What factors made you decide to choose the Cass MBA over other programmes?
Whilst I work in the charity sector, I was keen to be part of a mixed cohort, with experiences from different types of organisations and contexts. Cass has strong working relationships with the charity sector but their MBA cohorts include senior staff from globally-recognised brands, SME's and a variety of sectors. I felt their emphasis on a widely differentiated cohort would lead to the best possible teaching, learning and networking experiences.
What motivated you to do an MBA?
I wanted to do an MBA to ensure the depth and breadth of my knowledge to operate at a senior executive level. I founded a national charity and launched a new social enterprise. These experiences gave me an excellent overview of governance and management frameworks but my knowledge at a granular level was less robust. Over the same period I completed my PhD, using my own charity as one of three case studies. This academic exercise developed my ability to synthesise complex information and developed my analytical skills but did not fundamentally develop my business management skills.
What was it about an Executive MBA that appealed to you?
I did not want my further education to impact my career progression and I wanted to be able to apply the theory being taught and get immediate feedback from a that implementation. It also meant that most people on the course would be similarly learning and applying in their respective workplaces - amplifying the opportunity to learn.
What are your career goals and what do you hope to achieve after you have graduated?
I want to lead an organisation that is making a genuine social impact, can evidence this, operates like a business, and is challenging the charity sector to evolve. As public spending continues to reduce it is imperative that the third sector is ready to provide quality services that are cost-effective and transparent.
How would you describe your overall experience of the MBA so far?
I have really loved every aspect of my Cass MBA experience thus far and a lot of this is due to the people I've met, their experiences, perspectives and insights. I have gained valuable theoretical and practical knowledge and skills. I have been challenged to make connections and consider perspectives that I wouldn't otherwise have encountered. And I have gained a better insight to my own approach, its potential and limitations. All of these are helping me immediately in the workplace and I feel will be hugely beneficial in progressing my career.
How would you describe your fellow cohort?
My fellow cohort is made up of committed professionals who really inspire me with their intelligence, dedication and curiosity. Everyone has come to Cass with the same desire to learn and develop themselves. The varied sectors and experiences mean that there is a constant opportunity to look at a situation from a different perspective and challenge your own way of thinking and working. There is an amazing level of mutual respect and support which means you do end up with friends for life.
What are your thoughts on living and studying in London and does Cass's location bring any added benefit?
Living in London is a great privilege and offers insight and access to global business, national and international NGO's and a variety of sectors. Having that on its doorstep means that Cass is able to bring in business leaders on a regular basis to speak with students and bring theory to life. Furthermore, I would expect that the excellent caliber of lecturers we get are also drawn to this and supports the great level of teaching.
What advice would you give to a prospective student thinking of doing an MBA at Cass?
Be sure to talk through the commitment you need to make with everyone who will be impacted - colleagues and family. You will get the most benefit from an MBA at Cass if you're able to give it 100%. I found attending events beforehand and meeting with current students really helpful, in getting a sense of the school's culture and who my fellow classmates might be.