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My life on the Full-time MBA

Before starting the Full-time MBA, I was a project engineer at the John Wood Group based in Singapore, where I am from. The Wood Group, then known as Amec Foster-Wheeler is an engineering, procurement, construction management (EPCm) firm specialising in the oil and gas and chemical sectors.

My role within the company was project and construction management rather than technical engineering. Day-to-day my work involved coordinating and facilitating discussions and work between a variety of stakeholder groups.

The last role I was doing before I left for the MBA saw me take over as the acting project manager in a joint engineering-construction sub project. This was part of the greater project scope for the revamp project for ExxonMobil. I was responsible for managing the staffing resources, schedule and budgeting for this subproject.

Studying an MBA was something I had been thinking about for 3 years before I hit the start button. I thought about it in detail when I was struggling to understand strategic business decisions within my company. I wanted to fully understand why the company were making their business choices. I decided that now was the time to fill the gaps in my business knowledge. I also found the pandemic led to a period of reflection and I realised with the oil and gas industry declining I needed to think about moving to renewables. It was at this point I started looking into either a technical MSc in renewable energies or an MBA.

After doing my research I realised the skills I would learn on an MBA would allow me to develop my strategic sight and hopefully gain an understanding about my company and the decisions being made. I also wanted to gain valuable financial and business skills. I thought it would also be a good addition to my project management and team leading skills.  

I chose Alliance Manchester Business School for my MBA for two main reasons.

  1. The syllabus structure being project heavy and also the internship component built into it. The practical element of the Manchester MBA that I didn’t see other business schools offering.
  2. The AMBS MBA stands out significantly with the three consultancy projects. These appealed to me as I thought it would be a great way to put my new academic knowledge into practice.

If I was to advise someone thinking of studying an MBA I would say start to develop your softer skills, for example facilitation and relationship building. As an MBA student one of the most important things, I have learnt is that my project only succeeds when we all work together as a team.

For me, my goal after completing the programme is to move into either the water or renewable sector in either a business development or programme management role. However, since being on the MBA I am interested in the tech sector too as I believe this is an ever-evolving sphere to be in that will revolutionise the world.

The MBA programme has been none stop since I started in September 2021. I have successfully completed my first project which was the not-for-profit project. I found this to be an iconic milestone of the MBA programme as it represented my teams’ triumph at working together with people we didn’t know and no previous consultancy experience.

I am vice president of the energy and industry club. I wanted this role as I was looking for ways to give back to the cohort. I also wanted to use this as a platform to bring external networking events to AMBS.

I have also been lucky to represent AMBS at the MBA Tournament held in Paris at HEC business school. We spent 3 days on the campus competing in a variety of sporting events against 12 other business schools.

I am really looking forward to the next stage of the programme. We have the international business study tour in Dubai later in the year. I am looking forward to networking with a much wider range of people and the chance to travel with my cohort.

My internship is starting soon which I am looking forward to as one of my main goals on the MBA is to start a new career so I am extremely excited to hit the ground running and testing my new knowledge and skills.

My top two highlights from my time on the MBA so far would be:

  1. Brathay – this was the first big trip outside of Manchester, where we travelled to the Lake District. We went with no idea what to expect but it was an amazing outdoors experience. It was a great way to break the ice between our new colleagues and also push ourselves to take risks that we might not have done before.
  2. Amazon Pathways MBA Challenge – my team came second in this competition. The MBA challenge was a competition that allowed MBA candidates a deep insight into the world of Amazon Operations by working on solving real world supply chain issues. As one of the four finalists, our team was taken on a tour of an Amazon Fulfilment centre just outside of Manchester. This gave us all a real look into the operations at Amazon. To get to the final my team worked on three rounds of consultancy cases, competing with 126 teams. This competition opened my eyes to the fulfilment and sense of achievement that comes from solving deeply complex business consultancy problems. 


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