Shihaab Kadri

Shihaab Kadri

Nationality: Indian
Position pre MBA: Project manager

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

I felt that I had reached a point in my career where I wanted to make the jump to higher management or a different region within my industry. In order to achieve these goals, I wanted to improve my analytical, financial and interpersonal skills. I also needed to gain knowledge on topics such as leadership, decision making and understand how various departments of a company work– with a view to eventually moving into a more senior general management role in charge of a corporation. This prompted me to take a year off from work and dedicatedly hone my skills in these key areas through a world class MBA.

The reasons why I chose Cass Business School were:

a) The great reputation and global ranking of the School.

b) The fact that I could tailor the MBA to suit my requirements by selecting preferred electives.

c) Modules such as Emerging Markets Consultancy week and the focus on Strategy and Entrepreneurship

d) The strategic location in the heart of London

e) Duration of the course for one year

f) A small selective cohort which allowed for greater focus and personal development.

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

Upon graduation from Cass Business School, I intend to lead the Sales and Product Management teams at one of the world's largest IT and Technology multinational corporations. Striving to promote myself within the organisation, I wish to ultimately become the General Manager within a few years, be in charge of specific geographic locations or new business segments, and lead strategic business steps such as penetrating a new market by launching new products or entering a new territory. I hope and look forward to successfully applying all the knowledge and insights gained throughout the journey of my MBA to situations in the outside world.

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

The quality of the education, and the MBA experience so far, has been better than I had imagined or expected. Everything, from the facilities and resources on campus, the cohort, to the lecturers, has been top class. Though the course has a very balanced structure in terms of allocation of hours to lectures, it also puts a great emphasis on professional development and we are constantly engaged with the careers team in order to achieve the final goal of securing a desired work placement at the end of the academic year. Opportunities for learning are infinite, not only in the classroom but also through internal and external networking events, which promotes exchange of ideas.

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

Coming from a Sales & Marketing background, I would definitely say that gaining knowledge & insights in subjects such as Finance and Accounting or Strategy and Organisational Behaviour were a real eye opener. I feel like these were the areas I was lacking and maybe ignored as an individual. Studying these courses at this stage of my career will really help plug those knowledge gaps and strengthen my profile– so that I have a well-rounded CV by the time I graduate. Also, not only am I learning new things every day that I never knew about, I am learning them from the best! The faculty teaching these courses are well recognised industry & subject matter experts, which is why I feel truly honoured to have an exposure to such an environment.

What has been the most challenging aspect?

Trying to organise myself and juggle between the various modules, since the one year programme is pretty intense timewise. Also, adapting to & catching up with the level of some of the programme, especially the finance oriented ones, is a bit challenging as well since I do not have any prior experience in that field, while the cohort seems to be relatively inclined & specialised towards those subjects.

How would you describe your fellow cohort?

We have a relatively young, dynamic and highly energetic cohort in the Cass Full Time MBA 2015. I am really impressed by the international diversity and breadth of knowledge and experience on offer at this course. We have a group of 74 students overall from more than 30 countries and 500+ years of work experience. It is a really close knit network of students with industry expertise across a breadth of verticals. Even while working in our separate sub groups for coursework assignments, there is a positive contribution from every team member who brings in something new and unique to the discussions. There is a high sense of team work and collaboration among us even though we may all be successful individually.

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

The learning experience at Cass has been totally different to what I had experienced earlier during my Bachelor’s degree. I discovered that this was a research institution as well as purely teaching one and could instantly see the difference. Most of the books and papers we were studying from were written and published by the professors who taught us in class. They were either doctorates or subject matter experts in each of their fields with high reputation, respect and credibility in their respective industries. There was a high emphasis on practical implementation of the subjects we learnt in class by the academics and this was put into action either through consulting with companies, outdoor activities, projects or presentations, which integrated various subjects together. Classes were highly interactive and engaging as promoted by the lecturers, with each student having a fresh prospective or a positive contribution to discussions through their past experiences, which helped widen our views on topics.

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

The quality of student life in London has really impressed me. Though the cost of living is on the higher side, there are various discounts all across the city specifically keeping the welfare of students in mind. Due to the location of the Cass campus in the heart of the city, we are constantly exposed to various cultures and nationalities, people from various professional backgrounds and there is always something of interest happening each month which adds to the overall feel, and complements the programme. Being right between Tech City and the financial centre means that the School can attract and invite several key speakers to take an hour or two off from their working hours in order to deliver some insightful lectures and engage with the cohort, which is really helpful as well.

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

I’d say that having been in their shoes just less than a year ago, I know the exact thoughts which would be going through their minds. They would be facing the task of choosing between two-to-three business schools they had shortlisted and finally picking one. In case they were looking for a world-class MBA, with a one year programme, ranked within the top 1% of business schools worldwide, best ROI and value for money, and in the heart of one the biggest cities in the world, then I would say that there really isn’t a better choice for them. Picking Cass Business School, London to pursue my MBA is undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have made so far in my career. It gives you all the chances and opportunities you need to succeed but after that an MBA is basically dependent on what you, as an individual, extract from it. Seeing the changes and experiences I have gone through personally, I know that a couple of my friends are already convinced that Cass would be a great choice for them as well, in order to advance in their careers.