David Aobadia

David Aobadia

Programme: Evening Executive MBA, 2017
Current Position: Senior Marketing Operations Manager, Havells Sylvania Europe Ltd.
Current Location: London

What motivated you undertake an Executive MBA and why did you choose Cass Business School?

Over the past few years, I have recognised a need to further develop certain skills such as: assertiveness as a leader, fuller understanding of the financial and operational side of a business and how to become a successful entrepreneur. Pursuing an Executive MBA will help me develop and hone these skills as well as accelerate my career.

Looking at different Executive MBA degrees in London, Cass Business School caught my eye as the various modules will help me further develop my professional skill set. The emphasis on group and collaborative work will help refine my communication skills while support offered by faculty will enable me to achieve the aforementioned goals I have set for myself.

What are your career goals and what do you hope to achieve after you have graduated?

My short-term goal is to obtain responsibilities on a higher level in a corporate environment. Building on the theory and applying case studies to my work will give me confidence to become a successful leader. My long-term goal is to become a founder of a creative design agency aimed at the building, lighting and controls industries. Having identified a gap in the market for an agency that offers the expertise to support these new and highly technical sectors, makes for a strong foundation for my venture.

How would you describe your overall experience of the Evening Executive MBA so far?

So far, the Evening Executive MBA has been an exceptional experience. I have learnt more than I could have hoped for and most importantly I can already start linking topics and apply them together for the coursework and my work. I have worked closely with most of my cohort and enjoy the breadth of experience everyone brings.

How do you balance you work and personal life with academic studies?

For me exercising is key to maintain the right balance between studying, working and my personal life. My typical day looks like:

  • Start the day early (6.00am) with High Intensity Interval Training or boxing
  • Head to work for some EMBA readings (7.00am)
  • A full day of work (8.30am to 5.00pm)
  • Catch-up with my mentor group (5.30pm) at Aldersgate
  • Lectures Tuesday and Thursday evenings (6.15pm to 9.15pm) and further studies.

What has been the most rewarding experience for you so far?

Having the opportunity to represent my EMBA cohort as a student representative. I feel that our voices will help further improve the programme experience for future EMBA students.

What has been the most challenging aspect?

Clearly the most challenging aspect is the workload the EMBA requires and managing to balance it with your existing work and personal life. I was told, many times, that doing an EMBA was hard work but I didn’t imagine the extent. For me, I spent 19 hours outside of the classroom studying every week, but this can differ for every student. I must add the reading is heavy too. The upside is that it is highly interesting subject matter that can be applied every day at work and in your personal life.

How would you describe your fellow cohort?

Many words come to my mind but I guess my best description is: work hard, play hard. That being said, they are a lovely bunch of people with extensive experience in many different fields. Every lecture is interesting because we all bring our knowledge and experience to enrich classroom discussions.

What learning have you found immediately applicable to your current role? 

I have dramatically improved my knowledge and understanding of Accounting and Financial Instruments since starting the programme. Further to that, Strategic Leadership has been instrumental to my current role.

What value does Cass’ central London location bring to your learning?

I have been living in London for the past nine years and I simply love this city that I now call home (I am originally from Lyon, France). My original reason for relocating was to gain international experience and improve my English. Upon joining the programme, my expectations to meet people from different nationalities, seniority levels and jobs have been exceeded. One of my main objectives was to improve my understanding of finance, as Cass is set in the financial heart of the City, it has given me the opportunity to develop my network and connections in this industry.

What advice would you give to a prospective student thinking of doing an Evening Executive MBA at Cass?

Expect that the workload is more than you think and that the hours studying outside the classroom can be difficult to manage at times. Furthermore, there is no point in stressing out about topics, coursework or deadlines in the far future but instead it is more important to enjoy the ride.