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Lancaster MBA Works With Microsoft On Top-Ranked Corporate Strategy Module

Bharti Syal worked on a smart city project for Microsoft as part of her full-time MBA experience at Lancaster University, renowned for its Corporate Strategy module

From banking to travel and tobacco, Bharti Syal worked five years as a systems engineer for a variety of companies in her native India before relocating to the UK.

After a year at Lloyds Bank in London, she decided an MBA would be the best way to move forward in her career, and transition from the technical into more strategic consulting roles.

Making a career switch isn’t easy, and employers value real-world business experience highly. That’s part of the reason Bharti chose Lancaster University for her MBA, where a world-renowned Corporate Strategy module sees students work in groups exploring case studies on the strategic issues faced by real-life firms.

The course forms part of the Lancaster MBA’s core Strategic Management module—led by strategy experts Martin Friesl; David Pettifer, a former partner at PwC; and best-selling author Gerry Johnson. The Lancaster MBA is ranked number one in the world for corporate strategy by the Financial Times.

Through the one-year Lancaster MBA program, Bharti secured some pretty cool consulting experience working with Microsoft on a smart city project based in London. With a group of fellow MBA students, she researched major smart city trends across the world, explored opportunities for Microsoft technology in the smart cities field, and put together a marketing strategy.

“I chose Lancaster because of its strategy module—a topic I wanted to specialize in,” Bharti explains. “[Working with Microsoft] was a great experience where I put all my learnings on the MBA into action.”

Aside from its strength in teaching corporate strategy, Bharti chose Lancaster for its close links to corporate leaders.

While at the school, Bharti was introduced to Kevin Roberts—former Saatchi & Saatchi CEO—who mentors students on the Lancaster MBA program (pictured). She was then chosen to attend a two-day executive leadership masterclass delivered by Kevin at his home.


Bharti says the Lancaster MBA—which costs £35,500 ($40,000)—represents the best value money for a top-ranked program in the UK. Its location, and proximity to the Lake District—where students escape for the MBA’s unique Mindful Manager module—also stood out.

On the Mindful Manager module—integrated throughout the entire Lancaster MBA program—students take pause for self-reflection and personal development.

“That had a huge impact on me, and my thinking and way of looking at things has changed,” says Bharti. “I am a better human being now, and I know what I want from life and why.

“I’m happy I chose Lancaster University,” she continues. “I made friends from all over the world—our class had 22 nationalities—and I gained a worldwide business view.

“Now, I look at the bigger picture. I am here till January and will look for jobs—Lancaster are helping me in every way they can.”

Moving from India to the UK, Bharti was delighted to find the MBA program that best fit her needs. What advice does she have for Indian business school applicants looking to do the same?

“The time I’ve spent here has been the best part of my life, and I would never exchange it for anything else,” she beams.

“I’d say don’t just go with the rankings; look beyond the rankings. Look at the MBA courses, what you want to do after the MBA, and why you think the MBA is the best choice degree to help you pursue your dreams.”

Student Reviews

Lancaster University Management School




An exceptional educational establishment in the North West of England.

This university has been a fantastic life experience as well as a great academic one. I first decided to go to Lancaster University Management School due to its exceptional business education facilities and have not been disappointed. I recommend the university to anybody that wants to put themselves in a strong position for a career upon graduation.




On Campus

Student Ambassador

Overall, the instruction is decent, however it also depends on your department. The people are friendly, in my opinion. The sporting events are enjoyable, and there is a good sense of community. Although the city is quite remote, it is nonetheless attractive.




Lancaster University honest review

The education system in the university is excellent especially that of the Management School. The campus has great facilities for students to study and live in a relaxed manner. The students can engage in various activities through the socities.




Great opportunities to think beyond

Lancaster University provides a lot of good opportunities to think beyond.There Entrepreneurship in residence program helps students to meet and seek guidance about entrepreneurship and the challenges.Their Work in progress program help to fabricate your startup idea and further to pitch to the potential investors.Apart from that there are lot of programs like Enactus, guest lectures and guidance from seniors to help and shape your career needs. They provide lot of opportunities to shape up your employability skills.




On Campus

A top university in the UK for management science!

If you’re interested in management science studies, Lancaster University is one of the top universities in the UK. The faculty is renowned and have a sterling reputation for research in management science. Candidates specifically interested in Forecasting would find the Centre for Marketing Analytics and Forecasting especially relevant to their field. Besides, the ROI is good as the overall cost compared to other universities is less.




Great university for academia – not great for 'entrepreneurs'

Please keep in mind that my review is nuanced by my expectations of an Entrepreneurship degree :) I came to Lancaster University because it was one of the top universities to have a course in Entrepreneurship. After 4 years in this degree, my most valuable experience has been my placement and not the actual course. The course is heavily focused on impractical elements, which is a bit odd for an Entrepreneurship degree. There are some modules that involve hands-on work but the faculty support for such things has not been great. My course also involved a lot of teamwork which has been fantastic and really prepared me when it comes to dealing with the diversity of opinions. In terms of career prospects, the management school does A LOT to host events, workshops and support sessions to help you build up your employability skills. Although, I wish there was more acknowledgement of SMEs/startups as a viable career option. The entrepreneurship team which is meant to support budding businesses is really stepping up their game with tons of guest speakers, workshops and pitching opportunities. The location is a concern if you're not in STEM, Law or Accounting and Finance. Business requires networking with the broader community. However, for Lancaster students, the best bet is a trip down to Manchester or London. On the flip side, living in Lancaster is much cheaper! Overall, if the purpose of your university experience is to receive top academic education and have great facilities at your disposal, Lancaster is a great choice. But if you want to be in business and entrepreneurship, I would look elsewhere.