Candace Spiegel

Candace Spiegel

Nationality: United States

Position pre MBA: Senior Event Manager for a third-party firm

What factors made you decide to choose the Cass MBA over other programmes?

The main factor for me in choosing Cass for my MBA was how personal it felt and many of my classmates have expressed the same feeling. From my initial emails and calls with the Cass team, through to the interview process, I felt Cass truly cared about me and was there to support me in any way possible. I was also impressed when I requested to speak with an alumna and it was clear that they took the time to recommend someone who would be impactful for me since they connected me with an outgoing American with pre- and post-MBA experience in Marketing, which matched me well. She was incredibly helpful during our call and remained a resource throughout the process. Cass was dedicated to supporting me before I even took my GMAT, which showed me they would support me throughout a challenging programme and that left a strong impression on me.

What motivated you to do an MBA?

I had recently started a role at a new company in an area I thought I wanted to be in as a next step in my career. However, the role and company were not what I was anticipating, for various reasons. As I thought about the type of role I truly wanted, I realised I was not entirely sure what that looked like. I felt doing an MBA would give me the opportunity to gain added skills and knowledge in many aspects of business, learn from a diverse set of peers and decide exactly was the right next step for my career.

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

After completing my MBA, I desire a role with a Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) company that goes beyond mere execution of marketing tactics to also encompass the strategy and development of the tactics. As a next step, I hope to supplement the marketing skills I currently possess in events, B2B, B2C, referral, alliance, direct mail, and mobile marketing, with new experiences in brand management. My long-term goal is to lead the development of a company's comprehensive marketing strategy for their product line and determine the right mix of tactics to increase their profitability.

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

Challenging. All the homework assignments, reading and group coursework always seems to take longer than anticipated, causing you to stress out that there are not enough hours in a day. I've found how important it is to stay on top of everything, otherwise you’ll fall behind. Regarding the overall experience, it has been incredibly beneficial. During the first few months, I explored different marketing areas and ended up changing my focus to an area that I feels suits me better because I am more passionate about it. The knowledge I have gained regarding new industries, up-and-coming technology, and from the classes is invaluable and adding to my skill set.

How would you describe your fellow cohorts?

Incredible. We have a diverse mix from almost 30 countries and Cass did a great job of selecting students from all backgrounds. We have consultants, engineers, actuaries, doctors, accountants, investment bankers and much more. I also appreciate that the age ranges from 25 to the mid-40s, which is unique for a full-time MBA programme, but valuable in my opinion because it brings such a wealth of knowledge and expertise. There are so many like-minded people who want to learn and grow, want to be challenged and are open to new experiences such as moving half way around the world to live in a city where they know no one. Our cohort of 74 intelligent, motivated, funny, wonderful people will be my network (and be some my best friends) for the rest of my life.

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

Living is London is amazing are there is so much to do and see. I also love living in such an international city. Studying here is great because Cass has a prime location within walking distance of numerous large corporations and brings in company speakers for educational sessions. London also offers the unique opportunity of having networking and informative events regularly for you to attend and learn more about new trends and industries.

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

First off, I recommend determining what are the most important factors for you in an MBA programme. For me it was a smaller, international programme that offered opportunities for global coursework and was a programme I could feel comfortable in. However, the key factors will be different for everyone, so I highly recommend comparing all the schools you are considering to see how they compare across your key factors. In addition, speaking with alumni was a critical component for me because I found that each alum I spoke with was very open regarding any strengths or weaknesses a programme had. Finally, I would say to trust your gut instinct and go with it. I looked into some schools that were quite similar to Cass in what they offered, but they simply did not feel right for reasons I cannot explain. Do thorough research into each school and go with what feels right.