Winds of change
Studying for the global MBA brings huge personal and professional benefits.
Studying for the Global MBA has brought huge personal and professional benefits for Gareth Dooley.
Tell us about your background?
I studied the Global Part-time MBA at Alliance MBS, graduating in 2019, and now work for Orsted, a renewable energy company based in Denmark whose main goal is to create a world run entirely on green energy. I work in offshore wind, part of the operations department on the commercial side, and negotiate big contracts - sometimes worth up to $2bn - with countries across the world from the US to Japan.
What attracted you to the renewable sector?
Working in the renewable energy sector came after pivoting from oil and gas where I was in a niche technical role. I knew when I made this transition that there were two things I was looking for. Firstly, I wanted something that sat aligned with my personal values and this is where renewables came in, especially working for a company like Orsted which is the largest offshore wind developer. Secondly, I also wanted to push the scope of what I could do and challenge myself. I wanted a job that was interchangeable, so I could work in any area of the company and add value.
The University of Manchester is a major brand in Asia that is heard of and well respected.
What specifically attracted you to the Manchester Global MBA?
At the time I studied my MBA I was living in Japan so I took the course at The University of Manchester Hong Kong centre. I needed an MBA that could accommodate a change in location to a variety of places around the world but also wanted to study a UK-based MBA as it was an education system I knew. So knowing about Manchester and its brand made Alliance MBS seem a really good option.
The University of Manchester is a major brand in Asia that is heard of and well respected given that it has a number of centres in different countries, so it ticked all the boxes for me. The idea that I had the opportunity to study workshops at a lot of centres across the world was very appealing, and the Business School's global ranking also helped to secure my decision.
How has the MBA helped you?
I believe the MBA was a major tool I used to help make this pivot from a technical to a business role, and it helped me understand how business is actually done. I had always experienced it, but the MBA made me see why and understand the rationale for why decisions are made.
The cohort was so varied, and it was amazing to see that a lot of issues in companies were the same, whether it was working for Apple, Chanel, or renewable energy. All companies seemed to have the same internal issues, making me realize that I could go and work anywhere as I had the skills and insights that were transferable.
The MBA gave me confidence in myself, and from the discussions I had with my cohort, I realized I could stand my ground with anyone. To have all these skills in your back pocket when going for an interview was priceless, as it is today when I am negotiating deals too. These skills are worth their weight in gold.
What particular skills has it helped you with?
I am using the techniques and skills I learnt on the MBA daily. Corporate finance was something I learnt a lot about on the MBA, as was business strategy, and looking at the bigger picture has helped me when I am now working across different markets. In fact there is not a subject I studied that I don’t use. Everything I learnt has helped me to better interact with colleagues and external stakeholders.
What advice do you have to anyone considering an MBA?
Be aware that you need to put time aside and completely commit to studying the programme. I would recommend using the knowledge you're learning at workshops straight away. Applying things practically is the major benefit of the Manchester Method, so look at how you can apply your learnings internally in your company from the very start. I found by doing this I gained a lot of value from the MBA very quickly, even from day one.
Overall the best part of the Global MBA experience was the workshops. I took these in Hong Kong and made some amazing friends and created both a personal and business network from my time on the programme. The MBA gives you a chance to have some amazing and interesting conversations with people from all different backgrounds, adding value to your network.