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Strathclyde Business SchoolStudent case studies

Jay Manton

My educational background is an electrical engineer but I’ve been involved in industrial civil engineering construction projects, working in mining, oil and gas, transportation and power which has seen me live and work all across Western Canada. Latterly I was a project manager on projects ranging from 10 million to 150 million Canadian dollars. However, in Canada, most construction projects require travel. Last year I travelled 90% of the time and I decided enough was enough. Working so much away, I felt it was time for a change which necessarily meant a change of career and that involved trying to get a more managerial qualification.

While I knew I wanted to make a change, I didn’t have an end goal when I started looking and applying for the MBA. It was a matter of applying and getting in - I sold everything and packed up to come here. I got married just three months before we came here so it was a big move in many ways but something we both wanted to do. Doing the MBA here at Strathclyde has expanded my horizons both literally and metaphorically.

I chose Strathclyde as it had a strong reputation; it was highly ranked - it’s in the top 100, and it was also really good value so it gave me a great learning experience which was really good value for money. Another consideration was that it was a very flexible course – you can join in parts of the part time and flexible learning programmes and that flexibility was key to me. I also decided on Strathclyde partly because I wanted to travel, partly because it’s a one year programme – compared to two in the US and Canada – and that was a key driver. The lost wages over the two year programs back home would have been greater than to give up work, move here and do the one year programme here - with the added bonus of being based in a different country and being able to travel across Europe.

From top to bottom, everyone has been very welcoming here and everyone – academics, administrative staff, careers service – have all brought something different to the table.

I’ve particularly enjoyed the group work which is built in throughout the MBA. It was incredible to learn from people and deal with cultural differences. It gives you experience of dealing with people from different cultures and gives you the skills to get information from people who are reflective and may not putting their views forward, as well as dealing with people who may be too dominant in the group. The key is to work through issues and come out with a valuable end project. You need to know how to deal with people from all different cultures and the Strathclyde MBA gives you that.

The focus on strategy was also another strong factor. Term three tied everything together with all the strategy courses – SCIP was my favourite – and brought it all together in a more practical, realistic way of looking at it. I’ve enjoyed working on the practical strategy elements and another strong element for me has been the electives – there was a wide range to choose from and it meant you could take an elective that helped you with an area of weakness - for me that is social media/business. The strong strategy focus and the ability to hone in on specific areas offered by the electives has been particularly key for me as I’m considering starting my own business once I’m back in Canada and for the type of business I’m looking at, knowledge of social media will be particularly important.

I’ve always wanted to be involved in something outdoors – something in the outdoor recreation area as I eat, breathe, live skiing - so initially I thought maybe I’d like to do ski management, product design; I was open to anything ski-related. As I went through the programme I looked at how I could use my existing skills, together with what I was learning, in such a role but my brother and I are now looking to opening a new business and are thinking of a zip line company. My brother has been a guide for several years and we’ve pinpointed an area with no competitors so we’ll find out soon if it’s something we can pursue.

I'm not looking for a lucrative job or job title post-MBA - for me, it's all about quality of life. For me, the MBA has given me the time to reflect and to make that decision, it's given me the opportunity to get that perspective and gain perspective on others – it’s opened my eyes to how decisions you make affect others.

Just being on the MBA programme is like travelling the world too but without going anywhere. You meet people from all over and you get to share their perspective on things – for example, watching the conflict in the Ukraine with people from Ukraine gives you a whole new insight into it.

Strathclyde offers so many opportunities. Whatever reason you’re coming for, there’s something for you. You need to know why you’re coming. If you know why you’re here - for example you want to manage people, to learn different aspects of business, to formalise what you’re currently doing in business - you have to set a goal and get the most out of it that way.

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114
 sbs-advisor@strath.ac.uk 

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6116/6105/6117
 sbs.admissions@strath.ac.uk

Address

Strathclyde Business School
University of Strathclyde
199 Cathedral Street
Glasgow
G4 0QU

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