- Nationality: Canadian
- Programme: Modular Executive MBA, 2021
- Pre-MBA: Manager, Client Solutions, Cogstate, London, UK
- Post-MBA: Digital Delivery Manager, EY Consulting, London, UK
- Current industry: Consulting
- Transitions made: Function, industry
Why did you decide to do an MBA at Bayes Business School?
I was no longer excited about the direction my career was going. I felt like I was getting too niche and that I had more to offer. I’d spent 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry, delivering integrated digital tools and tech-enabled solutions. These were used to carry out clinical research in the drug development phase and monitor patient care. I viewed the MBA as a way to upskill core business fundamentals I didn’t previously have exposure to.
When looking at where to study, I went to a few events at Bayes and they were really engaging. It was clear they’d invested a lot in the course and being able to speak with the Course Director and alumni directly during the events was a real differentiator. I was travelling a lot with work, so the modular format with lessons over a long weekend was ideal.
How did the MBA help you transition to your role with EY?
It helped in a very direct way – I met leaders from EY at a Bayes networking event. EY has a good relationship with the Careers and Professional Development Team, which helped me prepare for my application and interview. I was also able to tap into the alumni network and speak to current and ex-EY employees to find out what areas of the business I’d be interested in.
As for how the course itself prepared me, the MBA is unique in that it brings together a diverse mix of talented, successful people from different sectors; people you wouldn’t normally have the chance to engage with. That inspired the way I approached my career changes and helped shape my managerial style.
The course content was well balanced and covered a lot of business concepts I’d not come into contact with before. The combination of subject matter, group work and intensity of the programme helped me become more comfortable with my own strengths, in how I present myself, and how I make myself more visible. It definitely helped me feel confident in navigating new career opportunities for myself, ultimately allowing me to land a new role while I was still in the programme.
What were your aspirations going into the MBA?
At the start, I simply saw the MBA as an academic exercise. But as I progressed, my view expanded massively. Just being part of the programme and working with people from different professions and sectors helped me broaden the scope of what was possible for me in terms of career options. Before I started I was thinking of moving into a global commercial strategy role for a big pharma company, but then I found myself considering alternative routes. I’m now a product manager at EY Consulting. I help clients in the life sciences sector manage and navigate large-scale transformations in relation to the design and growth of digital products and solutions. Because of the MBA I’ve been able to go to a huge corporate and now I’m on the verge of a new chapter, moving from EY’s London office to the one in Dubai.
How did you find the balance between work and studying?
It’s definitely challenging. Although the course is part time, it’s a full-time, immersive experience. You learn by doing and every assignment turned into an opportunity to ask myself how I could apply the learning to my role, or how I could increase my visibility with leadership.
How does what you learned help you in your job now you’re with EY?
Managing Strategic Change is an elective that focuses on the people aspect of change management. At the time I found it interesting but I wasn’t sure how much of it would be relevant to me. Now it’s something I’m doing all the time!
I also found the professional development workshops run by the Careers and Professional Development Team useful. In particular, the one on leadership styles has been incredibly valuable, not just in helping me understand my own style, but also in managing diverse personalities. Another workshop was on elevator pitching – knowing what to say about yourself and what to emphasise, whether at work, in a networking environment or even on LinkedIn. In my role I meet people all the time, whether it’s talking to clients or recruiting, so that’s been very useful.
What advice would you give to others thinking of doing an MBA?
I’m a big believer in you get back what you put in. That wasn’t obvious to me at the start, but the course gives you so many opportunities to immerse yourself. I’d say get to know your cohort, your Course Director and your lecturers. The network I’ve built up thanks to the MBA continues to be valuable, especially with my upcoming relocation to Dubai, and I’ve made a great group of friends. And make sure you go to the networking events!