Cara Macklin

Care Macklin

Nationality: Northern Ireland
Position pre MBA: Director


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

I was at the stage in my career where I had developed as much as I could and I wanted to really challenge myself and do something different. When choosing an MBA I looked at the top business schools in the UK.

I wanted to study in London due to the international dimension & quality of companies. Having visited 3 top universities in the UK & Ireland, Cass was an easy first choice due to the quality of its teaching, the extra-curricular activities and all the staff who work here. Also the international trips offered by the MBA at Cass such as China, Iceland and Cuba. To experience working outside the UK was a huge influence for me.

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

At the moment I am undecided on where I want to take my career after I graduate. I really want to achieve more international experience, and also learn skills across lots of functions such as business in the global economy or accountancy, filling my skill gaps. I want to have exposure to lots of different industries and job roles to help me decide the best move to further my career. No matter what direction I go, I know already the MBA will help me so much in achieving this.

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

So far the MBA has been amazing. I have learnt a huge amount both academically, and more importantly, employability skills such as networking and presentation skills, which are critical for success in any business. Every day you are doing so many different things and I have learnt so much about myself and how I work. The diversity of things you get to experience outside the classroom is has been vital, such as a weekend leadership training in Sandhurst. The employability skills I’ve picked up has been worthwhile and is critical for my development. There are opportunities to meet industry experts too, for example I met the HR director of one of the top Formula 1 teams from Italy. The School has a huge amount of extra-curricular activities.

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

Being chosen to do an MBA at Cass in itself has been an amazing experience. You get to work with some really talented and passionate people. In addition, as part of a CityStarters innovation, I was able to work as part of a team in an exercise to launch a business in a weekend, and at the end presenting to a group of investors. A major part of the MBA I enjoyed is being given a business problem to work on for a week, and present strategic recommendations to a panel of academics and industry experts. Also, leading a team to win the Great Cass Bake off which was an innovative lesson in strategic thinking. Finally, being chosen as the student representative for the MBA class, the only student from this group to be chosen to represent the MBA within the whole university, was very rewarding.

What has been the most challenging aspect?

The most challenging aspect is the huge variety of things you are faced with every day. You have to become well organised and particularly good at prioritising things. The challenge for me is that there is not enough hours in the day to be able to do everything you want. The university has so many additional things such as societies and networking events outside the classroom, it’s a challenge to be able to attend everything you want.

How would you describe your fellow cohort?  

I have been so lucky to have been chosen to be in a class with 74 other amazingly talented students from all over the world. Our class represents over 34 countries worldwide and dozens of industries. When working in groups together on projects I have learnt so much in terms of knowledge of other sectors as well as my ability to work as part of a diverse team. This experience has already taught me so much. My team working ability & leadership skills have also improved. We get on so well together in addition to benefiting from each other professionally. I have met so many amazing people that I will definitely keep as friends for life.

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

The learning experience in class has been huge in terms of my development already. The academics bring exceptional ability, experience and enthusiasm to what they teach. I’ve built up a huge amount of knowledge helped by the fact that teaching is based on real life business challenges. Although experts in their field, all the academics have the ability to simplify everything, and really relate it to the business world. In addition, some academics have brought in other academic experts, and also world class industry leaders into the classroom to teach us additional knowledge.

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

Living and studying in London has huge benefits in terms of being in the same city with some of the best industries worldwide. It gives access to top business leaders and is a centre of innovation & tech in Europe. Also, London is an amazing city to live in as there is so much to do, and you have amazing opportunities for things to enjoy outside the classroom. Cass is located between the finance district and Tech City in the UK and just being here gives so much exposure and opportunities to meet world class people to further my career.

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

Even though I have only been at Cass for 6 months now, I have never developed so quickly or enjoyed anything so much in my career. The opportunities you get are phenomenal. You will be challenged beyond what you ever thought possible. You will be taught by the most sincere and expert academics anywhere, who are passionate about your development and helping you to get the best experience you can. I cannot recommend Cass enough to anyone thinking of doing an MBA.