People usually hear about business school from friends or colleagues, but one open-minded bank manager got the idea of going to business school when a customer approached him for a loan to pay his own MBA course fees!
We interviewed Nadesh Sithambaram and Anthony Anandan, graduates of Aston Business School,
who met when Anthony approached his local bank for a loan towards his tuition fees.
Anthony graduated from Imperial College London with a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Entrepreneurship from the University of Nottingham. He had six years of healthcare experience, having worked at Weston Medical for two years and then at NHS Innovations.
Anthony had been aware for some years that he didn’t have enough business knowledge to progress to a senior level in his sector. He was looking to stay in healthcare but also wanted to combine it with commerce. In 2007 he finally decided to embark on an MBA and so approached his local bank for a loan.
Nadesh worked with Standard Chartered Bank before moving to Alliance and Leicester, now Santander UK. He was a manager at the branch Anthony visited and had been thinking about an MBA for a number of years but never got the chance to do it.
Anthony arranged for a meeting with Nadesh to present his case and coincidentally it turned out that Nadesh was also interested in pursuing an MBA. They had never met prior to this event but Anthony showed Nadesh some of the brochures of schools he was looking in; and shared other relevant information with him. They eventually became friends and Nadesh ended up joining Aston's Online MBA programme 18 months after Anthony.
One of the factors that influenced Anthony’s decision to take Aston’s Online MBA was that he didn’t want to take time out from work - he had a good job with the UK National Health Service as a business analyst. The quality of learning also played a significant role in Anthony’s choice.
was one of the first business schools to launch an Online MBA and course materials over the 27-month programme included DVDs of live lectures with classroom interaction and discussions among the full-time MBA students. There were also opportunities to meet with lecturers and colleagues in person during the programme.
Nadesh didn’t want to take a break from his career because he was at a critical stage but he also couldn’t afford not to do the MBA. We asked him what he gained from the MBA and he said it gave him key knowledge of areas such as organizational behaviour and strategy management, and that he also benefited from sharing the real work experience of his colleagues.
Nadesh is now working as a business consultant with Santander UK, managing change and transformation projects.
Anthony got a job with top IT consulting form PA Consulting when he graduated and is enjoying the variety of projects that he gets to work on within the healthcare industry. He’s found having an MBA a big plus in the consulting world: “Having completed the MBA, I ask more questions and I’m more inquisitive as to strategic aims. These are questions I wouldn’t have asked before the course."
And, of course, the pair are still close friends: Anthony was at Nadesh’s graduation this year and also at his wedding!