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Sarah Felger

Programme: Evening Executive MBA, 2018
Nationality: British
Current position: Chief Operating Officer, CMS

I was looking ahead for the next stage of my career. I had been an M&A lawyer for 12 years and had moved into a business development role. I had been thinking of doing an MBA for a while as I wanted to move into the management side of things. Though I had a strong legal background, I wanted another string to my bow. To move into a more strategic and operational position, I needed to have that extra something to help me stand apart in my field.

So, I met the Cass Business School team and they invited me to a women’s ‘lean in’ event that they were holding, focused on supporting female MBA students. The event inspired me to make the move.

I really liked what I saw at Cass. The people were down to earth and very pragmatic. Also, as I work in the City, the location was so accessible, which enabled me to study around my job. Plus, I felt that they were incredibly supportive to women doing MBAs and I was fortunate enough to win a ‘Women in Business’ award from them. So, all in all, Cass was a really good fit for what I wanted from an Executive MBA programme.

Due to its location, Cass attracts international staff, which personally I love as it gives you the opportunity to learn with the best lecturers from all over the world. You can select a number of extra courses focused on your areas of interest. I went on a fantastic course about high-impact presentation skills, organised by the Professional Development Team. It had a real immediate impact. I took away some valuable skills that transformed my presentation technique and I was able to apply immediately during my course and at work.

For me, the EMBA has been the most wonderful combination of theory and practice. It’s been hard and it’s been tiring, but I wouldn’t have changed it.

The EMBA has had a huge effect on my current role. The people at Cass say that you’ll start applying the things you learn pretty quickly, but I’m not sure that many people have applied them as quickly as I have!

While doing the EMBA, my firm was involved in a merger – the biggest in UK legal history. Due to my studies, I was lucky enough to be on the merger and strategy team. I would be learning new things and talking about new ideas at Cass and then immediately applying them in my role on the merger team. My place on the strategy team wouldn’t have been as big if I hadn’t done the EMBA.

As a lawyer, I’ve got degrees, I’ve been to law school, but without a doubt, the EMBA at Cass is the best thing I’ve ever done.

Professionally, I’ve been granted opportunities that I don’t believe I would have had without the EMBA experience. Currently, I’m a COO at CMS – the biggest law firm in Europe, and the sixth biggest in the world – with high-level strategic and operational responsibilities.

The confidence and personal growth that I’ve felt in a relatively short time has definitely set me up for my future career.

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