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How Studying A Practice-led MBA Helped Me Unlock New Career Opportunities Abroad

This business school graduate left her life in Colombia to pursue new opportunities in the UK. Find out how studying an MBA helped her embark on an international career path


Fri Jul 5 2024

Growing up in a small town in Colombia, Beatriz Cortés Hurtado desired new opportunities and experiences, a life outside the one she knew.

When it came time to apply to university, Beatriz moved to Cali—Colombia’s third largest city—where she enrolled in an industrial engineering degree. Gaining a bachelor’s helped her embark on a career in procurement, working with multinationals including the food and beverage firm, Mondelēz International.

Working with global firms, Beatriz admits she felt lucky to have carved out a career for herself, particularly in Colombia where unemployment has historically been high.

But still she was driven to pursue new opportunities: “In the city I was living there weren’t many foreigners, but because I worked in procurement I had constant contact with suppliers from all these different countries.

“There came this curiosity about these new cultures, what would it be like to live in a different country.”

Still at an early enough stage in her career to take a risk, Beatriz decided studying abroad would be an exciting next stage in her career development. She then began searching for new opportunities.

Enrolling in a top MBA program 


Deciding which path to take in her studies, Beatriz felt an MBA program would complement well the technical expertise she had developed so far in her career.

“What I liked about the MBA [curriculum] was that it covers all the basics. I was an industrial engineer and I had been working in procurement, so it was crucial to understand how business works,” she explains.

She chose Europe as her desired study destination. While searching for top programs, she came across the MBA at University of Bath School of Management; a full-time, one-year degree taught in one of the UK’s more picturesque cities.

Undertaking an MBA in England would allow Beatriz to develop her language skills. She was attracted to the city of Bath, with its historical significance, large student population, and manageable size. At just over an hour’s train ride from London, it would also offer access to the capital.

“There were people from all over the world you could connect with, and at the same time it was very safe. Bath is very close to London and the school has a good ranking,” Beatriz adds.

She decided to enroll in the program and in 2018 Beatriz left her home in Colombia to begin her MBA journey.

Studying a practice-led MBA 

The Full-time MBA at the University of Bath comprises a curriculum teaching the broad spectrum of business fundamentals, with a key focus on how they interact and impact each other. Beatriz enjoyed this opportunity to fill the gaps in her knowledge.

“You won't become an expert in everything, but it just opens your perspective of what a business is,” she explains.

The program is designed to help students develop their leadership skills through extensive group work. Team-based projects and coursework required Beatriz to become accustomed to working with fellow classmates from different professional and geographical backgrounds. Consistent rotation of groups between projects meant she rarely worked with the same classmate twice.

“I had the opportunity to learn to understand different points of view and understand that people have different ways of communicating and different skills. It doesn't mean they are better or worse, it just means you need to identify what the best way is to connect with them,” she says.

“You could use your own skills, personality, strengths, and weaknesses to be a successful leader,” she adds.

The Bath MBA program's Multi Project Suite offers an alternative to the traditional MBA final project. Students work in groups and individually on four practice-based projects with real clients, including venture capitalists, global corporations, SMEs, and non-profits. The projects require students to creatively solve real organizational challenges. 

Beatriz enjoyed this focus on practical learning, which she added to by undertaking an optional internship with Perrigo Company, a consumer self-care firm, at the end of the program. She feels her practical experiences were fundamental in preparing for life after graduation.

“Having projects with external companies and having the internship where I was working full-time gave me confidence to take that step,” she says.


Taking new career steps 

Beatriz was four months into her six-month internship period when she was contacted by Mondelēz, her former employer. The firm was seeking a sourcing manager—a significant step up from the job she’d held back in Colombia—with the role based in the UK.

Having spent more than a year in the UK and now used to working for a UK-based company full-time, Beatriz leapt at the opportunity to proceed with her career in her new home.

“I believe that studying in Bath was the step to opening that door in the UK,” she explains. “I think having that on my CV just complimented my background.”

Four years since graduating from the program and rejoining Mondelēz, Beatriz has risen to become a procurement project manager, responsible for developing strategies and initiatives across projects that encompass global teams.

The role requires her to negotiate the complexity of working with stakeholders around the world. She relies daily on several of the skills she gained during her MBA.

“What comes from the MBA is having that awareness and understanding of how to influence others, how to engage with others. I believe that one of my skills is that I can connect with people, I can make them engage in the project and drive results.”

Reflecting on her journey since leaving her home in Colombia, Beatriz feels the University of Bath not only opened doors in her career, but also provided her with the platform to walk through them.

“It improved my English, it improved my skills, and it gave me the opportunity to build a life in the UK and have support in the process of that transition.”

Student Reviews

University of Bath School of Management (MBA)




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I am forever grateful for the numerous opportunities that Bath has provided me with. The professors at this institution genuinely care about my education and attentively listen to my requests and aspirations.




On Campus

Connections for students.

Bath Business School offers various avenues and connections for students to enhance their professional growth, with ample opportunities for flexibility in career trajectories. The campus life and student community are vibrant, with regular events that foster social interaction. The faculty members demonstrate genuine concern for students and their experiences, fostering a sense of solidarity across the campus, between students and teachers.




On Campus

Professional growth

At Bath, students are offered various avenues and connections to enhance their professional growth, while also having ample opportunities to explore different career paths. The campus offers a vibrant student community and a range of social events that encourage networking and socializing. The faculty members genuinely care about the students' well-being and are supportive throughout their academic journey, fostering a sense of unity across the campus between students and teachers.