Leo, tell us why you wanted to take an MBA programme, and why you chose Henley
‘I had a technical, engineering background, and I always had an MBA in the back of my mind. I often found myself in front of senior people and wanted to be able to face them with more confidence.
‘I also wanted to futureproof my career; giving myself the best chance to progress and succeed.
‘Why Henley? From the research I did, it was clear that Henley has an amazing reputation alongside its triple accreditation. But it was much more than that. I came along to the Open Day, and there was something very special about it. The culture, the atmosphere, it just felt right for me.’
So how do you look back on your Flexible Executive MBA experience?
‘It soon became clear that you only get out what you put in, but suddenly the world is your oyster, and anything is possible. You gain an awareness of what suits you, and what doesn’t.
‘It wasn’t without its challenges, and juggling the studying with work and home life can be difficult, but whilst it pushes you to innovate, explore and experiment with different approaches, it taught me to set boundaries and pick out the content that was most relevant to me. It was important to me to maintain some family time, maybe taking my sons to football. You have to focus and have priorities.
‘But on the plus side, I was particularly struck by the strategy module, which changed my way of thinking and gave me a set of practical tools that I’ve applied many times in my career.
‘Equally, the careers and personal development sessions opened up new directions, allowing me to explore in some depth who I really am, and what my values are.
‘And the way this programme is put together enables the participants to build networks and friendship groups that we will value for many years to come.’
And what impact did all this have on you, professionally and personally?
‘The management research project, the numerous applied assignments, and the kudos that Henley bestows on you, gave me the confidence to engage with my CEO and CFO at the time and gave me enormous credibility internally. And as a result of me taking a more strategic approach, I was promoted to a Strategic Engagement Director.
‘I know that I’ve become a different person. I challenge myself more; I’ve become more ambitious. I’m aware that people around me can see my value, and new opportunities keep coming my way.
‘Since graduating, I’ve made two career moves. And the people I’ve reached out to through the alumni network have helped me enormously to find a clear pathway. Having the MBA gives you more choices, and I’m very pleased with the progress I’ve made so far.
‘Personally, it stress-tests your relationships, but I think you emerge stronger for it, and you certainly gain a greater appreciation of your time!’
And finally, how would you summarise your experience, and what advice would you offer to anyone thinking of enrolling on the Henley MBA programme?
‘Do your research, and make sure the programme is the right one for you. Be clear why you want to do it, and be prepared to make sacrifices. But the MBA is a game-changer, and I recommend it highly to anyone who wants a better future.’