Programme: Executive MBA, 2018
Pre-MBA: Associate, Mott MacDonald, London, UK
Post-MBA: Principal/Director & Account Lead, Mott MacDonald, London, UK
Current industry: Consulting
Transitions made: Function
When I started the Executive MBA, I was an Associate with Mott MacDonald, an employee-owned management, engineering and development consultancy. During my time at Cass, I have been promoted to Principal/Director level, and have also taken on an Account Leadership role.
One of the main reasons I chose the EMBA programme at Cass, was for the networking opportunities. Being based in the City of London, and having a rich, diverse and widely experienced cohort, ensures that you not only get academic contributions from a broad base, which brings fresh outlooks and healthy challenge, but also a social aspect. Alongside this, the programme offers a distinctive blend of impressive academic leadership and dedicated professional development teams which together, offers a unique package when compared to other Executive MBA providers.
The Executive MBA content covers a very broad curriculum, and I found it all hugely engaging, interesting and valuable. I did, however, take a particular interest in the strategic, leadership, and organisational behaviour content. The skills I learnt have proven invaluable in my new role: effectively managing and leading teams within a large organisation and making strategic decisions.
The most significant experience I had was through the international consultancy week in Chile. I have worked in professional services/engineering my whole career, so I took the opportunity whilst in South America, to work for a charitable organisation, albeit still within the build environment sector. I learnt a great deal from the experience, about different sectors and my own strengths, weaknesses, and the ability to make meaningful contributions in new ways. On returning to the UK, I used my Business Mastery Project to develop an initiative to help tackle the international refugee housing crisis by bringing the Chilean organisations people together with my Mott MacDonald team, enhancing and reinvigorating our existing ‘Engineering Hope’ initiative, which is still ongoing.
The EMBA programme is intense, but thankfully the whole cohort goes through it together, so naturally at first, we spent a lot of time together – supporting, encouraging and just generally helping each other through it. This resulted in a really close-knit group, and many of us still see each other regularly for both social and professional reasons. In the second year, when the programme is a little less structured and rigorous, the cohort mixed more with other MBA students – again, both socially, academically, and for professional purposes.
The personal care and attention provided by the careers team is excellent. Even though I wasn’t necessarily looking to move organisations, their advice and highly effective one-to-one feedback helped me enormously. The professional development workshops are also excellent, and the fact that Cass puts time and effort into shaping the softer skills of the cohort, as well as the obvious academic endeavour of the students, is key to producing effective business leaders.
One takeaway from the programme, is the gaining of greater confidence in your own ability. Whilst many new skills are learnt, and new methodologies and concepts are explored – I found that simply being in the learning environment with a group of highly capable peers and faculty, enabled me to share and test out new ideas. Having them challenged and validated in a supportive environment, builds a trust in yourself. I have been able to explore imaginative new initiatives, and to effect meaningful change both within my organisation, as well in other areas, because of the confidence gained while at Cass.