Panagiotis Archontakis

Nationality: Greek

Current position: Management Consultant, Efficio

Programme: Executive MBA 2017

As someone who grew up and lived in Greece, I experienced the negative effects of the financial crash first hand. From this experience, I learned that people shouldn’t be afraid of change. In fact, they should embrace it.

So, back in 2011, I performed my first career jump, moving to London as an engineering consultant in the oil and gas industry. Later in 2014, as the industry weakened, I felt the need to reinvent myself again. I wanted to move away from engineering.

I was considering management consulting or investment banking. I knew that I had to diversify my knowledge, enhance my managerial skills and expand my business network. That's why I decided that an MBA would help me take my next step.

I decided to study at Cass Business School because of its great reputation in finance and strategy and its work-friendly executive programme, which offers part-time study, two evenings per week, so you can study around your job. The Executive MBA programme is a journey of self-awareness. In year one, you familiarise yourself and experiment with a wide range of topics, such as finance, strategy and marketing. This allows you to appreciate your strengths, and helps you discover your potential and what you really want to do in your career.

The teaching has been exceptional. One of the fundamental differentiators of the EMBA programme is its healthy balance between theory and execution. Academic staff and guest speakers all share real-life examples from the business world and you learn so much by participating in the discussions and debates.

For me the highlight of the programme was the consulting week in Santiago, Chile, during year one. My team and I consulted for Engie, a global leader in energy production. We developed a business model for a strategic green mobility start up.

It was my first real-life management consultancy project. It gave me the opportunity to take a glimpse of the career I aspired to and the confirmation that I would enjoy it and be successful at it.

The great thing about the EMBA cohort is that it’s full of people with strong experiences from the real world. Cass also provides countless networking opportunities, starting within your cohort, and with other cohorts and academic staff that visit Cass. I’ve managed to expand my network and meet inspiring people that have shared fascinating experiences. For example, a member of our cohort had managed to build a fascinating career in the FX industry, without any previous academic accreditations. Examples like that make you think that you are not alone. Others have been through tough situations and have emerged stronger and more successful.

During my career planning, I had a few meetings with the Careers and Professional Development Team. They were fundamental in my transformation journey, providing invaluable recommendations. They gave me some good tips on how to rebrand my engineering-focused CV and cover letter to appeal to management consultants. I sent the CV out for three applications. I got three interview invites, which was remarkable!

The EMBA journey is long. It’s challenging. But, if you’re open minded and want to learn, you will benefit. My time at Cass has been a life-changing experience. It has given me the skills, knowledge and confidence to make the career jump into management consulting.

In my first year, I began my first management consultant role with Efficio, a growing company with a global presence. The EMBA has already helped me achieve my career transition. It has provided the foundation for me to become the person I aspire to be.

Contact our Recruitment Managers and find out more about the Executive MBA Programme starting this September.