Next up in our series of featured MBA bloggers is Alun, an MBA student at Manchester Business School with a love for travel, a business vision, and two little kids. Alun blogs about his MBA journey at MBA Manchester. Please enjoy reading about Alun’s experiences here and on his blog!
Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself: Where are you from? Where did you study as an undergraduate? What did you major in?
Alun: I’m actually from Manchester originally. I left the city at eighteen to study Economics and Politics at the University of Leeds. Following graduation I had a spell travelling the world before settling into the advertising and media business for twelve years in London and then back in Manchester.
Accepted: Why did you choose to study at Manchester Business School? Which other programs did you consider?
Alun: I’d reached a stage in my career where I felt I needed to take time to step outside the bubble I was working in and reassess my goals. An MBA seemed the perfect opportunity to do that. With a young family it would have been difficult, both financially and logistically, to relocate so MBS was the only institution I realistically considered. An offer of a scholarship was the final factor that pushed me to quit my job and start the course.
Accepted: Are you involved in any clubs on campus? How important is club involvement — socially and educationally?
Alun: I am actually the President of the Marketing and Retail Club and am also a member of the Consulting Club. Whilst each club is different, all are pretty much focused on jobs rather than social events or education. The Consulting Club, for example, is all about getting summer internships through things such as shared application tips or case cracking practice. In the Marketing Club we try to share knowledge internally or bring in external speakers in order to broaden members’ knowledge and allow them to speak convincingly in interview across a range of marketing topics.
Accepted: What do you plan on doing with your MBA once you graduate?
Alun: One of the joys of an MBA is to allow you the time to explore various possible exit avenues before you make your final decision. Having said this, my current ideal outcome is to secure a strategic or management role in a UK based company.
Accepted: What is your favorite class so far?
Alun: Strangely enough, the most enjoyable classes are the ones that I thought would be the dullest. Accounting has been brought to life through animated teaching and even Corporate Finance has proved surprisingly stimulating.
Accepted: If you could change one thing (or more) about Manchester Business School, what would it be?
Alun: The buildings. I’d love to cogitate on business strategy in a glorious ivy covered Victorian annex but, unfortunately, we’re stuck with 1970s red brick modernism. To be fair, the school is investing in renovating them but I’ll have left by the time the benefits are realized.
Accepted: Can you share some admissions advice with our readers?
Alun: Of course the usual academic and career progression factors are important but the one thing that seems to float the admissions team’s boat more than any other is extra-curricular activity. If you can demonstrate that you’ve dedicated time volunteering in the not-for-profit sector or have set up you own business on the side then you’ll have an advantage over other applicants.
Accepted: What is it like juggling school life and parenting?
Alun: It’s not easy but I’m fortunate that I’ve got a very understanding wife! It’s important to keep some ‘red lines’. I have a rule that I don’t do MBA work during weekend daytime so I can spend time with the kids. This does mean a few late nights but it’s worth it for your sanity.
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