Ana Maria Olaru
Programme: MSc Management, 2015
Current role: Programme strategy and operations manager at Yoox Net-A-Porter group
After finishing my BSc in Banking and International Finance at Cass Business School, I was considering a career in management consulting. To get there, I wanted to broaden my perspective and increase my understanding of how a business is built from the ground up and run. As a result, I decided to stay at Cass and take the MSc in Management. For me, it was just quite a natural choice. I was already there, so I knew the university and I knew the standards of education. On top of that, the MSc in Management was amongst the top in the country.
The topics that we studied throughout MSc were very broad. You take a deep dive into every single angle of management and business. The structure of the programme helps you to understand what apects of the field you like and don’t like.
The lecturers were really good and one of the things that made the programme stand out was that they brought in outside examples of how things work in the real world. Of course, it’s one thing to understand the theory, but it’s another thing to actually see it put into practise. In fact, since completing the MSc, the practical focus of the programme has really benefited me. My first job was a management consulting role. I came across so many of the things that I had studied during the MSc – from organisational behaviour to pure entrepreneurship, and even the basics of accounting and maths.
I found my cohort to be like a second family and I’m still in touch with them today. You’re all together, sharing experiences that have a certain impact on you. If you’re having a good time, I’m a firm believer that it shows in your results. If you’re happy on the inside, then you put a bit more effort into everything that you do.
One of the highlights for me was being made student president for my programme for two terms in a row. As a result, I built a very good relationship with both the Course Director and the Careers Office.
I was, obviously, keen to get a job. The Careers Team was very helpful and I did a lot of work with them on my CV, as well as mock assessments and exercises. I received a lot of feedback on my strengths and weaknesses. I think they did a really good job of building me up for success, and making me understand how I should tackle interviews and assessment standards.
After the course, I immediately started a graduate programme for Capgemini Consulting as a Management Consultant. I stayed there for three years, I finished my graduate programme and then got promoted and stayed for another year. Then recently, I changed jobs and moved into the fashion industry as Programme Strategy and Operations Manager for the Yoox Net-A-Porter Group.
My time at Cass was a great experience and all the work that I do today with the school as an alumni, stems from the fact I really did enjoy being a student there. I always want to keep in touch with Cass and help them out however I can. I had a great support system from my lecturers, from the Careers Team and the cohort itself. It helped me to get good grades and a good job afterwards, and also left me with really good memories.