Full-time MBA success stories
Whether you are looking to reach new heights in your existing industry or change direction completely, you will graduate from the Full-time MBA with the skills, experience and confidence you need. Click the boxes below to find out more about our graduates' career journeys.
Katherine Cornwell, American, Class of 2014
Strategy Manager, Accenture, London
Pre-MBA: Regional Sales Manager, hospitality industry, USA
“I work at Accenture Strategy, with a focus on customer strategy (including sales and marketing strategy) and speciality expertise in data privacy, digital trust and cybersecurity. My previous experience wasn't an exact match for consulting so the MBA, with live consulting projects and a summer internship, was key to securing the position.
"The MBA consultancy projects gave me great insight into the consulting sector and provided me with experience that I could directly apply to my role at Accenture. The projects helped me identify the skills I already had and could strengthen, and highlighted the skills I needed to develop. In professional services, adaptability is important – to new industry verticals, functional areas and client work cultures. By the end of the MBA, I was able to display that I had these highly-valued skills, which have made me a real asset to my firm.
"In addition to adaptability, the MBA laid a foundation for strategic thinking that Accenture has further progressed. For all my clients, I have the ability to understand any business challenge, apply a strategic methodology or framework and, ultimately, find a high-level solution.”
Fatema El-Wakeel, Egyptian, Class of 2015
Senior Finance Leader, Jaguar Land Rover, UK
Global Director, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) Board of Directors & Founder & President, IMA® UK Chapter
Pre-MBA: Regional Reporting Manager, hospitality industry, Egypt
“After graduating in 2015, I secured a role in strategy and capacity planning at Jaguar Land Rover and later moved to a data analytics role. I am also an active member of the UK finance community and was the Founding President of the IMA® UK Chapter.
“Launching products in the manufacturing industry requires a lot of strategic planning, financial management and data analytics work – this is what makes some companies more successful than others.
“My current role involves a lot of responsibilities – from presenting data analytics recommendations and findings to directors and senior managers to ensuring executive decisions are supported by in-depth strategic studies. I also manage data analytics projects and lead the implementation of data analytics tools in finance through cross-functional projects.
“The MBA helped me take on such a varied role and develop crucial professional skills. It taught me how to think strategically about the holistic business picture, and gave me the skills to link theory to practice.
“In particular, the MBA builds strong leaders with the ability to work in any region around the world. My pre-MBA experience was in the Middle East and Africa and I was fortunate to work on different consultancy projects as part of my MBA. The projects enabled me to gain valuable insights into global industries, work part-time in consulting and gain experience of the whole EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) – before I had even graduated. I also did an internship with Jaguar Land Rover, and I was able to extend this by working part-time during the final semesters.
“Looking back, I would say two key aspects of the MBA have shaped my career:
- The MBA consultancy projects: The projects gave me the solid strategic mindset I needed to advance in my career. They also provided an opportunity to identify and use transferable skills from other industries (my pre-MBA background spanned consulting, automotive, IT, hospitality and others). This multi-industrial, strategic approach has helped me add value to my roles post-graduation.
- Delivering a dissertation that created a framework for strategic big data implementation and analysed its challenges in different industries: This enabled me to understand the potential of analytics and be part of it at a very early stage. I now have a passion for sharing my experience and knowledge in strategic big data; I am privileged to have been a keynote speaker and guest lecturer at different conferences and forums."
Konain Hasan, Pakistani, Class of 2014
Senior Risk Manager, American Express, New York
Pre-MBA: Treasury Manager, Engro Corporation Ltd., Pakistan
“I am currently part of the Risk Strategy Team and work on planning for the next recession. Our team identifies key risk controls that would be tightened in a downturn. I have also worked in Fraud Risk and Risk Consulting within Amex.
“For me, the MBA was about more than academic study: it provided me with the network and tools I needed to make and implement an informed decision about my career. For example, the career counselling, speaker series with business leaders, networking events and internship all helped me build a successful exit strategy.
“The Manchester MBA also promised ‘learning-by-doing’ through live consultancy projects. It lived up to its expectations. I was able to convert my summer internship at American Express into an offer for a full-time position. I commenced work immediately after graduation”.
Jai Somasekharan, Indian, Class of 2013
Director - Global Accounts, British Telecom, USA
Pre-MBA: Project Manager, telecoms industry, UAE
“During my MBA, I was fortunate enough to secure a position on the BT MBA Leadership Programme. This meant that I completed my internship with BT in London, and went straight into a full-time role with the company after completing the MBA. I think the fact I already had experience in the telecom sector did help me secure the position. However, what I learned on the Manchester MBA has had a tremendous impact on my career so far, equipping me with skills and experience that I apply on a daily basis.
“My current role is hugely pressurised. Every day I have to manage challenging interactions with very senior executives, both within my own organisation and externally. By placing me in tough situations on multiple occasions, the MBA taught me how to manage my stress and remain calm in a crisis - a key leadership skill.
“Through the MBA I learned how to evaluate our business through different lenses, and understand the implications of strategic decisions on the wider business. I now approach this in a scientific and thorough manner. I also honed my ability to articulate myself clearly, accurately and succinctly: this is essential, as everything I say is scrutinised by stakeholders from multiple angles.
“Technology is the sector to be in right now and it is extremely competitive. The right MBA is the perfect foundation to help you develop transferable skills and differentiate yourself.”
Gerardo Diaz Paredes, Mexican, Class of 2015
Finance Partner, Trade & Classic Brands – Mexico, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
Pre-MBA: Financial planning, retail industry, Mexico
“Given my interest in the pharmaceutical industry, plus the management knowledge I gained during my MBA at AMBS, I have been able to secure multiple roles within GSK. I did my MBA internship in London and a year later I returned to Mexico as Finance Partner for one of the fastest growing Business Units (HIV). The following year I moved to Brazil for an international assignment, partnering with the regional financial and commercial teams on high-impact, relevant projects for the Pharma and Vaccines businesses. Now, almost three years post-MBA, I am back in Mexico as Finance Partner for the trade channel and our classic brand portfolio.
"The MBA boosted my career towards roles I was not prepared for before. My studies, practical experiences and international exposure have all greatly helped me get where I am today. In my day-to-day role, I try to apply lots of professional and personal learnings which I acquired during this life-changing experience, my Manchester MBA.”
Elizabeth Jenkins, British, Class of 2014
Product Development Manager (Energy / Smart Home Technology), Centrica, London & winner of a Management Today '35 under 35 Women in Business' award
Pre-MBA: Product Development Scientist, healthcare industry
“The energy sector is exciting and challenging, especially in the context of home energy management. It represents a significant switch for me as I started my career as a scientist.
"Post-MBA I was employed for my strategic thinking and management capabilities, not my technical or industry knowledge – of which I had little. The company was also looking for somebody who could translate technical data into business-critical, concise, high-level messages. The MBA was integral in arming me with these skills.
“I manage new product development, specifically integrating technology into our propositions to help customers manage all areas of their home life, along with commercial and market aspects – responsibilities that constantly draw on my MBA experience. An innovative outlook, along with the ability to cope with tight deadlines and conflicting demands, is essential.
“I've learned that it's how you lead, work as a team and take your eagle-eyed, strong-minded colleagues with you that employers are looking for. To be a great business leader you don't need to know the most, but you do need to know how to draw the right knowledge out of team members.”
Shakti Mohapatra, Indian, Class of 2015
Pathways Operations Manager, Amazon, UK
Pre-MBA: Technology consulting
"Amazon, the $135bn customer-obsessed e-commerce juggernaut that continues to grow in excess of 20% year-on-year, needs no introduction. Here is a bit of trivia though - Amazon's warehouses occupy more square footage than 700 Madison Square Gardens and can hold more water than 10,000 Olympic pools. ‘Huge’ is the word! I am currently a part of Amazon’s Operations Leadership Programme in the UK. I lead full-scale outbound fulfilment operations at Amazon’s Dunfermline site in Scotland. My overall responsibility spans a suite of employee engagement, health and safety and operational metrics.
"My technology operations background helped me grasp the technical aspects of my current role pretty easily. However, the experience during my MBA working with a diverse set of people helped me navigate certain cultural aspects of Amazon, which required quite a bit of getting used to.
"My biggest achievement as a leader has been coaching and developing my team of area managers, resulting in three promotions within a team of five, all within one year of taking charge. That aside, I planned and executed the ‘Amazon Prime Day’ 2016 and 2017 sale events whilst breaking previous year records by 23% overall in terms of volume and customer SLAs.
"An MBA lasts for life. I strongly feel the network of professional contacts I have been able to make via the MBA will be an invaluable resource for my future career. The pragmatic outlook, as well as the hands-on focus of the Manchester MBA, is quite unique and very favourably looked on by employers. I have been able to tailor my professional profile into that of a management generalist with some clear focus on technology and operations. This opens me up to a much wider range of leadership roles and possibilities.
"Completing an MBA should not be construed as an end in itself. It doesn’t guarantee one’s end goal, be it taking a career turn, getting to a certain salary level or starting a business. It is in many ways a very strong start to the journey towards that end goal. The time it takes for one to reach that end goal is a question of experience, ability to continuously invest in learning and being savvy about your network of contacts. A word of caution would be to not get sucked into too much peer pressure, especially around career fashion trends. A career in operations can be as rewarding as one in private equity. It’s what you make of it!
"My MBA experience was unique. Being a student whilst preparing to be a dad was an interesting journey and I enjoyed every bit of it."
Liam Wadsworth, British, Class of 2015
Northern European Territory Manager, Hilti, UK
Pre-MBA: Accounting professional
“My first role post-MBA was Operations Manager at Amazon. In this role, I had full performance responsibility for the Reverse Logistics function, then moving on to infrastructure development and finally launching the most advanced Fulfillment Center in the Amazon network. Across all of these roles, I had to focus on developing and then executing the strategic plan, which involved monitoring performance metrics and solving problems that arose. I continually drew on the knowledge I built up during the MBA, for example from courses such as People, Management and Organisations and Operations Management.
"My second role post-MBA is Northern European Territory Manager for Hilti. In this role I have strategic responsibilities for Northern Europe, focusing on ensuring Hilti sales force is developed optimally. This is done through three main areas, segmentation and market fit analysis, investment proposal development and review and finally through operational execution.
“The tech sector and data analytics are where my natural interests lie, so these roles were a great fit for me. I worked in the finance sector prior to the MBA, and the programme formed the bridge I needed to make a transition. In particular, the Postgraduate Careers Service helped me land the perfect internship and postgraduate role, which have formed the foundation of my early post-MBA career.
“Getting into these roles is highly competitive; the MBA is the perfect foundation and a great way to differentiate yourself.”
Lucie Kennedy, British, Class of 2010
Director of Development, Westminster School, London
Pre-MBA: Marketing & Communications Manager, public relations industry
"When I studied for the MBA, my key motivations were to learn more about every aspect of business and to gain a qualification that I knew would help me no matter what I decided to do in the future. I knew it would open doors and give me a stamp of credibility that communicates my business understanding, helping me to build mutually-respectful relationships with professionals from across all specialisms.
"An opportunity came up straight after the MBA to professionalise the Development (Fundraising) and Marketing function of one the world’s leading music schools, spearheading a £38m building appeal. For the first time I was running my own department and I had steep targets that my MBA experience equipped me to meet.
"I then joined a social mobility charity and now I am with Westminster School heading up Fundraising and Alumni Relations, with a focus on bursaries to enable intelligent and deserving young people to benefit from an outstanding education, no matter what their financial background. I am an ambassador and relationship manager for the organisation, with responsibility for setting strategy and translating that into tangible work plans for my team.
"My current role involves liaising with a wide range of supporters and potential funders, mainly parents or alumni of this world-renowned institution. My job takes me to wherever they may be located, for example, London, New York or Hong Kong, and my MBA - with the financial, consulting and soft skills it gave me - has bolstered my ability to encourage everyone to get behind our ambitions for social mobility."
Michael Vachon, American/British/Canadian, Class of 2012
Head of Brand Development, Maverick Drinks, London
Pre-MBA: Systems Project Manager, professional services industry
“I love my role as Head of Brand Development at Maverick Drinks, a business I co-founded just one year after graduating from Alliance Manchester Business School. There's no such thing as a 'typical' day: from discovering incredible spirit brands and raising their profile, to supplying our retail partners with brands they can get excited about, my role is hugely varied. It's all about balancing the needs of several different stakeholders and challenging a market long-dominated by mainstream brands.
“Something that really helped prepare me for professional entrepreneurship was my MBA Entrepreneurship Project. Alongside my incredibly talented colleagues, I researched the feasibility of launching a gin in the UK and prepared a detailed business plan. I was able to directly apply these findings to the world of alcoholic beverages upon graduation with my new business.
“Entrepreneurship is hard work, but if you have a great quality product and put it in front of the right audience, it'll do well. Never stop believing in the value of your product.”
Rishi Kapoor, British, Class of 2014
Senior Analyst - Corporate Strategy, The President's Office (UK, Spain & Ireland), Warner Bros, London
Pre-MBA: Sales co-ordinator, media industry, UK
“Coming from a media background, I wasn't a typical MBA student. After graduating I knew that I wanted to return to the media industry to a more senior and strategic role, and by formulating a clear strategy, I was able to succeed.
“After a stint at Universal Studios, I now work as a Strategy Analyst for Warner Bros. in London, reporting to the Head of Strategy, and every day I use the analytical skills that I developed during my MBA. However, what has surprised me the most is the value of the soft skills I learned, from negotiation and teamwork to networking and presenting. As I progress through my career I expect the MBA to become even more useful: in this industry very few of my contemporaries have an MBA on their CVs.
“The Manchester MBA does not feel too removed from working life, as you are continually answerable to real clients and regularly get the chance to network. I also joined the Technology, Media and Telecoms Club, which played a key role in my success. I attended a club networking event with a local tech start-up and joined this company as a consultant after graduating. I was able to directly apply the consultancy skills I'd learned on the MBA, which simply could not have been more relevant to my future career.
“The MBA world does not traditionally have a strong focus on the media industry in terms of recruitment and networking opportunities, so it's vital to plan your exit strategy. If you aspire to work in this sector, I would advise you to make a plan before you have even started the programme, and stick to it.”
How can our MBA help you achieve your career goals?
Alliance Manchester Business School's MBA offers significant advantages for students seeking an international career. No other MBA programme can provide as many opportunities to broaden your work experience.
During the MBA you will engage in 900 hours of client-facing project work. This adds value to your CV while you study and makes you more interesting as a potential hire, for employers in the UK and elsewhere. You will also undertake a simulated Mergers and Acquisitions project:
- Not-for-Profit Project (live)
- Mergers and Acquisitions Project (simulated)
- Commercial Business Project (live)
- The International Business Project (live)
In addition, you can:
- Secure an internship (up to 3 months) providing essential professional experience in a senior role, adding significant value to your CV and proving your ability to a potential UK sponsor or international company. On the 12 month pathway the option of an internship needs to be discussed with our recruitment team.
- Work with our Postgraduate Careers Service and benefit from its strong industry links with UK and global recruiters
- Participate in business clubs and competitions
After our MBA programme you could:
- Work with a company in the UK
- Start your own company
- Work in another country or region
- Work in your home country for an international company
For further information on UK immigration and the latest news on visa regulations, please see the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) websites.
Discover more about the Manchester Full-time MBA