The Bradford University School of Management Q+A
The current class on Bradford's Accelerated MBA has 16 students from five continents
Alistair Watson is a student on the new Accelerated MBA offered by Bradford University School of Management. Bradford’s Accelerated MBA is a 10-month intensive programme which allows participants to return to work to complete a management project after only eight months.
Alistair, 32, is the only UK student on the programme that has attracted professionals from five continents. We grabbed a quick chat with the Scottish lad while he took a break from a long day that included evening classes with full-time and Executive MBA students.
Prior to enrolling at Bradford, Alistair, who holds a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Glasgow, worked as a UK Account Manager for Italian chemicals company Brotherton Esseco Ltd. He was in charge of maintaining customer relations with a hundred or so clients of the firm.
So, how has he found the Accelerated programme thus far?
MBA schedules are known for being hectic, why did you opt for something with ‘Accelerated’ in the title?
I quit my job to go on the MBA so I wanted something that wouldn’t keep me off the job market for too long. Bradford is a good business school and attracts a good number of international candidates so the accelerated part of things did not deter me. I'm willing to put in the work and I wanted to take part in a programme that brings together people with many different backgrounds and experiences to learn from each other. Another factor is that I live in Leeds which is very close by so the convenience has been fantastic for me.
Before you started the Bradford MBA, had you set any specific goals to achieve at the end of the 10-month programme?
I had studied Chemistry for my Bachelors and I worked in the chemicals industry so I wanted this MBA experience to be about gaining fresh knowledge. I think the handy thing about the MBA is that you can combine bits of what you’ve learned before with new knowledge from the teaching and also from your colleagues. This is exactly what the Accelerated MBA is doing for me.
You also run a Vinyl Records Supply Company, do you have plans to apply your MBA in this business?
Watson Records is something I inherited from my dad. He had run the business since 1985. When I joined in 2002, we moved the business online and started selling Vintage Vinyl equipment. Vinyls is a niche thing so I don’t plan on expanding the business but it’s something I enjoy doing and it’s very handy to have. However, I wouldn’t want to build my career around this.
You’re now about halfway through the programme, what are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to the rest of the courses. I’ve been enjoying the modules so far. Corporate Finance taught by Patrick Barber was great!
The biggest plus for me is that I’m in a class that is so international. There are 16 of us in total and I’m the only UK guy. I’m able to learn from the IT perspectives of the Indian colleagues; I also have colleagues from places like Kuwait, Nigeria, Ghana and Papua New Guinea. So I'm looking forward to further interactions with my colleagues.
I’ve also started exploring job options in Mergers and Acquisitions, Management Consultancy and Private Equity so I’m excited to see where the Bradford MBA will take me. I know it's quite early to start but given the current economic climate it’s better to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
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