Amit Bothra


Masters in Major Programme Management





By Amit Bothra

Masters in Major Programme Management or Four Rolex Watches

This is my first ever blog and I admit up front that it won’t be anywhere near as creative and juicy as some of the other blogs written in this space so far. But I will dare to give it a go and see where I reach on this expedition.

My journey on this course began with an assurance from an astrologer in India back in 2014 whom my mom consults once in a blue moon. I was visiting India on a short holiday and my mom persuaded me to see this astrologer who apparently speaks 2-3 sentences only after going through the person’s horoscope and zodiac signs and palm reading for a maximum of 2 minutes. He doesn’t charge anything for this and only does it for his interest in the subject.

The two things he said were: firstly, don’t embark on any business of your own for at least the next 3-4 years and secondly, you will pursue higher education at some prestigious institute. The first one for me was like, whatever, I am getting challenged very seriously by people who know me, but the second one intrigued me as I always wanted to do another MBA (a proper one) from Harvard Business School or Stanford, nothing less. But the GMAT and going to the USA with 2 young kids when I had just bought my first house in the UK didn’t sound like a great idea. Also, there were pertinent questions: ‘what will I get from doing another MBA’ (apart from it being a proper one in my definition) and ‘where do I see the value for my money’?

Next was my search for alternative courses and universities in the UK. God-sent wisdom said why don’t I pursue something related to my work experience, hence I began my search for a course in Project/Programme management in the UK. My first search string on Google was ‘courses in programme management’ and guess what? Tons of universities came up, but Oxford was not there on the first page. Me being snooty, I wouldn’t go to the second page, but before I decided on anything I thought ‘why not use my never-ending lifeline, “Phone a Friend”’, and I ended up calling a friend who told me he did some fancy course from Oxford University costing him a fortune.

This is how I came to learn about the MMPM course offered by SBS. Then, of course, I did my thorough research about the programme – most importantly, can I afford it? – and not to forget, did it fit my value for money barometer?

It finally boiled down to a choice between this course and four Rolex watches (in 2015 prices). After long deliberation and pondering I chose the course. Some of you would be thinking, what’s the relationship between a University course and Rolex watches – by the way I am a big fan of Rolex watches and one could easily buy several of them for the amount one would spend on such courses.

What an idiot to make such a comparison, but I will leave it to your discretion whether you are the first lot (Oxford, no brainer, what a sinful comparison!) or the second lot (surely four Rolex watches).

My decision was well self-endorsed by the sixth day of the first module itself. I was like `I would sell my Rolexes for this course`, if I had any though.

I will leave it here for today and promise to come back telling you how many Rolexes I have earned so far, but let me just say I have started counting…….

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