Vlerick behind the scenes: An insight into the Online MBA with Academic Director Steve Muylle

There is no one more qualified to give an insider view of our Online MBA than the course’s Academic Director, Dr Steve Muylle. As a Partner and Professor of Digital Strategy and Marketing at Vlerick Business School, Steve lives and breathes our Online MBA and the ways in which we are constantly striving to make it one of the world’s finest online MBA programmes.

Here, Steve shares his thoughts on what makes our Online MBA such an effective learning journey for those looking to reach the pinnacle of global business success.

How has the Vlerick MBA curriculum been adapted for online learning?

“I would call it a redesign rather than an adaptation. We’ve taken a close look at the on-ground MBA curriculum and designed it from an online perspective so it provides the same quality, rigour and learning,” he explains.

“We chose 12 key MBA courses and two immersive elements we want students to experience, which is why the interactive IMEx exercise and the Knowledge in Action project are included. 

“We were eager to facilitate and optimise synchronous online time with the faculty, and find what would be better to do asynchronously in terms of swapping concepts and ideas amongst participants.”

How does Vlerick ensure the same outstanding course delivery and teaching on the Online MBA as the full-time and Executive MBA programmes?

“In essence it’s the same faculty, the same degree and the same workload. The online delivery is grounded in the same Vlerick learning experience, and the same subject-matter experts are there as tutors to offer their support. 

With the Vlerick name comes our outstanding standard of executive business education and passion for helping our participants excel, which is consistent across all our programmes, including the Online MBA.”  

What benefits are there to being able to continue a career path at the same time as studying for the Online MBA? 

“There are many benefits, the most obvious being its flexibility. You don’t have to give up work or pause your career to study, so there’s no knock-on effect a career break can cause.”

Steve Muylle continues, “There are also important benefits in combining an MBA programme with your career. You can put newly-learned knowledge into action immediately on the job. Conversely, you can take real-life working scenarios and study how that action relates to the theoretical aspects of the programme.

“This helps your colleagues too; they can benefit from the Online MBA through you and offer their own take on programme content. It’s pragmatic and integrated, you can leverage your MBA in your job and leverage your job in the MBA.”

There’s exceptional business experience among the Online MBA faculty, what do the team bring to the programme?

“The Online MBA faculty is the same as that on the campus-based MBA programmes. What they bring is in the Vlerick DNA; a balance of academic and business-minded expertise, and a great deal of enthusiasm. Many of them work for market-leading businesses, or sit on the board of multinational corporations as independent directors, so the calibre of business acumen amongst our faculty is second to none.” 

How would you say the Online MBA can prepare business professionals to reach their career goals (i.e. a senior leadership role /setting up their own enterprise)?

“Our participants tend to be senior business professionals who are incredibly good at what they do, but their skills may be very specialised,” says Steve. “The Online MBA enables them to get a much broader managerial profile.”

“For those who are entrepreneurial, our programme can help them make sure their idea becomes a solid business venture. You’ll work with innovators who have faced the same challenges in order to become successful entrepreneurs. You can learn a huge amount from their knowledge, experience, pragmatism and access to global business networks.”

What would you say are some of the key qualities that make a dynamic business leader and how does the Online MBA develop these?

“A dynamic business leader must be capable of turning knowledge into action, and should be able to lead, motivate and engage people. They should understand their role within society and think about how they contribute to that through their business and activities.

“Knowledge in action is a key component of the programme; all the courses and immersive content is designed to help participants convert their learning into tangible business results – this isn’t just textbook teaching,” he continues. 

“In terms of leadership, the programme includes a complete leadership course organised as a full horizontal track over seven weeks. After this, our personal coaches continue to develop our participants' leadership skills throughout the programme to make sure they become the best leader they can be.”


Finally, how would you describe the perfect Vlerick Online MBA student?

“The first quality that comes to mind is open-mindedness, or more accurately, an open view of the world, an embracing of diversity and an interest in international markets.

“Students should be just as eager to share their knowledge and contribute to the programme as they are to learn. We want people who think; how can my learnings be of value to people in my company, stakeholders, my fellow students and wider network? Vlerick Online MBA students are not just in it for the individual learning, but for the social learning and the community contribution, and perpetuate the programme through the dynamic action they go on to take.”

But don’t just take Dr Muylle’s word for it, discover more about how our Online MBA can help you become a better business leader by completing our request form.

Accreditations & rankings

  • Association of MBAs
  • The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Financial Times