Programme: Executive MBA, 2015
Pre-MBA: Chartered Quantity Surveyor, Faithful & Gould, London, UK
Post-MBA: Associate Director, JLL Cost Management, London, UK
Current industry: Real Estate
Transitions made: Function
Why did you choose the Cass Executive MBA programme?
In 2012, I had been working for eight years as a quantity surveyor with a successful management consultancy. I had just completed my professional exams to become a chartered surveyor. At that point, I started thinking about the next steps. I wanted to do an MBA to help me take a career step towards business delivery.
I looked at a range of MBAs. I wanted a London university with triple-crown accreditation that offered part-time study so that I could continue to work. The Executive MBA at Cass Business School ticked all the boxes.
I went to an open day session, which helped me to understand more about the programme. In fact, it made me realise that Cass was going to give me exactly what I needed.
Before starting, I wondered how much use the EMBA would be after the course – is it really worth the investment? I quickly found that I was able to apply the knowledge learned almost immediately. In fact, the strategy and business management knowledge that I was learning on the course, I was implementing on a day-to-day basis in my job.
What were the highlights of the programme?
The biggest thing the EMBA gives you is resilience. You don’t realise how much you can do within 24 hours until you push yourself to the limit. I learned that I can do far more than I ever imagined.
Having a diverse cohort from different backgrounds, countries and industries, makes you learn from everyone around you. The network you have only ever grows. Even as an alumnus, there are so many networking opportunities. I’m still an active member of the alumni network. I like doing the open evenings and the information sessions, because they really helped me when I joined.
Cass really look for experiences that you wouldn’t get on any other programme. One of the personal highlights for me was the international consultancy week at the end of the first year in Santiago, Chile. We worked for a real-life start-up that needed an urgent solution to the scalability of their business. The two founders had invested their life savings and were running out of capital, so it felt like a moral objective to do well for them. They were relying on us to come up with a solution within five days.
Using everything you’ve learned in the classroom in a practical, real-life situation is a great experience. You come together with your colleagues like a well-oiled machine to get it done. We worked hard. We became friends with the partners and we’re still in touch now. They’re still going strong, so we must have done something right!
How has the programme impacted your career aspirations?
During the EMBA you reflect a lot and think about where your career is going to go. After the first year, I looked for assurances from my employer on how my role could evolve. I realised that it wasn’t going to happen. So, I reached out to the Careers and Professional Development Team. They helped me look at where I might take my career. They also put me in touch with a coach who helped me look at how I might approach a career change.
As a direct result of the EMBA, within six months of meeting the team and the coach, I secured a new role at JLL, a global real estate professional services company. The day after I handed in my dissertation, I started my new job! I’m now an Associate Director and lead the Occupier Cost Management team.
I’ve got so much out of the EMBA. It's given me a new career and access to alumni and contacts that have become lifelong friends. I have no regrets, it was by far the best career decision I’ve made in my life.