Vipul Patel

Why did you choose to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?

The Executive MBA gave me the flexibility to study, whilst working, at a world-renowned global university. Living in London, I also preferred a reputable business school in or as close to London as possible.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same programme as you?

Immerse yourself fully in the experience. It is difficult to juggle work, family and the MBA, but you only have one chance to make the most of the experience. Do not underestimate the effort required (especially to achieve good grades consistently) throughout the programme. Don’t worry if it all seems daunting at first, with a bit of effort and help from your peers, lecturers and support staff, you’ll be fine.

How do you find living in London?

Very busy and crowded  at times (especially transport) but vibrant.

What was the Business School community like?

Excellent – the academic and support staff were very responsive and always there in person or phone/email as required.

What was a typical day at the Business School like?

I was on the weekday programme so I was in every other Friday for the first year. The days are long and lectures intensive as you cover a lot of material. So you must do the pre-readings before your lecture. Keep to this discipline at all times. On many occasions, you may have to stay back for group work etc, so a huge amount of work does spill well out of the official taught hours.

What do you enjoy most about your work and what are the main challenges that you face?

I am currently pursuing job opportunities outside of my current organisation but the most enjoyable thing about my work is that, following the MBA, you see things differently and there are many opportunities to influence change in your organisation. The downside, and by extension the challenge, is the frustration of not being able to make as much of an impact quickly, as you would like especially in a large organisation. After completing the MBA I am not the same person I was before the MBA, and it can be very frustrating when you feel you are not able to utilise your newly acquired skills/way of thinking as much as you know you can for the better of the organisation.

In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you? What value do you get out of your connections with the Business School and your fellow alumni?

Remaining connected to your cohort and wider alumni network is very important, as there is a huge amount of advice and information available to you. Personally, I have used alumnus identified and contacted by the Careers Service on my behalf, including those abroad, for advice on career change options.

Have you volunteered at the Business School since you graduated? If so, why do you feel it’s important to volunteer your time and experience?

I have offered my voluntary services to Imperial College Business School since my graduation and am looking forward to the next opportunity. During the Executive MBA programme, I was actively involved in student representation activities such as taking part in MBA recruitment days and continually providing feedback on programme improvements. I was also asked by one of our professors to present to a class starting their IE&D project, on my experience of the IE&D experience. I feel it is important to volunteer your time and experience as this keeps you continually connected to the Imperial College Business School, enables you to build your networking skills and above all, it feels great! I remember a day soon after the Executive MBA cohort after mine had started and I was at the Imperial College Business School at the same time, when a group of students came out of the lecture theatre and excitedly ran over and commented that I had inspired them into joining the programme at the recruitment events I had volunteered at! A truly awesome and highly satisfying feeling!

Have you taken advantage of any of the lifelong learning opportunities offered to you as an alumni benefit? Why is it important to you to continue your learning journey?

Apart from the Imperial College Business School Careers Service, I have yet to attend one of the many events continually available to alumni. One of the reasons this is, is largely because I work away from London during the week. Hopefully, in my next job I will be able to take advantage of the continual learning Imperial provides for Imperial College Business School alumni. I cannot emphasise the importance of continuous learning. Amid a continually, fast-changing world, it keeps you on your toes, keeps you motivated, never ceases to amaze and fascinate you, you always meet new and interesting people – the list is endless. In summary, it just keeps making you better and better and a more-rounded person.

Nationality: British

Undergraduate education: MEng Chemical Engineering

Job prior to Imperial College Business School: Capability Manager at UK Defence Establishment