Master of Business AdministrationAtul Chavan

What was your career prior to the MBA?

Before starting my MBA at the University of Strathclyde Business School, I served in the Indian Army for over two decades. Joining in May 2000, I fulfilled roles in the Infantry and as a helicopter pilot in Army Aviation. My final position was as Director at The National Cadet Corps Directorate, overseeing basic military training for students in North East India.

What made you decide to do an MBA and why did you choose Strathclyde?

Several factors influenced my decision to pursue an MBA. After a 22-year military career, I aimed to transition smoothly into civilian life. Recognising the value of structured learning, I sought to reflect on my experiences, identify strengths, and prepare for a second career. To have an international perspective, I chose the University of Strathclyde Business School for its esteemed reputation, triple accreditation, and January intake, aligning perfectly with my retirement from the military in December 2022.

What did you think of the programme?

The programme's structure was excellent, offering a comprehensive overview of business. I was thoroughly impressed by the professors' expertise and passion for their subjects. The business school's administrative staff invested in our success through meticulous programme planning, valuable external engagements, and consistent counselling sessions.

Do you have any advice for someone aspiring to do the Strathclyde MBA?

The key tip is to be clear about your MBA goals. Whether it's about personal growth, relocating to the UK, or broadening your horizons, having a clear vision is crucial. Once you have that clarity, focus on taking the steps to achieve your objectives.

What are you doing now?

Joining Amazon in Wakefield, Leeds as an Operations Manager is a milestone for me, and I credit my MBA for helping me secure this position. My military background proved valuable as I could align it with the business needs during the interview. Being clear about my contributions to the business gave me confidence throughout the process. Moreover, Amazon often seeks MBA-qualified candidates for this role, which, combined with my experience and leadership skills, enabled me to excel in the interview and secure the position.

Did you enjoy your time in Glasgow?

Glasgow has become a second home to me. After living here for over a year, I've grown to love it. The friendly people, lively culture, and bustling city life make me feel right at home. The beauty of Glasgow and its surroundings is endless, and I never tire of exploring. Whenever I have free time, I look forward to returning to Glasgow and revisiting all my favourite spots.

How did you find moving from army life to studying an MBA programme?

Transitioning from the highly disciplined and structured life of the army, I found myself yearning for growth and new opportunities after 22 years of service. Graduating from the National Defence Academy, I had never experienced a traditional college or university setting. Enrolling in an MBA programme, surrounded by diverse classmates and world-class professors, fulfilled a long-held dream of mine.

Any particular highlights from the year?

Interacting with the professors was a highlight for me. I made sure to attend every class, actively participate, and seek clarification when needed. I was eager to learn and found the structured assignments particularly beneficial. They helped reinforce our learning and apply it effectively. Group assignments also provided valuable lessons, teaching me to appreciate different perspectives, manage conflicts, and deliver results efficiently.

Aside from the academic side of the MBA, what else did you enjoy?

I loved attending the MBA conferences hosted by both our university and the University of Edinburgh and which involves Strathclyde, Edinburgh and Glasgow universities. These events allowed me to connect with students from diverse backgrounds. Another highlight was the visit to Advanced Clothing Solutions (ACS), where we witnessed their operations and learned about their promotion of circular and sustainable fashion.