Shiba Rizvi

Shiba Rizvi

Nationality: Indian
Programme: Full-time MBA, 2016
Pre-MBA: Manager, Unilever, Mumbai, India
Post-MBA: Consultant, Deloitte, London, UK
Current industry: Consulting
Transitions made: Function, Industry, Location

Why did you choose the Cass MBA?

Having worked as an HR professional in India for a range of global organisations, my profile was inclined towards HR strategy. However, my previous positons with Unilever and Cadbury were very closely aligned with business.  I realised that this was something I wanted to pursue further, but first wanted to develop a more holistic understanding of the business world. That's what led me to do an MBA.

I chose Cass Business School, as I wanted to relocate to London for my one-year MBA. Due to its location and close ties to the City, I thought that it would offer the perfect opportunity to reach out to the business network and communicate with leaders in the fields of organisational consulting.

I found the school was closely aligned with my expectations and the admission staff helped validate my understanding in terms of where I could direct my career. I spoke to a number of alumni, to understand why they chose Cass and found their stories inspiring. The diversity and internationalism of the cohort was also very impressive.

What was the learning experience like?

I found the quality of teaching and the whole group-work system that Cass adopts enables you to collaborate with people from different backgrounds and cultures. It's a great experience because it naturally encourages conflict. You learn when to have an opinion and when to listen. You learn how to work as a team in a constructive way and gain so much knowledge from the people around you.

For me, one of the highpoints was the Achieving Your Potential weekend at Sandhurst Military Academy – which again focused on team building and group exercises. It taught me that you can't always lead, sometimes you need to follow, observe and learn.

The MBA programme provided some wonderful, real-world experiences and the opportunity to apply my learning in practical situations. For the International Consultancy Week in Iceland, my group worked with a tech start-up helping them design their product growth strategy. For a project in London we worked with a Canadian FMCG start-up and designed their market entry strategy. Our team worked hard together to develop a solution – pushing ourselves to the limit. We were assessed by judges from the management consulting firm, Bain & Company – our team came out in the top three, so we were very proud!

I also undertook the international elective in South Africa, which like India was a British Colony. I wanted to understand how the trajectories of these two countries have been so different from one another. It was fascinating to see how people are making changes at the root level, without government support. We spent time with a range of businesses that are striving to help people and bring hope. It really gave me an empathy and appreciation of other functions and the various concerns of a business.

How has the programme impacted your career objectives?

Post-programme my objective was to move into consulting and I reached out to some local organisations, Deloitte was one of them. The support I received from the Careers Team was significant. The team helped me prepare for my application with mock interviews, gave feedback on my presentation skills and my CV – all of which helped with my success at Deloitte.

Soon after completing the MBA, I secured a position at Deloitte as a Senior Consultant working in organisational transformation. I was able to achieve a visa sponsored by Deloitte to work in the UK – so it was a great opportunity to start my consulting career in London.

The programme at Cass provided an excellent platform to achieve my aspiration of working in London in the field of consulting. It allowed me to shift away from HR strategy and gave me the knowledge, confidence and skills I needed to make this transition in a new country.