I am Piyali Banerjee, originally from Kolkata, India. I travelled to Manchester in September 2021 to begin my MBA journey at Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS).
Life before the MBA
Before the MBA I was working at United India Insurance Company Limited, a public sector general insurance company.My role involved leading teams, working with brokers and intermediaries, and managing underwriting and claims for various lines of business: property, marine, miscellaneous and personal accident. I was working across sectors such as banking, manufacturing, construction, industry and energy for both retail and corporate clients. Prior to this role, I worked with IBM India for 3 years, managing online portals for global clients.
Progression to an MBA
Studying an MBA has always been something I wanted to do. After completing my degree in engineering, I wanted to obtain good industry experience before making the leap into an MBA. I decided in 2019 it was the right time for me to pursue my dream of completing an MBA, but with work demands, personal issues and of course the COVID-19 pandemic it pushed back my plans. In 2021 I believed the time was right and here I am in Manchester, three months into my Full-time MBA.
My decision to study an MBA was a natural progression in my career. Even though I had some international exposure from my time working with IBM, in my recent role I mainly worked with clients in India. I knew that studying an MBA would give me more international exposure and a much wider outlook. I wanted to become a better manager and leader, so I needed to improve my understanding of organisational behavior and business fundamentals. By studying an MBA, I was going to fill gaps in my skillset that I needed to push my career further.
The reason I chose Manchester was to study at a highly competitive world-class business school with a diverse cohort. The AMBS MBA is ranked 4th in the UK and 30th globally, so ticked these boxes. After extensive research, I chose AMBS as I believed it would give me holistic development and enable me to gain international exposure. To have the opportunity to work alongside peers from a range of backgrounds, and have access to ‘learning by doing’ with the live projects, made AMBS the right fit for me.
I also chose the AMBS MBA to gain international exposure by working on live consultancy projects as part of the programme. I hope that I will secure a job in the UK after graduation. From my short time on the MBA, I can see there is potential for new opportunities or a change to my original plan. I am still learning and keeping an open mind for what the future might hold for me. I know I want to finish the MBA and be a better manager and leader for a company.
My advice to those who want to study an MBA
Studying an MBA is not only a big financial investment, it can also change your career path completely. An MBA is an immersive experience that opens doors to new career paths and a huge networking opportunity. It is important that you choose to study an MBA for the right reasons. I would advise anyone who is thinking about studying an MBA to reflect on the reasons why and what you believe you will get out of it once you have graduated.
The Full-time MBA programme
The Full-time MBA programme started with a three-week induction, including a trip to Brathay. The Brathay trip was an essential addition for developing our teamwork skills. We learnt a lot during our time in the Lake District, and it has all been transferable when working in our groups for the consultancy project. One activity threw us in the deep end of Lake Windermere where we were put in teams and asked to row to a point in the lake, working together as a team in our rowing boats. Nobody had any previous experience of rowing, but once we all worked together, we moved forward to get to the point in the lake.
During the last couple of months we have taken part in a range of activities and classes. We have worked with the careers team and joined in alumni sessions, company presentations, guest speaker series and networking sessions. But the main focus has been the first of the live projects, Not-for-Profit (NFP). This is the best part of the programme: learning by doing and working in groups where we each come from different backgrounds. It makes the whole experience fun, exciting and interesting. I look forward to further collaboration and group work, being challenged, learning by doing and making memories that will last forever in the next chapters of the programme.