Before I joined the Cass Executive MBA, I was working at a global media agency and I was at a point in my career where I had gained a decent amount of experience, but had not specialised in a particular area. The media industry requires a very flexible mind-set and skillset to deal with any new situation; more and more the importance is on soft skills as technologies are evolving on a daily basis.
When looking for a programme, location was very important to my family and me and I was looking for a school with a diverse offering where I could meet people from all industries and different backgrounds. I wanted to understand what was happening in other sectors and what challenges they were facing.
The intellectual challenge of returning to education was very refreshing compared to the concerns of the corporate world, but the time requirement cannot be underestimated. I wanted to get the most out of the programme but this meant that most of my evenings and weekends were spent at the school. The support and understanding from family was indispensable. Although, due to the time pressures, I found myself being more efficient at work. The Executive MBA experience showed me how much more capable I am when under pressure.
Working with the professional development team supported me in developing my soft skills, which were transferable into my work such as team management, leadership and understanding team member’s motivations. I was also able to develop my presentation and negotiation skills that helped to boost my confidence.
All of the modules contributed to building a rounded view of business. In the second year, I chose electives that added to my long-term professional goals such as management and strategy. I also took the time to take electives which I found interesting, even if they were very different to my profession, such as private equity and investment management.
Even though I’m not a finance professional, the Executive MBA showed me how the thinking, approaches, frameworks used in finance and other sectors can be transferred to my profession. I actually applied strategy and investment management frameworks in my company which was also a good intellectual challenge. The elective “Managing Professional Services Firms” was a stand out due to applying the learnings from law firms, consultancies and auditors to the media industry. It allowed me to understand how my company and industry is managed from a different perspective.
I used the Business Mastery Project to raise my profile within the company by addressing a corporate challenge on securing more clients. I was able to interview and have facetime with very senior members of the company and establish strong relationships. Without the BMP, it would have taken me much more time and I don’t believe I would have established as solid connections.
The Cass Executive MBA helped me understand that my career is my responsibility. Before I was naïve and did not have a clear plan of my goals or have to achieve them. Since finishing I feel that I`m in control with a plan on how to reach my goals. I have moved company and I`m now heading a department of 20+ people, reporting to the global board and am a respected member of the management team – none of which could have been achieved without the confidence I gained at Cass.