"I spent most of my first 30 years in education. The most valuable of those years were the last three spent at MMU."
In 1996, my employer sponsored me to complete the part-time master of Business Administration (MBA) at MMU. I joined a great group of friends in “cohort 8” of the MBA and we worked together for three years on a challenging but rewarding educational task. At the time, I was holding a senior management position with SIHI Pumps in Altrincham. I had both a first class honours and a PhD in engineering from Leeds Polytechnic, but the MBA really helped me learn the theoretical framework of business.
MMU taught me to ask questions and always apply a critical mind-set. Something I learnt during my MBA was that having the whole view is crucial if you want to lead a business. Both of the businesses I have led have had over 400 employees and therefore good analytical and critical thinking skills are key to the business sector.
During my time at MMU, the business in Altrincham went through an acquisition and shortly before graduating, the new Chairman wanted to develop international managers for the business. He asked me to relocate at the end of 1998 to Indianapolis in the USA, which was my first role post-MBA. In fact, the Chairman knew that I was completing at the time he asked me to take on the new role. The MBA helped a lot in transitioning to the new role, and I have spent the last five years leading as the President (known in the UK as the Managing Director).
Make sure you have the right attitude. Employers are looking for people who can take action and get things done. Be resourceful, make complex things as simple as possible and elevate accountability in everything you do. Make your boss’s life simpler, not more complicated!
I spent most of my first 30 years in education. The most valuable of those years were the last three spent at MMU.