Andrew Todd MBE
Andrew, what prompted you to enrol on the MBA programme, and why did you select Henley?
‘As a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, I hadn’t had much exposure to the world of business, and in terms of leadership, I felt that there were many areas I wanted to explore and develop. I was keen to understand the academic processes and gain a professional qualification that would prove my business acumen. I really wanted to expand my network and learn from people in other sectors.
‘I did have a choice of business schools, but the moment you walk through the door at Henley, you know that it is a unique place for any collective learning experience!’
So was there anything that surprised you about the MBA programme?
‘I don’t think I expected it to be quite so intimate! Or diverse. Knowing Henley, I expected good quality lecturers, but their levels of practical expertise, and the depth of engagement were a surprise – in a very good way.
‘Henley enables a richness of learning – both academic theory and practice – and a huge amount of what you learn comes from the individual experiences of the other programme participants and the collective wisdom of the cohort.
‘It was an eye-opener for me in the sense that I learned to recognise that no-one can be good at everything. And I really enjoyed the strategy and marketing modules – learning how to market the organisation and yourself.’
So what changes did it make, both to you and to the organisation?
‘I don’t know where to start! I can now stand up in front of senior Army leaders with knowledge and confidence, and credibility. And they give me kudos in return because they know I’ve done the Henley MBA.
‘I’ve been applying a lot of what I learned on the programme, perhaps most notably in terms of instilling best practice into a big digital transformation project. I’m having a positive impact on mindsets and behaviours, I can identify quick wins to help bring sceptics on board, and I’m briefing the Army Board on key topics. Henley teaches you to question everything, but to lead with humility too.
‘I now have an amazing network of contacts across a wide variety of industries, and I routinely speak to them to get ideas and feedback. Recently, we were looking into how to maintain our vehicle fleet in a more predictable and preventative way. By speaking to my contacts, I quickly learned about systems and processes that were proven to work. Without this network we would have spent much more time exploring solutions that would never have been as effective. And with lots of other contacts in other tech companies, I have a ready resource at my fingertips.
‘For my own career path, I know that the MBA has given me a massive competitive advantage.’
Finally, what advice would you give to anyone thinking about the Henley MBA?
‘Don’t embark on it lightly – it’s a huge commitment, and you will be stretched. You’ll only get out what you’re prepared to put in.
‘But it has changed the direction of my career, and my life, in a very positive way. No other programme comes close to this. I’ve loved it.’