Steve Duttine

Steve Duttine

Nationality: British
Programme: Full-time MBA, 2016
Pre-MBA: Photographer, London, UK
Post-MBA: Director, TribeFirst, London, UK
Current industry: Marketing / PR
Transitions made:  Function, Industry

Why did you decide to do an MBA?

I'd reached a juncture in my career; the photography industry was experiencing turbulent times and my work wasn't panning out as I had hoped. At that point, I was balancing a position working in medical photography, with a growing role related to the family business. I didn’t feel I was doing myself justice in either.

I was ready to move away from being a photographer, yet, my CV was becoming filled with varied, yet incongruous, experiences. I realised an MBA would help solidify and formalise my experience, particularly that gained via the family business. I felt that it would allow me time to reflect and redirect my career and explore other opportunities that I would not have considered otherwise.

I wanted to study in London, and I found the culture at Cass very appealing. Cass has a really nice mixture of a good reputation and prestige, but, at the same time, very open and human – without the hostile and competitive culture I’d experienced at other business schools in the City.

What were the highlights of the programme?

The programme was really hands on and intense, we covered a broad range of subjects and were exposed to a wide variety of experiences.

A highlight for me was the Achieving your Potential weekend at Sandhurst Military Academy. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in team-building activities, group challenges and discover what you are capable of – collectively and individually.

The international options were excellent, and gave me an opportunity to visit Iceland, San Francisco, Israel and Palestine.  For me, exploring entrepreneurship in San Francisco and Israel was the most rewarding experience.  Contrasting two big business hubs with very different cultures was fascinating.  The Israel and Palestine elective was a real eye-opener and I enjoyed the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the country, the culture and the environment that's driven innovation over there.

One of the nice things about Cass is that you are with so many other people who are at a pivot point. We were all there for the shared reason of wanting to make changes to our careers. Being around so many people that are exploring those ideas really helps you. I left the programme with the confidence and belief in a successful career change. I wouldn't have made the career leap and be in the position I'm in now without it.

How has the programme impacted your career?

I worked a lot with the Careers and Professional Development team.  They gave support and guidance to help me progress on my journey and find my way. It was exactly the kind of nurturing I needed. They provided a number of mock interview sessions, which were particularly useful, forcing me out of my comfort zone.

The amount of hands-on time and face-to-face contact you get at Cass is not something you find in many business schools – it really sets the school apart.

The programme has had an enormous impact on me professionally, I've shifted industry and function.  I'm now a Director/Head of Business Development at Tribe First, a marketing agency dedicated to crowdfunding.

The MBA has been crucial in my journey, I’ve come out of it with a completely different outlook and set of skills. I'd highly recommend it - and have recommended it – to anyone wanting to undertake an MBA in order to facilitate a career change.