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How My MBA Helped Me Switch From Pharma To Consulting At Deloitte

Arron Sahota trained as a pharmacist, but decided to take his career to the next level with an MBA


Fri Jan 4 2019

How do you transition from a career in pharmacy to consulting? For Arron Sahota, the answer was an MBA.

“I’ve had various responsibilities in my clinical roles such as managing services, training and developing staff, undertaking assessments of others, and developing the strategy and operations of the service areas,” Arron explains.

“The opportunity to lead and manage was a great experience for me—this was the point when I realised I not only enjoyed the clinical side, but also the managerial side.”

Arron had completed his pharmacy degree from Aston University and decided to return there, to Aston Business School, for his MBA degree. However, it wasn’t just familiarity that made Arron return—Aston is also one of the leading business schools in the UK and in the 1% of institutions around the world with triple-accreditation.

“Aston has an excellent reputation worldwide and after having such a positive experience in my undergraduate studies, I knew that pursuing an MBA at Aston was the right decision,” Arron says.

An international experience

While Arron may have been unique among his cohort thanks to his scientific background, the international atmosphere on the MBA at Aston and broad scope of subject areas meant he never felt out of his depth.

“I was excited about starting the MBA but I was also nervous that it would be a lot of new concepts which I may not have come across before,” he recalls. “However, it was great to understand and learn about different perspective and experiences of people on the course—my cohort came from all around the world and from different industries.”

For example, in the current MBA cohort at Aston, there are students from India, the UK, Taiwan, Portugal, and Saudi Arabia, all with backgrounds as varied as computing, law, finance, and engineering.

The MBA at Aston covers a similarly wide variety of subjects, including managing socially responsible organizations, strategic management, and developing an entrepreneurial mindset.

“I now possess insight into a variety of business areas,” Arron explains, “which helps build credibility.”

As part of the full-time MBA at Aston Business School, Arron also spent a semester abroad at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, an experience which was, he says, “a major highlight.”

“This allowed me to interact with people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds and learn further about how different cultures do business and how to adapt to different environments,” Arron adds.

“It was a great experience to be able to apply the skills I had gained on the MBA—this really boosted my confidence in interacting in new situations.”

From pharmacy to consulting

Though prior to his MBA at Aston Arron had some experience in implementing business strategy, change management, and team management, it was the MBA that really cemented his interest in a more business-focused career.

“After the MBA, I wanted a role where I was able to use my previous clinical and managerial skills but also be able to apply the variety of teachings on the MBA into practice,” Arron explains.

After graduating, Arron worked as a senior management consultant for the healthcare sector and most recently has secured a job as a manager at Deloitte.

“I believe the MBA at Aston Business School has developed me in many ways—from expanding my knowledge base and widening my interests to developing my critical thinking and soft skills,” he remarks. “I am now able to see the bigger picture and understand how a variety of factors can affect a business.”

With such a variety of experience on the MBA, Arron’s also certain it can help anyone looking for a change in career, whether from a traditional, or non-traditional, MBA background.

“The MBA provides such a variety of content that you have a sound understanding of various business areas, which can be used throughout your career or to enhance the current skills you have,” he says.

“I believe the Aston MBA is suited for anyone looking to enhance their personal, business and managerial skills further.”