Programme: Full-time MBA, 2014
Pre-MBA: General Manager, Advent Medical Products, Boston, USA
Post-MBA: Managing Director, Equiteq, New York, USA
Current industry: Finance
Transitions made: Function, Industry
Why did you choose the Cass MBA?
I had known for a few years that I had wanted to pursue an MBA. It was an objective of mine and something that I really wanted to do as part of my career development. I was working as a General Manager for a medical devices company in Boston, USA. So, going in, I was really looking to broaden my business experience. I didn’t have a specific new role in mind, but I felt that an MBA would enable me to develop new skills, explore different career options and act as a mid-career opportunity to see what else was out there and perhaps even study abroad.
Through my research, I felt that London would be the best place to make the most of my time and was happy to relocate to the UK for the right school. I was looking specifically for a one-year programme and according to the FT rankings, Cass Business School offered the top ranked one-year MBA in London. For me it was a fairly easy decision and it was the only school I applied to.
The programme gives you an incredibly well-rounded and practical business overview. I have been able to apply all my studies in my work – finance, strategy, organisational structure, culture, HR and IT, a real breadth of knowledge.
How has the programme benefitted you?
One of the highlights of the programme is the fact that you are exposed to different people and worldviews, and get to spend time in different places. For example, the international electives were amazing. I went to South Africa, and visited numerous businesses, observing how they operate and exploring how they had made some serious advances on corporate social responsibility. Understanding how business and society interact over there was fascinating. We also met with a number of charities that were working to lift the population out of poverty and create entrepreneurial avenues. I even got to talk to Desmond Tutu while visiting one of his charities – which was quite a life experience!
Apart from learning about different frameworks and theories I also wanted to gain practical experience during the programme. As part of my Business Mastery Project (BMP) I decided to look for an internship, I used the Cass online job board which is a great research tool students have access to at Cass. I discovered that Equiteq – a boutique global investment bank, specialising in Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) was looking to hire an intern. I interviewed with them in February and secured an internship in March. My BMP was based around the possibility of Equiteq expanding into the US market.
The company was just a five-minute walk from the school, I was really able to take advantage of the schools proximity to the financial hub. I worked at Equiteq before and after lectures and on Thursdays.
At the time, I didn't have any financial services experience in my background, so I also took a number of M&A electives to round-out my knowledge as part of my formal MBA education.
How would you describe your overall experience of the MBA?
Overall, the programme was first rate. I’d recommend Cass to anybody looking to pursue an MBA – both from the quality of the teaching to the experiences that I was able to have by spending a year in London and its close proximity to Europe. The ability to take the train to Paris while you’re studying is also not to be taken for granted! I got to travel, meet some exciting people, and forge really meaningful and deep friendships during my time at Cass. As a holistic experience, it was one of the best years of my life.
Without the programme, the door would never have been opened for me to make my career jump. I was hired directly by Equiteq at the end of the programme. I am now Managing Director and have moved back to the USA with our current CEO to set up our New York office, which we are now growing. My professional success is directly attributed to my decision to attend Cass and my ability to make the most of that opportunity.