Lina Rahmanian

" The School’s MBA graduates have a very special quality: perseverance. Despite all our differences, each one of us is committed to keep going and to keep trying."

Lina Rahmanian

Nationality: Iranian
Programme: Full-time MBA, 2019
Pre-MBA: Finance Analyst, Expedia Group, Bellevue, USA
Post-MBA: Senior Consultant in Experience Delivery, EY Seren, London, UK
Current Industry: Consulting
Transitions made: Country, function, industry

What was your background prior to starting the Full-time MBA?

I started my career in the hospitality and travel sectors in Dubai. I worked across various functions which gave me a holistic view and understanding of how different departments come together to build meaningful experiences for customers. I worked my way up and made career moves by focusing on the skills I wanted to build such as relationship management and financial planning.

Prior to joining the Business School (formerly Cass), I was a Finance Analyst for Expedia Group in Seattle, Washington. I forecasted Expedia’s performance, discovered trends in the sector and proposed financial plans to different Expedia Group brands.

Why did you decide to study the Full-time MBA?

I decided to study the Full-time MBA because I wanted to move away from the travel industry. I wanted to take a step back and gain a wider view of my career options.

The Business School has an interesting offer in which it allowed us to continuously apply our learnings in different settings. I enjoyed the focus on teamwork and group projects and was keen to live in London. The School’s MBA graduates have a very special quality: perseverance. Despite all our differences, each one of us is committed to keep going and to keep trying.

What modules made a difference to your career journey? 

It was great to study such a mixture of practices: the technology module taught by Dr Aneesh Banerjee changed my way of thinking and the Digital Technologies and Business Innovation taught me concepts I use in my job today. The Digital Transformation Elective in Silicon Valley was incredible. While in Silicon Valley, I created a contact working in design consulting which was an eye-opening meeting that inspired my career change.

At the end of each teaching block of core modules, we were able to fully digest what we had learned through group projects during integration week. Working in such diverse groups was a great crash course for my current career in consulting; I learned how to adapt to different ways of working, how to foster team spirit and how to find creative solutions to problems.

I did my Business Mastery Project with Google Fibre, looking at the future of video streaming platforms. Finding clients and presenting my work to them was great introduction to the world of consulting and the delivery part of it.

How did the Careers and Professional Team help you?

My Careers contact was amazing and was able to help me with everything: from looking at my CV, to doing mock interviews with me and connecting me with valuable professional contacts. Whenever I was confused, she would guide me back onto the right path. Through our discussions, I discovered a desire to work in product management and design consulting.

The mock interviews I did helped me build my confidence and prepare for my interviews by thinking about what kinds of questions employers might ask me. The skills-based sessions on networking, negotiating and presenting were incredibly insightful. I also particularly enjoyed the corporate engagement events hosted by the Careers Team, which allowed me to expose myself to the industries I was interested in, such as tech.

Were you involved in student societies?

I was President of the Women in Business student society, which was great for building up my network. It was such a great experience to manage a group of people and host events throughout the year and I valued helping out the more junior members in finding internships.

Tell us about your career shift since finishing the MBA.

I now work as a Senior Consultant in Experience Delivery at EY Seren. I discovered their design consulting branch through an alumna and it really is my dream job.

My role is similar to that of a business analyst, with some elements of product management. I work with my client to understand their needs and translate these into user stories and requirements to create a tool that fits their processes. I am also working on a few internal projects to improve processes within EY Seren.

It’s been eye-opening to see how much networking is required even internally in consulting to secure interesting projects and to keep growing within your company. Having recently spent a lot of time networking during the MBA was great practice.

What advice would you offer to Full-time MBA students?

My advice to fellow MBA students is that it’s okay to be confused. It’s okay to not know what you want to do. I had many moments of clarity while I figured out what industry and job role I wanted to pursue. Eventually, things will fall into place. Dr Paolo Aversa offered me excellent advice: an MBA is a tasting menu which gives you a flavour of so many different practices and industries. When you join your industry, you are able to enjoy the full dish.

I have so many fond memories from the programme. I made friends for life and cherish those relationships. All the travels we did on our international electives and the Achieving Your Potential Week at Sandhurst Military Academy were incredibly valuable experiences.