When serial entrepreneur Dixon Jones had the chance to pursue an Executive MBA at Aston Business School, he grabbed it.
Working as the chief marketing officer at Majestic.com, an EMBA was never part of his life plan. But now he’s using what he’s learned to help develop and grow the company.
Majestic.com is a Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 startup—ranked among the UK’s 50 fastest-growing tech companies for its revenue growth over the last four years—which surveys and maps the internet to create the largest commercial link intelligence database in the world. Founded in 2004, Majestic.com offers intelligence for online marketing professionals.
As the company entered into a partnership with Aston University to provide placements for students, Dixon and his colleague were offered the chance to study an EMBA at the business school.
Since his first assignment, Dixon, who has a track record of founding marketing and advertising companies, knew the EMBA would be an invaluable experience.
How is the Aston EMBA helping in your role at Majestic.com?
The Aston Executive MBA gives myself and my colleague a common language for approaching business strategy and decision making. We understand the underlying principals and weaknesses of the models we apply better and this helps us make decisions.
An unexpected win in this has been the impressive caliber of the other participants on the EMBA. We’re able to learn from them as they’re willing to share and bring their expertise into the classroom.
All of the teamwork tasks, whilst being a challenge in themselves to coordinate amongst a disparate group of full time executives with families, were considerably enriched with this backdrop of sheer diverse talent.
As you expand Majestic.com, how are you hoping your EMBA will help?
My thesis will be highly focused on the immediate needs of our growing business. I hope this will have a significant impact on the business strategy, direction and on the team members within it.
Even without the thesis, every aspect of the business day-to-day is now being approached through a different, more appropriate and informed, lens than before we started.
Before, we were entrepreneurs. Now, we are a business thanks to the Aston EMBA.
Why did you choose to pursue an Executive MBA at Aston Business School?
Whilst never part of my plan, once we had the opportunity to undertake the EMBA, I had to take it. For me, it was the perfect mix of stats and location.
The stats clearly mark Aston out as exceptional. It’s not just one of the best EMBAs in Britain, but it’s one of the best in the world. The triple accreditation is the same as other top universities and puts the course in the Harvard league for EMBAs. Plus, being able to walk to the university library from work also has its advantages!
The Aston EMBA came about as part of a range of collaborations between the university and Majestic, which gave us access to undergraduate and post graduate talent that other businesses would find hard to beat.
This means that we’re able to benefit directly from the high level of education at Aston, both personally and professionally through other students joining us at Majestic.
What advice do you have for anyone considering an EMBA?
My advice is to enjoy the reading. I thought looking up research papers would be horrendous and would add to my daily stress but, in fact, you start to find comparisons between the research and your real-world problems.
Seeing these kinds of problems, and seeing frameworks for approaching them, gives you confidence and can therefore reduce personal stress at work rather than add to it.
The biggest challenge however, is time. You will need to be involved in webinars and calls in the evenings and weekends for two years and then you’ll need to spend a third year working on a thesis. It’s not for the faint hearted, but with just a little support from your family and a little less TV or Netflix, it is amazing how you can find that time to achieve your goals!
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