Design Thinking, Entrepreneurship & Why I Chose An MBA At Bath School Of Management

Serial entrepreneur, Philip Hodgson, says the Bath MBA takes creative approaches to problem-solving seriously

Philip Hodgson has always had an affinity for nature and sustainability, completing his first degree in landscape architecture.

That trained Philip into thinking outside-the-box. Prior to his MBA at Bath School of Management, he travelled from Qatar and Denmark, to Syria and the UK, working with complex teams and budgets of over $1.5 billion. Managing large-scale programs around the globe sparked his interest in the business-oriented elements of his profession.

An opportunity to import olive oil from Greece, and then investigate setting up a postal coffee subscription business, entrenched Philip's interest in entrepreneurship. He later set up a marketing strategy consultancy, Apopsi.

In transitioning to business, Philip found that his unique perspective had equipped him to utilize 'design thinking' when solving problems. When deciding on business school, the Bath MBA catered for his unique interests and design-thinking mindset.

With optional modules in service design and innovation, a residency this year in Silicon Valley, and participation in competitions that include workshops with Google and InnoCells—the digital ventures arm of Spain’s Banco Sabadell—the school takes creative approaches to problem-solving seriously.

BusinessBecause caught up with Philip to find out more.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?

I grew interested in marketing, which is central to any business, and I started to take on a more strategic role when advising companies. I also felt like an MBA would fill some of the gaps in my knowledge, considering I had previously obtained an arts degree.

Why Bath School of Management?

Choosing the right MBA is no easy feat! In the end, I selected Bath for a combination of reasons: the class sizes are small, with around 50 students per class, offering greater attention from tutors; you can tailor modules to suit your personal interests and goals; I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship; and, the atmosphere is genuinely friendly, approachable, and helpful.

How does the Bath MBA suit your particular interests?

Design-led business is a buzzword on the rise. We’ve seen how companies like Apple have claimed huge market share with top-down design thinking. Another huge success, Airbnb, proclaims to be a design-led business.

For me, it’s more than just a trend—it is the only way companies can claim the edge in today’s age of nearly instantaneous product parity. The Bath MBA understands this and has provided a holistic understanding of all moving parts in a business.

What has been the highlight of your MBA experience so far?

Undertaking an MBA is an enormous challenge, yet immensely satisfying as the pieces click into place and your knowledge expands. One particular highlight was being able to apply my design thinking mindset with the skills I have learned at Bath School of Management to win a FinTech competition in Spain, beating off stiff competition from other leading European MBA programs.