Alejandro Leano

Alejandro Leano

Nationality: Colombian/French
Position pre MBA: Commercial Manager

What motivated you to do an MBA and why did you choose Cass Business School?

As a Commercial Manager I was able to learn on the job many aspects of the business world but never had the proper academic training to support the knowledge. For this reason, I was motivated to pursue an MBA. In parallel, the MBA would be the adequate transition from the corporate world to becoming an entrepreneur.

I chose Cass Business School because I wanted to be based in London and complete a 1 year programme. I liked the facilities, faculty, course structure, and overall, the support Cass gave to future entrepreneurs.

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

My career goals are to become a successful entrepreneur as soon as possible after the MBA graduation having mastered intrinsic aspects of the business world.

I seek to have a complete business plan, to have investors, a registered company and be partially operational and generating revenues.

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

The overall experience has exceeded my expectations. The faculty are experienced, knowledgeable and make lectures interesting despite the wide range of student backgrounds. Parallel activities such as water rafting, Sandhurst, careers talks and company presentations among others, complement the academic learning in the right way that enables students to get a full picture of how the business world works.

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

The most rewarding experience for me was discovering fast reading. As simple as it may sound, knowing about this skill has opened an enormous vantage point for my personal efficiency. I had never heard about this and it’s something that can help me capitalise on every front.

What has been the most challenging aspect?

Following lectures where I have absolutely no foundation such as Accounting. The amount of content that has to be squeezed in the short time is tough to absorb but with discipline it is manageable.

How would you describe your fellow cohort?

Diverse, energetic, expressive. During lectures it is in refreshing to have input from different students, which conveys their interpretation based on the unique backgrounds. I have been surprised by the level of maturity of some students despite their young age.

What has the learning experience been like? How are classes taught and what sort of expertise do the academics bring?

The learning experience has been invigorating. Even though I was in the sales world for 5 years, after being an engineer and having access to such contrasting worlds, the MBA has given yet another learning perspective that reinstates the importance of seeing the big picture.

Classes are taught in two main ways, half of them are more traditional with the academic covering the content through slides and examples, and then leaving it up to the student to complete his learning in an autonomous way. The other half is taught in a more interactive manner where students are pushed to be creative and reason from scratch, generating ideas and brainstorming. This is refreshing and I find that each style is properly used depending on the area subject.

What are your thoughts on living and studying in London and does Cass’ location bring any added benefit?

Having grown in a large city such as Bogota and having lived in smaller towns, I definitely enjoy living in a big metropolis such as London. Previously, I was living in Paris for 5 years and even though Paris is a city with a plethora of experiences to offer, I find London to be capable of offering the same but with the added benefit of having a greater people interaction ground. Cass' location definitely adds benefit. If you take studying at Oxford or Cambridge it would be much more challenging for an entrepreneur to network, get exposure or even bridge with opportunities. The physical presence is always of superior value.

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

I would suggest to do a sit in and engage with current students so that they get the sense of bonding among the cohort. Other programmes do not provide the "family" environment I have found at Cass. The over confidence found in programmes delivered by schools such as LBS has an impact far greater than what we think. For unbiased entrepreneurship, there is no better place than Cass. Even Imperial College's programme is too technically oriented.