Shubham Shree is a 2014 graduate of the full-time MBA program at Cass Business School in London.
He spent his formative years in the IT industry but has benefited greatly from the MBA’s opportunities to focus on management consulting – a function he hopes to work in, in the short to medium term.
But perhaps the greatest benefit of the MBA has been the diverse cohort, as well as being able to connect with businesses in London, the UK’s financial centre, with relative ease.
In the longer-term, however, he sees himself as a social entrepreneur.
What were you hoping to gain from your MBA, and have you done so?
I was hoping to enhance my business acumen, develop strong networks and figure out what I wanted to do with my career in the long-term. The MBA provided me with 3-D solutions to these seemingly linear questions – and much more.
What was an average day at business school like?
Being a one-year program, the Cass full-time MBA gets quite arduous and overwhelming at times. While the first half of an average day was typically spent attending lectures, or having detailed discussions within study groups or working alone on various assignments, the latter half mostly comprised of company presentations, and various skills workshops delivered by the careers team.
During the “Integration Weeks”, the schedule used to get twice as hectic.
During all of these, one also had to take time out for various job applications and interviews.
Which aspects of the MBA did you find most valuable?
The MBA helped me in innumerable ways. Apart from extending the breadth and depth of my business knowledge, it also made me more comfortable with handling ambiguity, and it equipped me with creative and lateral thinking – must-have skills in today’s whimsical market situation.
I acquired an ability to think methodically and structure my analysis, while enhancing my overall understanding of how businesses are run.
Working closely in groups with the best but diverse minds from across the world – 42 different nationalities – in the face of tight deadlines greatly enhanced my team management skills.
The strategy assignments also provided me with the valuable experience of consulting in a challenging and unstructured environment.
Overall, the MBA inculcated fresh thinking, challenged many old beliefs, provided a lot of new insights, and offered new perspectives on life in general, in an intellectually stimulating environment.
How would you rate the practical experiences on the MBA?
While the MBA learnings began in classroom, they certainly didn’t end there. The various networking events – “careers beers”, company presentations, and so on – provided an opportunity to interact with peers, recruiters and potential colleagues in informal settings, and in the process perk up one’s people skills
The strategy project offered practical experience of performing strategic analysis on a real company operating in the UK in the role of a consultant. Similarly, during the Iceland consultancy trip, we got an opportunity to work on a live case study, to solve real business issues.
The international electives also provided an immersive experience with deep insights into other cultures and ways of doing business.
Finally, the dissertation was the culmination of the MBA, where most of the learnings and knowledge acquired through various means came together to be applied in a practical context, through processes of structured research, which provided valuable insights on multiple fronts.
All of these engagements consisted of networking extensively with businesses.
Are there any unique benefits to studying in London?
London in one of the most vibrant cities in the world and a hub for global businesses – a leading financial centre. Studying in such a location enables you to breathe business while interacting with business leaders through various networking events.
It offers a tremendous advantage through channels such as corporate speakers, visiting lecturers and professionals, and field trips. It’s a networker’s paradise.
What career path are you hoping to follow now?
In the short to medium term, I look forward to leveraging my academic and professional experience as a management consultant with a focus on strategy, across a variety of sectors and locations. In long-term, I see myself as a social entrepreneur.
Are you confident an MBA will help you get onto that path?
Definitely. The MBA has equipped me with the right thought process, and has given me the tools, the exposure and the diverse experience that will enable me to execute the most challenging of tasks that the business world can throw at me.