When Shaswati Panda joined Lancaster University Management School’s full-time MBA, she’d never worked outside of her native India.
She graduated from the top-ranked UK business school in December last year. In January, she got a job offer to work for EY’s tax advisory services arm in London. She started her new role earlier this month.
Shaswati puts her success down to the Lancaster MBA’s celebrated corporate strategy module, which, for the last three years, has seen it ranked among the top 10 MBA programs in the world for corporate strategy by the Financial Times.
“The corporate strategy module was definitely a stand out for me,” she says. “When I went for my interview at EY, I knew that when a case study was presented to me I would always have a different perspective and a 360-degree view.”
“That was something which was credited,” she continues. “I do not see myself working in the UK without the Lancaster MBA.”
The one-year Lancaster MBA is focused practical learning, preparing students for the real-life work environment. 94% of Lancaster MBAs land jobs within six months of graduation.
The Lancaster MBA class is 98% international. 46% of MBA students are women. On the MBA’s corporate strategy module, students work in diverse groups to explore case studies on real-life strategic issues faced by large, multi-business, real-life firms like Barclays, Debenhams, and EasyJet.
“The course is extremely well-coordinated,” Shaswati explains.“It’s not just about classroom teaching. It’s about applying your learning practically,” she continues. “You walk away from the module with a completely different mindset, and a fresh perspective on business.”
Japanese MBA graduate Maiko Sasaki agrees. She had a background in education, learning and development, prior to her MBA. She interned at Grant Thornton in London as part of her corporate challenge, a business-based consulting project which concludes the Lancaster MBA.
There, she helped to implement a new learning strategy and deploy leadership and technical training programs for a client company. Grant Thornton extended her contract until December last year. Now, she’s back in Japan again, looking for higher-level jobs in learning and development.
“Before I started the MBA, I wasn’t really a strategic thinker,” she says. “The MBA constantly challenged me. Now I know how to deploy good learning and development strategies and policies, and I’ve got interviews for more senior roles.
“Here, if you gain an MBA abroad, and if you can speak English, they value you a lot.”
Part of a wider core module in strategic management, Lancaster’s focus on corporate strategy evolves throughout the entire MBA curriculum; it’s not just confined to one course.
Joaquim Vermelhudo was a construction manager in Angola and his native Portugal for nine years prior to his MBA. Since graduating in September 2016, he’s returned to the same company but transitioned into real estate. He’s profiting from the Lancaster MBA’s holistic focus on corporate strategy in his current role.
“What I’m doing now is completely different to what I was doing before,” he says. “When you’re analyzing potential real estate investments, you have to do market analysis, you have to see who are your competitors and what the market’s like,” he continues.
“I’m able to do all of that now because of what I gained from the corporate strategy module, and the Lancaster MBA.”
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