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How An Executive MBA Gave Me The Skills To Tackle Today’s—And Future—Business Challenges

The Executive MBA at Bayes Business School gave this healthcare exec tools to tackle the challenges of the pandemic and level up in her career

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Thu Jan 25 2024

BusinessBecause
Adapting to new business challenges is the most important skill for leaders to have in today’s workforce, say 71% of executives. Business school is one of the best places to build this adaptability. 

The Executive MBA program at Bayes Business School in London trains business professionals to keep up with technological advancements and strategize around change, without requiring them to leave the workforce to study.

060ea6eaf1d27d052eea31101ab94d2c4b98e3ab.jpeg For 2022 EMBA grad Nargis Hemat (pictured right), it was the springboard for innovation and change in her career. We caught up with her to find out more.


“I didn’t want to go step by step—I wanted to take a leap”

Nargis had been working in healthcare research since grad school, taking up a role in research management at London’s Royal Free Hospital in 2015. She moved up gradually through the ranks, eventually assuming a patient-facing role where she got to experience a whole new set of business problems. The challenge was stimulating—and she wanted more.

She started considering an MBA to propel her career forward. The time was ripe in her career for a bold move: she was comfortable in her job and had time to allocate to extra studies, as well as an employer willing to sponsor her. 

“I knew I didn't want to do it step by step,” she says. “I wanted to take a leap.”

Nargis decided to look into the Executive MBA at Bayes Business School. As a course designed for busy, working professionals, the program is available in two formats: the Modular Executive MBA, which is taught both online and in person over one long weekend per month, and the Evening Executive MBA, which is taught two evenings a week in person. 

Nargis ultimately chose the Modular Executive MBA, as its flexibility best suited her, and its intimate class sizes and experiential learning opportunities lent themselves to networking. 

She enrolled in 2020. You already know what happened next.


Healthcare during the COVID pandemic: “I became focused on problem-solving”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Nargis found herself in the eye of a storm. 

Healthcare research and the hunt for a vaccine were front-page news; the healthcare system in the UK was under unprecedented strain, and she was in the middle of an MBA. 

It was a bigger challenge than she’d anticipated, but she thrived in it. “It was an exciting time,” she says.

Though she had looked forward to in-person networking on the MBA, Nargis’s virtual networks with classmates flourished. 

“I think we met a lot more because it was over Zoom,” she says. “It turned into an activity: every week, there was an opportunity to engage with everybody.”

Alongside the teaching from experts, which she says was not hindered by moving online at short notice, networking with peers added huge value at a critical time in Nargis’s career. 


“It was amazing to pick colleagues’ brains and implement their ideas”

“I became very focused on problem-solving,” Nargis says when asked how the MBA impacted her job. “It’s a very solution-focused mindset that the MBA instills in you—I needed that at the time.”

The program also encouraged her to think outside the box and seek out others’ opinions on the problems she was facing. 

“Whenever I had any challenges in my day-to-day job, [I brought] them back to my peers in my classes and discussed them,” she says. “I had colleagues in the class from many different sectors, so it was very easy to pick their brains and then implement their ideas within my workspace.”

Since she was studying while working, Nargis was able to turn classroom theory into real-world practical results almost straight away—allowing her to identify what was working and in what areas she needed more advice.

This added support also helped Nargis cope with the particular challenges of working in healthcare during a pandemic: limited budgets, limited workforce, and health disparities between different groups that required a tailored approach.

The EMBA helped her to be innovative in her thinking and plan her work better. It also set her up for a big career change.


“The EMBA gave me the opportunity to jump into the pharmaceutical industry”

In autumn 2023, Nargis moved into a role at pharmaceutical company MSD in the UK, where she now works as associate director of clinical operations. 

It’s still a healthcare research role, but with more seniority, and on the opposite side of the sponsor relationship—exactly what she wanted when she set out for her MBA in 2020. 

Nargis says she wouldn’t have been able to accomplish such a significant career leap without the EMBA.

“I didn't want to start [over] and have to make my way up in the pharmaceutical industry,” she says. “I wanted to jump to this level and the MBA gave me that opportunity.”


The two keys to leadership in healthcare 

When asked to reflect on what she’s learned about leadership from the Bayes EMBA and the acceleration in her career that it helped her achieve, Nargis highlights two key lessons.

“First: If you can't collaborate, you will never be successful in the healthcare industry,” she says. 

“As an associate director from a sponsor perspective, we work with vendors and we work on the NHS side, and we work with loads of different industries and peers. If you don't foster collaborative leadership, even internally, it hinders the group.”

The second lesson is about that all-important trait: adaptability.

“It’s a constantly changing world. There are changes to processes left, right, and center. It’s important to foster adaptive leadership to ensure that your team can embrace these changes and build that resilience as well.”

The Bayes EMBA supports students’ adaptability long after they graduate. Alumni can take one elective course per year for life.

“That was one of my main reasons for going to Bayes,” Nargis reflects. 

Alongside the continuing encouragement she gets from classmates, this opportunity sets Nargis up for long-term success.

“It’s been two years – [my classmates and I] have moved on with our lives, but it never feels like that. Everybody's always somehow involved with you, and you always feel part of this big community all the time. I'm planning to keep it that way.”


Image © Alev Takil on Unsplash, reproduced under this license

Student Reviews

Bayes Business School

Student

Verified

31/10/2023

On Campus

Best Journalism school in Europe

When I first stepped onto the campus of City, University of London, I knew I was in for a ride - and not just on the Tube! With its vibrant energy and an impressive repertoire of programs, City U became my home away from home. The Journalism program was kind of a big deal. Rumour was that we were the best in Europe! The lecturers were not just experts in their field; they’re practically journalistic royalty. They were invested, passionate, and had a knack for turning the most flat press release into a riveting news story. With their guidance, I’ve learned to navigate the chaotic world of media like a pro. The campus was a melting pot of every culture, being that we had such a diverse international crowd. Being in the heart of London, I had the world at my fingertips - there was always a new corner to explore, a hidden gem of a cafe to discover, or a street performer! City, University of London wasn't just a university; it was a chapter in my life story that I’ll never forget.

Lydia

Verified

23/02/2023

On Campus

Learning environment

The teacher-learner ration is manageable, giving each learner a chance to gain personal attention. It is also easier following up on the progress of a student, as the numbers per class is not large. the conducive environment for learning includes clean classes, standard desks, world class instructional facilities and the opportunity to engage lecturers even after their sessions. The team spirit at City is above board, with learners getting chance to learn both from instructors and colleagues. This is the university of choice; the place to be.

Nathaniel

Verified

24/01/2023

On Campus

Classes

I liked that each class had a manageable number of learners, making the professor-learner ratio favor knowledge acquisition. I also liked that study schedules were manageable, and not overwhelming. The focus on talents and gifts even within the learning environment makes it possible for learners to achieve the best of their potential, and this has worked to the advantage of those that have schooled at City, University of London

Muhammad

Verified

24/01/2023

On Campus

Classes

The diversity at City University facilitates interactions and is a direction toward the unity of the world. The classes are well built to match the number and needs of all students regardless of the elements of diversity that set people apart. The use of technology in delivery makes learning even more interesting and achievable. At City University there is no distinction pegged on the issues that make people unique.

Dorah

Verified

23/01/2023

On Campus

professors

The team of lecturers at the Uiversity are well experienced. Their level of insight and the methodologies of delivery works for the interes of the leaeners. My learning experience was largely boosted by the level of knowledge of the professors at the institution, and their passion to transfer the same to learners. I appreciate every class I attended because of the level of insight I was able to gather

Nora

Verified

17/12/2022

On Campus

The best university I’ve been to

The campus and the people I've met have made it a wonderful experience. I was reared in a small town with a graduating class of only 88 individuals, so moving to City University was a huge adjustment for me. My dorm has more residents than my whole high school combined! I enjoy the atmosphere here, and everyone is so friendly. Outstanding academic options and a stunning campus. Really great from beginning to end. The educators genuinely love what they do, and the students are ready to learn. On or around college, there is always something to do with friends, and the social scene is particularly warm.

Antonia

Verified

21/11/2022

On Campus

Bayes Business School

As a student at City university attending Bayes Business School I would totally recommend choosing this university as the experience is exceptional with great social networking opportunities . Professors are significantly helpful, delivering with excellence and professionalism. Everyone is happy to help and make you feel welcomed in such an esteem university as City, offering exceptional development and guidance through out the course.

Muhammad

Verified

15/11/2022

On Campus

Economics and Politics

Incredibly amazing university, the way they polish students and help them boost their morale and think intellectually is worthwhile. Many universities have international partnerships to allow exchanges between their students. The most obvious subjects for these opportunities would be those that involve languages, and the study of people and places.

Navya

Verified

11/11/2022

On Campus

Clinical biology

I really like it it’s perfect for me with not too many people and not too few either. All the modules are amazing. I love the toy bar. I love all the societies that I’ma part of. Especially the colour Bollywood society