To set the scene for my blog entries, I suppose it’s worth knowing a little bit about me.
Well my name is James, and I am full time MBA student at the Strathclyde Business School. Prior to starting the MBA I achieved a Bachelors and Masters in Hospitality Management from a Swiss University. During this and after, I managed to progress well in hotel development companies with my last post as Director of Asset Management.
I had always believed an MBA would help my career, and I suppose initially I considered it to be a badge of honour, or even a elite club where only a few could apply or get through. Obviously as I progressed through work, this picture I had painted, changed. The MBA as I saw it when I started to apply for Universities was the chance to go back to the drawing board and understand new cutting edge theory that you just don’t have access to within work (unless you work for a BCG or McKinsey).
I applied to the top three MBA programmes in Scotland, and was accepted in to all of them. At this point I was faced with the decision of selecting a course, based upon very little understanding of which would suit my needs better. So I managed to visit each university, learnt how the courses were run, and the effort required. I also spoke to a number of Scottish businessmen I either knew or started to network with. One university kept appearing in these conversations, and that was Strathclyde. I was honestly shocked, as I hadn’t painted it as a front runner when I applied. However the feedback I was getting from regional executives was along the lines of “make sure you consider Strathclyde”.
The other feedback that I found odd at the time, but fully understand now, was “you will learn as much from your colleagues, as you will in the classes”. My initial thoughts were: “hmm that sounds lovely, but I’m not here to hug and make friends, I’m here to advance my career”! It’s quite funny looking back at this now, and how wrong I was, as the advancement in my learning, came equally from the classes as it did from the other MBA’s,
So why did I choose Strathclyde? Well, there were a number of factors, but in a nutshell I chose Strathclyde based upon what I thought I could achieve post the MBA. Strathclyde is renowned for strategy; in fact I believe I read somewhere when applying it was ranked 2 or 3 in the world for strategy. With the world changing through economic recession but also the shift in consumer behaviour in Gen Y and social media, I considered strategy the focus of what I needed as an MBA graduate to succeed in the world of business. Other smaller reasons which contributed to the decision were for example the age and history of the MBA at Strathclyde, the links to industry, the Strathclyde 100, and the almost ‘Boutique’ nature of course.