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Meet The Cass MBA Who Won Our Sharing Economy Competition

George Watson secured a mentoring session with Bain & Co, plus $1,000!

BusinessBecause caught up with George Watson, a current MBA student at Cass Business School in London, and the winner of our future of the sharing economy competition.

More than 120 mostly MBA respondents to our survey answered the question, “What else will we be UBER’ing by 2050?”

George’s entry, “Department Store Drone Club”, centered on the idea that technology can enable underused resources to be utilized more efficiently. It left our panel of judges, from Facebook-owned Instagram to parking space app JustPark and P2P property rental platform FlatClub, hugely impressed.

George secured a strategic mentoring session with Bain & Co, as well as $1,000 in prize money, which he looks forward to spending on a wine-tasting holiday in France.

Prior to his MBA, George worked for a decade as a proprietary futures trader. Yet as the world of trading grew increasingly automated, he decided to move on, armed with an exceptional GMAT score of 750.

After graduating from the Cass MBA, George hopes to pursue a career in consulting. Would he work with a sharing economy firm? Definitely!

What are your thoughts on winning the annual BusinessBecause competition?

I was absolutely thrilled to win the competition! I’m really looking forward to the mentoring session with Bain. I’m hoping to get some tips on what I can do next to further my career options.

I’m also looking to write my dissertation on the sharing economy or disruptive business models, and I’m hoping to get some really good advice moving forward in that area.

Why is the sharing economy on the rise?

Technology is enabling us to utilize underused resources a lot more efficiently. I started thinking: What else in my house do I have in a cupboard, which I almost never use? And what technology will allow me to utilize that more efficiently?

Thirty years ago, you had to go to physical shop to rent an item. Now, you have an app on your phone.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m aiming to end up in some kind of consultancy [firm]; something more client-facing than what I was doing before.

I think finance may be where I have to go first, and then [I will] move into strategy consulting. But we’ll see. I’m open to offers, if they come in!

Does a career in the sharing economy appeal to you?

Definitely! But I would prefer to do it from a consultancy point of view, rather than actually work for the [sharing economy] company.

Companies like Airbnb are only disruptive for so long. They offer a lower-cost service to niche parts of the market.

Personally, I would get more enjoyment helping them move on from an outsider’s point of view.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?

I’ve spent the last 10 years trading in financial markets. Everything is going quite automated in that world. It got to the point where I was either going to have to learn a programming language or do something different. I fancied a change and an MBA seemed right.

Why did you choose to study at Cass Business School in particular?

I nearly came to Cass 10 years ago to do my master’s, so it’s kind of always been in my thoughts.

I applied for both Cass and Imperial and got accepted by both. At Imperial they do Skype interviews, which I found impersonal. At Cass, I met quite a few people during my interview, and they gave me a feel for the place. That’s really what swung it.

Cass is a bit more finance related as well, and I thought that was a sensible thing to leverage.

What tips do you have for taking the GMAT?

I used a forum called GMAT Club which was really good. They have loads of math tests, which you can buy for around $70, which really helped me.

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