Ben Ogden interviewed with Manchester Young Professionals when he began his MBA programme. He explains why he chose to study the MBA and how a scholarship has helped him to pursue this dream.
Why did you decide to study an MBA?
While I was studying the ACA, I developed an interest in theoretical business management practices. I wanted to develop a deeper understanding and felt that an MBA would be a good way to do this. Studying an MBA was always something that I knew I wanted to do. I felt there was a benefit in completing an MBA earlier on in my career. Working on different business projects during the programme will ensure that I have explored a variety options and chosen the right career path for me.
Why Alliance Manchester Business School?
The three consultancy projects and the practical elements of the programme swayed my decision towards Manchester. These components set the Manchester MBA aside from others and I know it will give me the practical experience that I want from an MBA programme.
Once I had finished my ACA, I received a few job offers. However, I wasn’t entirely sure if they were the job for me. I felt that if I had more business knowledge and work experience in different areas, I would have been in a better place to understand what career path I wanted to take, and what these jobs offered me. I hope that the projects and all the practical elements of the programme will help me to shape my career.
What advice would you give someone thinking of studying an MBA?
- Think about when you can take the time out of full-time employment
- Think about the financial investment an MBA is
- Consider how an MBA will supercharge your career
- Give you the opportunity to work with a range of people you would never usually cross paths with
- Decide if it is a risk worth taking for you, to give you the time to explore other elements of business as well as potential other options for your career.
What are your end goals from studying an MBA?
To have developed my theoretical learning. I am looking forward to saying that I worked on and contributed to some interesting business projects, both in the UK and abroad. I am hoping that these experiences will give me the skills I need to understand and know what I want from a career. I want a solid plan of action and long-term career goal and I will use the MBA to fully understand the road I want to go down.
What do you enjoy the most about living in Manchester? What are your favourite parts of the city?
I love Manchester as a city as it has everything. I travel regularly to the Peak District, North Wales and the Lake District, as I am a keen mountaineer, and these places are very easily accessible from Manchester – there is countryside in every direction.
I live in an area called Didsbury which is very close to the city centre, but it’s also suburban, giving me the best of both worlds with Manchester. I am part of a running club in Didsbury and there is always so much going on. Manchester is a big city but also small enough that you can walk around and not get lost. As I have lived in the city for so long, I think I will be able to help those in my class coming from other countries settle in and get to know the city.
What advice do you have when it comes to funding for those who may consider a Full-time MBA?
- If you know you are going to study an MBA, start saving towards it as it will help when you arrive
- Try and apply for a scholarship if you can. Research what the school have to offer by reading through their website and brochures. I received a scholarship, and this helped massively in terms of funding and saving for my studies.
- Don’t rule out an MBA due to financial implications, the educational investment outweighs the commitment
What were you doing in the build-up to your Full-time MBA?
I spent the summer months at The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst completing the Army Reserve Officer course. I have been a part of the Army Reserves since a young age but had not yet become an Army Officer.
The course hosts people from different countries and is a very respected programme to be part of. It is an intense two months of pure leadership training. It has aided my skills in decision making under pressure, sticking to decisions and carrying them out effectively. Training to be an Army Officer is something I always wanted to do, so I am really happy to have completed this. Being an Army Officer have given me skills that will really complement my abilities as I progress through the MBA.
What have been your MBA highlights so far?
- Meeting classmates – it has been great meeting people from around the world
- Brathay – This trip at the start of the programme was a fantastic opportunity and a great way to truly bond with classmates. I was able to take some of my classmates on a walk showing the proper UK countryside.
- Not-for-Profit Consultancy Project – this is the first major project of the programme. We got going with this quickly, helping us to develop key consulting skills to put into practice with clients. Over the course of the first semester, we were able to generate and test hypotheses, manage and deliver a solid report to the client with all our recommendations.