Is a postgraduate business qualification, such as an MBA or MBL, relevant for people in the arts and entertainment?

AUGUST 1, 2014

Is a postgraduate business qualification, such as an MBA or MBL, relevant for people in the arts and entertainment? Absolutely, according to TV host and personality, Dalen Lance, who is completing his Master of Business Leadership (MBL) programme through the UNISA Graduate School of Business Leadership.  Dalen, who has worked on shows such as Dagbreek and Step Up Or Step Out, has found the business course invaluable for his entertainment career.

“As a creative, I always had the misconception that business and the arts are mutually exclusive. So, at the beginning of the course, I felt at a disadvantage given that so many of my team members have strong corporate credentials. However, three years later, I discovered that having been self?employed all this time, many of the syllabi resonated with me, because I had actively implemented many of the general business principles in order to develop my own brand as a business,” explains Lance.

At the start of the three-year postgraduate management development programme, everyone is allocated into study groups with ten members, allowing for both personal and professional development. During weekly interactions, where each person comes back with set deliverables, team members are encouraged to meaningfully contribute in their own way towards the success of the group as a whole. Each person’s year mark is dependent on the group’s collective success.

Lance believes that the hands-on leadership development and the wealth of relevant and up-to-date course work and field assignments in the area of strategy development are what has made the MBL programme so valuable to his career. “As an entrepreneur, I could implement the tools almost immediately, without having to wait for the programme to end. I think that is a big drawcard for people in similar positions.”

“This course has undoubtedly unlocked a mindset of both creativity and strong business acumen that has empowered me to drive the success of my own business ambitions and to allow my talents as a broadcasting host to flourish. My own world view on what makes a great leader has also been enhanced. I now have the tools to unearth the immense potential of those around me,” says Lance.

Regarded as one of the top business schools in South Africa, the SBL has produced more than a third of all the MBL/MBA degrees awarded by South African universities since its inception.

“We are driven by a philosophy of innovation, social responsibility, ethical engagement and global connectedness. We welcome postgraduate students from all fields,” says Dr Renosi Mokate, SBL Executive Director and CEO.  “The SBL does offer a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration for those who do not have a strong foundation in mathematics, economics and management sciences, which bridges the gap to the MBL course. The programme will provide an opportunity for students to gain access to our MBA and MBL degrees from 2016 when students will need an NQF Level 8 to enter these programmes. The success of the SBL’s approach is demonstrated daily by achievements of people like Dalen who have participated in our programmes.”  

Dalen received ten distinctions on the MBL programme, and will be graduating CumLaude on 14 October.