BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering, University of Newcastle
Product Planning Manager, McLaren Automotive
Global Product Strategy and Market Research Manager, Jaguar
Why did you choose to study the Weekday Executive MBA and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
I wanted to expand my horizons, by both broadening my understanding of business and challenging myself at the highest level. An MBA was intended to stretch not only my intellectual development but also broaden my capacity for critical thinking and business integrity.
Imperial was the leading choice given its quality of education, reputation for excellence and outstanding technical expertise. As an engineer working for a high technology company, Imperial resonated strongly with my background and continued pursuit of a career in the automotive industry.
What is your fondest memory from your time at the Business School?
There are so many great memories it is difficult to pinpoint just one – the friends I made and the social scene we enjoyed, the varied and interesting group projects, the study tour to China – there are so many. The Technology Venture project really stands out in my memory – it was such a great privilege to work on a fledgling technology and feel like a real entrepreneur; working as a team to try and determine the commercial opportunity for a unique innovation to help bring it to market. The fact that the technology we worked on is now a commercial start-up makes our involvement more tangible.
How has the Business School helped develop your career?
The Business School gave me the confidence to try an alternative career path. The MBA really was an agent for change; it broadened my horizons and opened up my interest to other avenues outside of the automotive industry. I decided that a spell in consulting would help to continue that broader experience, building on my MBA learning and growing expertise in other business sectors. After enjoying this challenge for a short period I decided to return to the automotive industry as this is where my true passion lies.
What do you enjoy most about your work and what are the main challenges that you face?
I’m a self-confessed car enthusiast, so working in the car industry really is the fulfilment of my greatest interest – it’s therefore more of a hobby than a profession! Working in marketing and strategy at a car company is both demanding and exciting. Arguably one of the most complex consumer goods, with a whole host of internal and external factors that shape the competitive landscape, means the job is extremely rewarding due to the intellectual challenge and the variety of issues one faces. The main challenge is trying to understand the customer and how their needs will develop in the long term in order to generate commercial success for the business.
How do you stay connected with others from your Business School alumni network?
Our syndicate group still stays in close contact as we had built up such a good friendship. We tend to get together at least once per year for a BBQ or similar. Otherwise I’m still connected to most of the cohort via Linkedin which is a great tool to keep tabs on who is doing what – you never know when you might want to get back in touch!
In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you?
I believe it’s really important to stay in touch because we are all a global community and represent the quality of education at Imperial. You never know when you might face a challenge and need the help or support of one of the other members of the class – we’re all there to help each other and to continue our learning and development.