Simonetta Harding

Simonetta Harding

Nationality: German
Programme: Executive MBA, 2016
Pre-MBA: Senior Distribution Strategist,Henderson Global Investors, London, UK
Post-MBA: Corporate Strategy Manager, Schroders Investment Management London, UK
Current industry: Finance
Transitions made: Function

Why did you choose to do the Cass Executive MBA?

I was a Senior Distribution Strategist and wanted to make the jump to corporate strategy. For that, I knew I needed an MBA. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime step, I wanted the best education I could get for strategy. After much research, I chose Cass Business School as it is a top-10 ranked global school for corporate strategy according to the Financial Times.

The company I was working for at the time sponsored me for the Executive MBA and in return they needed to get something out of it from day one. One of the things that I loved about the EMBA was how applicable the theory is to the real world. I was able to put my learning to work by writing about topics that were relevant for my company and could be used internally. People responded really well to them.

What was the highlight of the programme?

The international electives were real highlights for me, including the consulting week in Chile. It was amazing to be thrown right in to a company and make a difference. We were able to make recommendations straight away that led to an immediate increase in revenue. I got a great deal out of it because we had an actual client that paid for our consulting expertise, so we took a lot of pride in making sure we delivered 100% for them.

I also selected the Silicon Valley elective. It was great to see how the place works. I worked on an assignment about digital disruption in asset management, which is a hot topic in the industry right now. That knowledge I gained is fundamental to being a corporate strategist, which turned out to be very useful to me.

How has the programme impacted you personally and professionally?

Before the EMBA, I used to experience classic ‘female imposter’ syndrome, always worrying that I was not good enough. Now, after going through the programme, I know I’m good enough and it gave me the confidence I needed.

When I finished the programme, I felt a huge sense of achievement. It fundamentally challenges me at all levels, but it was worth it. Without it, I would not be where I am now.

I was headhunted for a corporate strategy role within five months of graduating. I doubt I would have made it through the interview process without the knowledge I gained through the EMBA. Now, I’m a Corporate Strategy Manager at Schroders. Professionally, that was exactly the jump that I needed and wanted to make.

I experienced such personal growth during my time at Cass and gained a huge sense of achievement and confidence. If you can accomplish the EMBA, you can accomplish anything!