2018 Best Online MBAs: Thanos Patsos, Warwick Business School

Thanos Patsos

Warwick Business School (WBS)

Keen to learn and develop, driven, but equally stubborn with lots of improvement potential.”

Age: 37

Hometown: Chios, Greece

Fun fact about yourself: Once a teenage heavy metal music fan, I have slowly but steadily turned to a progressive rock enthusiast with my own online radio show. I would like to believe this is a form of development and not purely the effect of growing older.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering

Where are you currently working? I work at ENGIE as a Technical Energy Manager; the transition to my current role and the energy industry was accomplished during my MBA degree.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I have always placed importance in supporting younger members of my team. I feel particularly content with having been able to help with the professional development of fellow colleagues, both in my current and previous role, by using methods and techniques acquired through the MBA programme. Elements of leadership, coaching, and organizational behavior played a big part not only in understanding myself and my work environments but also in seeing others overcome problems and thrive – this feeling of satisfaction is difficult to beat.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? Reputation, organization, comprehensive curriculum, and rounded knowledge. When I started looking for MBA options, these were the things where WBS “ticked the box”.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? One can work at their own pace and organize their time to achieve the goals of the programme. It was quite important that I did not lose the momentum at work, so being able to work around my day-to-day job at my own time was essential, even if this meant that free time is no longer free.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? Strangely enough, it works! There is a certain amount (and different type) of interaction with tutors and colleagues. At the end of the day, the amount of information and support from others seeps through and generates a non-conventional but creative learning experience.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? It is completely different. I did not feel like a “student” in the strict sense, but rather an equal participant in a conversation. There are elements of the in-the-classroom experience that cannot be substituted (and you feel this when you go on the residential courses and Warwick Weeks), but it is unlikely that you will feel bored in the online environment.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Try and stay in touch daily, even if it is to check announcements on the portals or downloading material to read the next day. I found continuity to be key to successfully completing the programme. Be prepared to work hard and organize your time as best as you can.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? Online dynamics are an interesting feature to watch; the language and interaction through technology take a different shape and in today’s virtual workplace. Having been through this experience, it made me more aware of online team dynamics and expectations.

If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? Without a second thought, YES. Beyond the academic knowledge, I felt that the programme broadened my horizons, gave me the chance to meet fascinating people, and made me a better person.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? It keeps changing every now and then, especially after having done the MBA and appreciated the opportunities that are revealed before you. I think I will end up doing something completely different to my current career path.