The UK is Europe’s leading destination when it comes to the technology industry. According to Tech Nation’s 2017 report, the UK invests 50% more than any of its European counterparts in digital tech and UK digital businesses are growing more than twice as fast as non-digital businesses.
With so much investment and growth in this fast-paced and disruptive sector, it’s no surprise that tech-savvy MBA graduates are finding career success within it.
Dan Bullen, an MBA graduate from the UK’s Aston Business School, is a product manager at Devbridge Group, a software design and development firm, working with Fortune 500 clients across the financial services, manufacturing, and technology industries.
Dan worked for Nokia before business school, but with a technical education already under his belt, he was looking for an MBA program that would expand his all-round business acumen across strategy, finance, and marketing. Aston’s full-time MBA, ranked fifth in the UK in Eduniversal’s Best Masters Ranking 2017, fit the bill.
For Dan, the Aston Edge program—based on the work of the Aston Behavioural Science Laboratory and designed to hone interpersonal and soft skills—really made the school stand out.
During his MBA, Dan decided to take an elective course in e-business strategy to prepare himself for a rapidly-changing sector. “This takes traditional strategic management theory and teaches you how to apply this for digital and e-business projects,” he explains.
Dan is convinced that the Aston MBA played a big part in helping him secure the role at Devbridge. “I have no doubt holding an MBA gave me an advantage over other candidates,” he says.
“Having a complete toolset of consultative skills and business acumen from the course is a major benefit when building custom products for different clients,” he continues. “In a B2B environment, organizations often face challenges with implementing new software or IT systems as they can have a large impact on people or other technologies.
“Change management is something that the Aston MBA places a large focus on, which equipped me with frameworks I can use to successfully facilitate the transition from legacy technologies or manual systems with minimal disruption.”
Now, Dan feels the benefits of his MBA and Aston’s specialized technology-focused courses in his day-to-day work, and he’s using his MBA experience to further his career.
“I now have far more responsibility where I own client engagements from the pre-sales engagement all the way through to delivery of bespoke software products,” he says. “The MBA has provided a platform to quickly understand a client’s business and propose innovative solutions for adding to their bottom line. I also work with many different cultures day-to-day and my MBA has provided me with a way of understanding how to engage effectively across international borders.”
What should applicants think about when deciding to do an MBA?
“An MBA is not just about learning theory,” Dan explains. “The value of an MBA comes from being able to relate this theory to your own past experience and participate in engaging debates with fellow students and lecturers to really understand a subject.
“The most important thing to consider is whether doing an MBA is going to provide the impact you want for your career.”
For Dan, the full-time MBA at Aston Business School certainly has done.