM Executive MBA program after carefully studying the available programs in The Netherlands. It was clearly feasible that the MSM Executive MBA would be the right choice for me due to the international environment, global network, studying modules and accreditation.

During my MBA, I really enjoyed the group work, the challenging assignments, the broad and intensive background of professors, interactive learning experience and the global diverse network of classmates.

MSM contributed a lot to my professional persona; besides extending my global network beyond the energy sector, it helped me in enriching my business comprehensive competence that was a key enabler in recently moving to a senior position in international cooperation.”

Eleonora Stoyanova

“Having a full-time job, I decided to do the Executive MBA because of the convenience of the schedule, while I could still benefit from the face-to-face classes, meeting people in person and working together on the assignments. During the weeks spent in Maastricht for the lectures, we could also socialize and have fun together. This felt somewhat like a holiday and every time it was difficult to leave Maastricht.

The most valuable are the people I met, the stories and the experiences we shared. The international environment, the diversity of professional backgrounds and experience everyone brought, including the lecturers, were really valuable and enriching, and it is what made the program really enjoyable.

Not only the Executive MBA has given me  deeper knowledge and skills of different business operations and areas, but it also provided me with the opportunities to speak to successful entrepreneurs on what it takes to run successful businesses, on how all divisions are linked and dependent on each other and how vital it is to be able to synchronize all business functions and people within an organization to work together.”

Online MBA

When you are looking for the most flexible MBA option, then the Online MBA might be your best choice.

Here you find the main characteristics of the MSM Online MBA:

  • You can follow the MSM Online MBA as a 100% online program with no obligations for residential weeks, saving you time and cost for traveling and allowing you to study your MBA at your own preferred time and location.  
  • You will be part of a diverse and international virtual classroom.
  • The age range is 28-48 years, with an average age of 37
  • Work experience varies from 5 to 23 years, with an average of 12 years.
  • To enable optimal networking and peer-to-peer learning, we keep the MSM Online MBA class at a maximum of 15 participants.
  • Courses are delivered in 8-weeks modules in an active learning format. To keep you focused and on track you will fulfill practice-oriented assignments on a weekly basis.
  • You will benefit from peer-to-peer learning in the discussion forum. As part of the weekly assignments, students give feedback to research findings of fellow students in the discussion forum. Every student takes his/her own approach in addressing the topic based on experience and background, providing a rich and diverse learning environment.
  • Through the Online MBA you develop specific skills that are indicated by employers as highly important. Think about skills like self-discipline and self-motivation, but also time management and the capability of working with virtual teams spread over the world.

Current Online MBA students Nicole and Ziad made a deliberate choice for studying the MBA online.

Nicole Westbroek

“I chose the online format of the MSM MBA due to the flexibility it offered me. I am able to continue working full time while pursuing this study.

As a trained aerospace engineer, the MBA study has helped me to make a smooth transition into the world of business. The coursework varies greatly, and I find it exciting to be learning the most cutting-edge business approaches and frameworks available in today’s market.

I currently work in business strategy. With the MBA coursework I’ve done so far, I’m able to approach my work with new ideas and a level of understanding I did not have before.”

Ziad Zoubian

“Ironically, the pandemic was odd in my favor. Although face-to-face interaction has its benefits and was realized only when deprived of it, so does the digitalized and remote new normal as it proved to be efficient, and it cuts short on commuting time. In my case, the online program was an advantage I took to pursue my graduate studies without disrupting my career path.

During my MBA studies I found the diversity of the topics tackled very interesting which made the sessions interesting to attend and committing to the program easy. I wouldn’t have imagined being able to have a full-time job and in parallel do an MBA study and yet meeting deadlines in both.

As a humanitarian, the program opened my eyes to the private sector: a gap in my knowledge that I was able to bridge. I consider myself now looking into the world with a new pair of eyes. How would I have ever connected the impact of a bean disease in Costa Rica on a Starbucks coffee shop in Berlin? One of the countless wonders of the global supply chain and the web world we live in.”

Which MBA quiz

if you are not sure yet which MBA program would be the best match for you, you can take this 5-minute quiz, to find out which format would be the most suitable option for you.

Which MBA webinar

Recently we organized a webinar in which we took a closer look at the specific return on investment (ROI) of each MBA format. If you would like to watch the webinar, you can find the recording here.