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“The whole postgraduate experience has been invaluable. There’s a whole host of softer skills you pick up”

Alumni perspectives on success.

To date in our case study series, we’ve spoken to University of Birmingham graduates of the 80s, 90s and 00s to gain a perspective on the long-term contributions a degree offers in the pursuit of professional success. We spoke to Aidan Lawrence, a 2015 Executive Masters of Business Administration (MBA) graduate and general manager at Tesco to get his thoughts on the immediate benefits of a degree from the University of Birmingham.

What have you been up to since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

Since graduation I’ve been heavily involved in business mentoring, working closely with the MSc students at the university’s business school. This has involved teaching them leadership and professional development as a mentor and a business coach. Meanwhile, at Tesco, I work closely with our senior managers and directors on our strategy to respond to the rise of discounters (in particular, Aldi and Lidl).

Have you been back to the University of Birmingham recently?

I’ve been back several times to the university – alumni have a role in keeping the programme moving forwards, and it’s part of the networking experience the Business School offers. There’s a collection of networks you make as an Alumni at the Business School. These networks include not just current MBAs, but also the MPAs and MScs in the same school.

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How has the University of Birmingham expanded your professional network? How do you stay connected?

Naturally, I’ve been keeping in touch with the other students from my time there. There have been some fantastic people that I have met on the MBA programmes and also on the MSc programmes through networking and business mentoring events. Social media makes this especially easy – there are MBA groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, and Twitter is a useful for just keeping in touch.
I’ve made some lifelong friends on all five continents. I’ve been invited to Beijing, and while I’m looking forward to going out there as a holiday, the trip to China will potentially be an opportunity to do business with some of the MBA alumni that I’ve met.

What would you consider the main theme of your time in the University of Birmingham MBA programme?

The whole postgraduate experience has been invaluable. In addition to the high quality taught core modules covering key business areas such as marketing, strategy, finance, HR, operations, ethics and corporate governance, there’s a whole host of softer skills you pick up from the programme. Leadership development, different leadership styles, mindfulness, reacting to your environment, cross-cultural awareness: these softer skills, in addition to the core skills, have been absolutely fantastic in helping develop myself as an individual. It’s really been a transformative experience.

What advice would you give someone considering earning their MBA at the University of Birmingham?

Thank you Aidan for sharing your thoughts with us. What is your experience of post degree life? Did you take full advantage of the extracurricular opportunities available to you? Tell us below in the comments, and watch Facebook and Twitter for more discussion.

The University of Birmingham offers a range of online degrees. If you are interested in returning to study via distance learning, please fill out our request for information form or contact a member of our Admissions Team.

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