Partner content

An MBA is not a degree

An MBA is an integral part of ongoing personal development, not just a piece of paper, says Christo Nel of Nyenrode Business Universiteit.

(Sponsored feature)

An MBA qualification is not a degree – it is so much more. It is a journey of personal development that enables the vast majority of participants in a good MBA program to significantly enhance their potential.

This highly sought after post-graduate program has evolved into one of the most – if not the most – demanded business qualifications in the world, and for many reasons.

Being part of over 100 MBA cohorts and engaging with more than 3,000 students over more than a decade has taught me so many valuable lessons about personal growth.

I have learned a great deal about  meeting the continuously evolving challenge of developing some of the finest talent the world has to offer.

  • Like with any other undertaking there are high quality and sub-standard options. Fortunately great progress has been made to offer assurances about the quality of MBA programs. International accreditation bodies such as EFMD (EQUIS), AMBA and AACSB have become a hallmark of excellence. Nyenrode has two of the three accreditations
  • The vast majority of traditional academic degrees rightfully focus on teaching participants the theory and application of a specific subject – what must you do to become a professional in certain area? A MBA course goes beyond this.It ensures participants develop an astute understanding of the fundamentals of business and management. In addition, the better programs are designed to enable individuals to discover their personal skills as a manager and leader.

    At Nyenrode we have taken this much further and use the entire duration of the MBA program to stimulate the development of an individual’s capabilities for leadership, entrepreneurship and stewardship. These three pillars of personal growth are arguably the most essential requirements for making lasting contributions to organisations in the 21st  century.

  • MBA participants embark on their journey for a wide diversity of reasons. Some want to grow into senior managers and executives; others want to start their own businesses or are gearing up to take over family enterprises; some want to make a career shift. Being part of such a diverse group of people deepens personal growth even more.
  • People who have completed this intensified journey of personal development feel the full benefit of a truly exceptional MBA which has enabled them to fulfil their promise for the rest of their careers.
  • The continuous high pressure; the diversity of learning; the value of intensive and extensive engagement with peers; and the practicality of an MBA creates the deep foundations of development that last a life-time.

No, an MBA is not a degree. It is part of the life-long process of individual development and ensures the vast majority of participants are ready to take charge of their careers, to exercise meaningful influence, to drive ongoing innovation and to contribute to the wellbeing of generations to come.

Christo Nel is the Program Director of International MBA and Executive MBA at Nyenrode Business Universiteit in the Netherlands. Christo Nel is a previous head of the Centre for Leadership Studies at the Stellenbosch University School of Business (USB),where he specialized in leadership development and high performance organization cultures and practices. His wealth of experience of the challenges facing leadership of medium to large and corporate organizations makes him one of South Africa’s most respected consultants and executive coaches.

About Nyenrode MBA

Getting your MBA at Nyenrode is a 360° journey of discovering your personal authentic leadership, entrepreneurship and stewardship capabilities. It stretches far beyond obtaining a diploma.

The Nyenrode MBA is designed to meet your personal and professional aspirations in a way that matches best with your career and your private life. Therefore, we have a complete palette of choices: full-time, part-time or modular.

Do you want more than just a degree?

Then contact us for personal consultation or participation in class experience sessions.

Call or e-mail Joke Siahaya +31 346 291 291 MBA@NYENRODE.NL and discover different angles! Or visit

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation