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‘Mad for Manchester’: Chemistry graduate starts fourth UoM degree at Alliance MBS

They say Manchester has everything but a beach, and some graduates just can’t keep away.

Paul Wood, Executive Principal at YK Pao School Secondary Division, Shanghai, recently started his fourth University of Manchester degree, joining the Global Part-time MBA July intake thirty years after he started his first degree in 1987.

Paul holds a BSc Chemistry, an MSc Chemistry and a PhD Chemistry from the University of Manchester. Since completing his PhD here in the 1990s, his career has taken him all over the world to the USA, Canada, Japan, Tanzania and China. He held a number of research science positions at institutions such as Harvard Medical School and Canada’s National Research Council, before realising that he wanted to focus on teaching science. 

Paul then forged a successful career in education and in addition to his trio of UoM degrees, he holds a B.Ed. from the University of Ottawa (Canada) and an MA in Educational Management from The University of Bath. He now heads up the two secondary division campuses of YK Pao School, a Chinese-English bilingual, not-for-profit boarding school in Shanghai. Ready for his next challenge, Paul enrolled on the Global MBA through our China Centre in Shanghai. He said:

“It is great to return to Manchester and visit the buildings where I used to study chemistry. In fact, immediately before the Global MBA induction, I had a 30-year reunion with friends I first met in Wright-Robinson Hall! I was originally attracted to the city for its famous music scene in the 1980s and 1990s. The city has changed so much, but it has retained its vibrant feel.

“As a school head who came from a teaching background, I have experience but little formal training in business-critical areas such as operations, HR, finance, marketing and leadership, so I decided it was time to study for an MBA. The University’s Shanghai centre is extremely convenient for me and the MBA offers a broad-based education in all areas of business and management, plus the chance to specialise through electives and projects.  And of course, I received an alumni discount!”

The Global MBA is ideal for leaders like Paul who are not from traditional business backgrounds, or who only have experience in a specific area such as finance or marketing. It offers a flexible approach to MBA study, with workshops residentials three times a year and the opportunity to study electives at our global centres in Dubai, Hong Kong, Manchester, São Paulo, Shanghai and Singapore, as well as in Washington DC.

As one of our more senior applicants, Paul was invited to join Global MBA Accelerated – a closed, multinational cohort of our most senior candidates who travel around the world together to complete the programme in 18 months, rather than two years.