Royce Yakuppur Yahya

Royce Yakuppur Yahya

Royce Yakuppur

Nationality: Turkish
Programme: Full-time MBA, 2014
Pre-MBA: Senior Creative Consultant, Futurebright, Istanbul, Turkey
Post-MBA: Global Consumer Market Insight, Unilever, London, UK
Current industry: Retail/FMCG
Transitions made: Industry, Location

Before I joined the Cass Full-time MBA, I was working as a Senior Creative Consultant for the Qualitative department of Futurebright, a market research agency in Istanbul.

I chose Cass because it offered a one-year programme and I didn’t want to take a longer break from my professional life. I was intrigued by the range of international project locations offered by the MBA, and being based in the City of London was also a big plus.

When I arrived at Cass, it was like walking into the offices of a multinational company and I immediately noticed the professional atmosphere. The programme itself exceeded my expectations, as it was both rigorous and enjoyable. Though the curriculum was relevant to my professional experience, studying again after some time in employment provided a refreshing change of perspective.

For the International Consultancy Week, my group worked with Unicef in Iceland, and our client was extremely happy with our ideas and presentation. Becoming comfortable with the unique dynamics of working in different teams and presenting to a major organisation was a really positive experience. It was also valuable to be working in a sector that was quite different to the research-intensive marketing environment I was used to.

Looking back, the Business Mastery Project was the most significant feature of my Cass experience because it’s the reason I am where I am today. I had the opportunity to choose from two projects. The first, for GSK, promised a six-month internship immediately after the BMP. While the company was a household name and I thought the internship might lead to a job, I realised that it wasn’t where I wanted to be.

Although I had arrived at Cass with every intention of returning to Futurebright after graduation, the MBA encouraged me from day one to think deeply about my future. Within the first couple of weeks I knew that I wanted to switch from the agency side of marketing to the client side, and I set my sights one of the world’s largest FMCG outfits.

When I shared my ambitions with my BMP supervisor, he said that a project with the Marketing Society would give me the professional connections I would need to get my foot in the door of a big FMCG company. So I turned down the ‘safe’ option and committed myself to delivering a project that would one day land me the role I desired.

I networked using the contacts I made during my BMP, which led me to interviewing and presenting my findings to a Vice President at Unilever. I had singled him out from a list of 20 project judges, turning down a phone interview and insisting on a face-to-face meeting, as I wanted to see the company and glean as many insights as possible during my visit.

As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy. Without self-belief, persistence and the confidence instilled by the Cass MBA, I might have given up. But I really believed that I deserved the opportunity to impress my potential employer, and now I work in Consumer Market Insight for Unilever.

I will continue to acquire knowledge throughout my career, but I will carry the soft skills gained on the Cass MBA with me for the rest of my life.