Starting up: Global MBA alumna sets up The Knowledge Shop during part-time degree
Studying for her online Global MBA at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) has given recent one recent alumna the impetus to swap the corporate world for business ownership.
Victoria “Tori” Hanson initially joined the first ever cohort of the online Bayes Global MBA programme in 2020, while she was Managing Director of Commerce at The New York Times. However, she was inspired through opportunities on the programme to set up The Knowledge Shop as Founder and CEO, a marketplace for founders and remote workers to host and join collaborative in-person co-working sessions to expedite business growth.
For Tori, a British expat living in New York, having a humanistic element while maintaining global connections was key to her decision to study with Bayes.
“As a Brit in New York City, I knew I was looking for either a British or European school to maintain connections with my network and family,” she said.
“This meant I wanted a flexible format, yet one that maintained the chance for live, in-person teaching. As it turned out, being able to study remotely and uninterrupted during the pandemic was a big plus but many other reasons contributed to my final decision to join too.
“The Bayes MBA’s triple crown accreditation and specialisation in entrepreneurship was a big factor, as were the approachability and ongoing support provided by everyone in the team, from admissions to the faculty throughout the application process and course itself.
“The programme represented excellent value for me as well, but more important was the experience that I knew smaller cohorts would provide. I was less likely to be just one of a number and had more chance to make meaningful connections with faculty, staff and fellow students.”
Mindful of what she wished to achieve from the programme, Tori took modules in Technology and Innovation and New Venture Creation, giving her the opportunity to gain experiences with likeminded peers from all over the world, and the confidence to drive forward with her career ambitions
“Our cohort’s strength came from the diversity of geography, background and career stage.
“The programme was also a lot of fun along the way. The Technology and Innovation module involved creating a video about the evolution of e-scooters, where I discovered that their precursors were manufactured just down the road from where I live in 1920's New York!”
“My final-year Business Mastery project explored the evolution of start-up accelerators. This gave me the opportunity to speak to people from Silicon Valley and other start-up hubs, which later helped as I developed the concept for The Knowledge Shop – and connecting fellow founders in order to build stronger businesses faster.
“In addition to this, I joined the Entrepreneurship committee at Bayes. This helped me build a global entrepreneurial network aiding my transition into starting a company. Moreover, the opportunity to build a business plan and practice pitching – both during my electives and through the CitySpark start-up programme – was invaluable.”
Dr Aneesh Banerjee, former Course Director of the Bayes Global MBA, said Tori’s determination to study alongside her career transition and desire to make the most of the opportunities that Bayes offers from across the world will stand her in good stead.
“Tori is a fantastic example to anybody wishing to further their business career or take the bold leap of faith towards setting up a company by themselves,” he said.
“Despite being in a completely different time zone to many of her peers, Tori persevered with classes and groupwork outside of her own working hours and has graduated with flying colours alongside managing a successful start-up in the process.
“I look forward to seeing Tori’s start-up continue to grow, and watching the progress of all of our inaugural Global MBA graduates.”
Dr Manto Gotsi, the new Course Director of the Bayes Global MBA, said the programme should appeal to experienced managers, like Tori, who are motivated to develop a deeper understanding of business and management in their area while carrying on full-time work.
“Tori’s achievements are at the very heart of what our online MBA offering is about – giving students the chance to study from anywhere in the world alongside a full-time role, acquiring the advanced skills required to take bold business decisions and lead an organisation.
“The flexibility of the programme also allows students to directly apply learning to leadership and management roles immediately within their companies or teams.”