Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans

Nationality: British
Programme: Executive MBA, 2016
Pre-MBA: Sales Manager, Squiz UK Ltd, London, UK
Post-MBA: Director, Eastbound, London, UK
Current industry: Consulting
Transitions made: Function

Why did you choose the Cass Executive MBA?

When I decided to study an MBA, I had a very clear goal of leaving my career in sales, and wanted to develop a deeper understanding of how businesses work. I didn't know what field I wanted to move into precisely, but I felt that an MBA would help me to explore my options.

Cass Business School ticked all the right boxes for me due to its excellent London location, which was near my work and home. Plus, the fact that it offered an Executive MBA programme allowed me to fit study around my busy work schedule.

Balancing full-time work and study is a real challenge – there is a huge amount of work and you have to commit to studying in the evening and during weekends. With determination and drive, you can make it happen.

The teaching is of a very high standard and very practical. You gain real insights as many members of the faculty have been successful in business. As a result, I was able to apply the theory I’d learned in the classroom to my work. With my newly acquired knowledge, I soon found myself comfortably getting into conversations in my professional life, that I simply would not have dreamed of contributing to before.

What are the highlights of the programme?

The EMBA made me feel like I could hold my own. I think that everybody that goes through the programme, assumes initially that everybody on the course is more experienced, successful and smarter. Over time, you realise that each student has their own unique skills, and I began to feel that my knowledge of sales and ability to present were valuable. As well as learning from the talented individuals on my cohort, there were also areas where my skills and experience were useful to them.

Another aspect that had attracted me to the EMBA, was the range of electives on offer. The one that really stood out for me was Innovation and Entrepreneurship elective taught by Professor Vangelis Souitaris. The international offerings turned out to be a big highlight of the programme. In Israel and Palestine, we visited a number of start ups, explored the West Bank and discovered some of the amazing things they are doing there – it was an eye-opening experience and incredibly thought-provoking. I also visited Silicon Valley, where I gained exposure to some world-class technology firms and developed an in-depth understanding of what they’re doing out there.

How has the programme impacted your career?

I would say that taking the EMBA is the best decision I’ve made in my career. Professionally, it gave me exposure to a vast array of different processes and areas that I don't think I would have attained otherwise. It also enabled me to connect with high-quality people that made me up my game.

The day I handed in my Business Mastery Project, my company changed my role, so I achieved my aim of getting out of sales on the very day I finished the programme, a brilliant return on my investment.

I came away feeling more confident in my own capabilities than I ever had before, which then gave me the boost to launch my own business on the back of the work I was doing three months later. By the time I graduated in January I was working for myself.

Now I am Founder and director of Eastbound, a management consulting company. We operate mainly London, but are about to embark on some up-and-coming projects around the country. The programme has helped me to fulfil everything that I wanted and so much more.