Diana Squires

"Your future is worth investing in; the MICL will change you and challenge you."

MSc course: Innovation, Creativity and Leadership
Graduation year: 2021

What motivated you to study Innovation, Creativity and Leadership at Bayes Business School?

When I started telling my network that I was considering this course, I kept hearing, “Oh, definitely. Innovation, Creativity and Leadership are your three middle names!” I’ve been wired that way since childhood, and I’ve sought those elements in every job I’ve had thus far.

Completing a master’s was a long-time goal of mine and I deliberated for several years about whether to pursue Theatre Management, an MBA, or another degree related to Creativity and Strategy. In 2018, I started to lean towards the latter and I discovered the MICL in Autumn 2019.

This programme at Bayes was like no other that I had found (and I had searched postgraduate options all across Europe and North America). Another appealing feature of Bayes was a Women’s Leadership scholarship that I applied for and received in August.

This offering, from the Global Women’s Leadership Programme at Bayes, demonstrated a commitment to EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion) that is vital in today’s business world. I committed to the course before knowing the status of my scholarship application, because the tuition was reasonable compared to other options I’d explored.

Can you tell us a bit about studying at Bayes?

I enjoyed every single module, and was impressed with the variety as well as the threads that wove them all together. My particular favourites included Creative Problem Solving & Leadership which was practical and inspiring, with extremely useful resources (books, articles, and videos offered).

The Technologies for Creativity & Innovation module surprised me, as I am not passionate about technology. It helped me think critically about my own engagement with technology and how to effectively leverage this in my approach to leadership and teamwork.

Our lecturer’s approach was inspiring and inclusive, given the variety of each student’s relationship with technology. Her structure and probing questions also helped us to thrive in our group-work settings.

In my comparison of postgraduate business programmes, I was most interested in those that offered electives. These were a valuable complement to the MICL curriculum and I appreciated the diversity of perspectives.

Also, highlighting the range of modules in my CV and job interviews has helped to set me apart as a candidate. I have had an inordinately high rate of job interviews from applications submitted, and I think that the MICL degree as a distinctive on my CV has really helped with that.

Could you please tell us about your current job role?

Before and since graduating, I have been employed on several interesting contracts, many of which came through the network I gained from the MICL. They have included contributing expertise to a participatory ‘Design Fiction’ workshop organised by a MICL alumnus from a previous year (I learned new methods and met like-minded professionals).

I also facilitated a ‘Meet the Author’ segment at a book launch (another fascinating alumna from several years ago) and even presented my dissertation research to entrepreneurs in Cuba.

Amongst other contract roles and speaking engagements, I’ve also been working at the UK’s National Centre for Creativity Enabled by Artificial Intelligence, contributing in several ways: podcast production, market research, user research, external relations, corporate communication materials, group design-thinking, product development, prototype testing, and more.

I also completed a project for a company that provides arts-based workshops to business professionals; through user research and market research, I helped prepare their business for the post-pandemic economy by proposing a strategic step-change in product design and delivery.

How do you believe your master’s has impacted your career and your career goals?

This degree has propelled me into a fresh start in a city where I have always dreamt of living and working. It has expanded my network to include the sorts of professionals I am most interested in working with. It has given me colleagues (from the cohort) and mentors (from the teaching team). It helped build my personal resilience and adaptability during the pandemic.

Finally, it added to my teamwork skills, and my perspective on leadership.

As a mid-career student, I had the opportunity to bring my previous work experience to the classroom and learn from other students who came from vastly different fields.

I strongly encourage anyone else at a change point in their career, or simply in search of personal and professional inspiration, to consider the MICL. It will change you for the better, and prepare you to be the sort of thinker and doer that today’s economy desperately needs.

What advice would you have for students considering MSc Innovation, Creativity and Leadership?

This degree is what you make it—even moments of stress and frustration can teach you something and are worth far more than the cost of tuition. Secondly, do more than the basic requirements. It’s easy to coast if a reading is labelled ‘optional’ but this does your personal development a disservice. You may regret later that you only capitalised on a portion of the learning opportunities presented.

And my final bit of advice: For your dissertation or capstone project, choose something you’re passionate about and don’t think about the grades.

Your future is worth investing in; the MICL will change you and challenge you. It’s relevant and it’s one-of-a-kind. Bayes Business School is highly respected and boasts a vast network that will help you gain employment.

I’m so glad I chose this route and I’d be glad to chat with anyone, currently deciding, who wants to bounce ideas off a graduate and former MICL Cohort Representative.