Before my MBA, I was a Global Toy Design Engineer for a multinational entertainment firm, working out of their European headquarters in London.
I wanted to broaden my skill-set, knowing that to keep ahead of the corporate game, I had to continually invest in my personal and professional development – an MBA does just that. I was also very passionate about enterprise/innovation and enhancing my international exposure, which again is a fundamental asset regardless of whether one works in the public or private sector.
Prior to doing the MBA I had many friends and colleagues working in management in industry with the MBA qualification and I was impressed by their drive for results, confidence and team management skills which are essential life skills. Through doing an MBA one can quickly adopt a 'go-getting' attitude and be a very powerful business player, hence the rational for doing an MBA was simple – if you want to grow then it's the main avenue.
I did my MSc at Strathclyde's Design, Manufacture & Engineering Management department in 2002. I love the modern city atmosphere that the university has, plus supportive staff who are always willing to help and give advice on career or course issues so I knew that returning would mean I could catch up with some great people. Strathclyde prides itself as 'a place for useful learning' – I second that; there are loads of MBA schools out there but the balance between course and group work was great and strategy-based exercises really do help in the working world.
With regards to the business school itself, I was taken aback by how passionate the business school staff was – their international exposure plus their links with industry are strong. According to the Financial Times, the Strathclyde MBA is a highly ranked school globally, and Strathclyde is one of the few schools to be triple accredited, which means that it has been monitored by a range of international bodies.
An MBA is not an easy course but a lot of it is up to the student to make the experience as fruitful as they want. What Strathclyde gives is the tools, support, network and passion to do it.It is not purely an academic qualification, it is about people-skills coupled with being business savvy and intellectual and if you have that then Strathclyde will reward and praise excellent students. It is a qualification that enhances maturity and outlook. Both staff and students are made to feel like they are on an even playing field yet feedback is given in a constructive and direct fashion which simply reflects the reality of industry.
The course really shaped me as a person – I would never have got exposure to the people, subjects or business insights if I had not invested those two years. While it was tough – long hours, loads of books and tonnes of presentations, exams and reports – the benefits speak for themselves. Moreover, I have some great business friends from around the world which really added a diverse angle to my experience.
I received a job offer from a major conglomerate the day I handed in my MBA dissertation and have been working there ever since.
My MBA has given me a winning attitude and as a result I am very competitive. In the workplace I find myself being able to connect with people at all level and functions, and have found the MBA to be a useful tool in networking higher up the ladder.