Beginning my journey on the Full-time MBA

22 October 2019

Full-time MBA participant, Jamie Graham, shares his experience of starting the MBA programme and what the first few weeks on the course are like.

Eagerness, anticipation, excitement and a touch of nervousness are all feelings I experienced on my walk in to WBS on day one of the MBA. On one hand, I knew that I had just left a great role in the airline industry, which offered great benefits, lifestyle and financial stability. On the other, I knew I was just five minutes away from the registration desk that would formally mark the beginning of a transformational year and the commencement of my MBA journey.

So, what led me to this moment? Truthfully, I found myself at a natural crossroad in my career and had a yearning to do something radically different. It needed to be highly developmental, challenging, and provide me with the inspiration to step out of my comfort zone. Importantly, it also needed to add value to my career path in the airline business and open up new opportunities for the future. Enter, the MBA. I spent countless hours of research looking at different programme offerings across the UK and became obsessive over the detail. I knew the MBA was going to be a significant investment and I needed to ensure that I chose the programme and business school that was going to deliver on my objectives. I chose Warwick not solely because of its excellent global reputation, indeed the WBS MBA is ranked amongst the best in the world, but primarily because of its excellent links to wide-ranging industries and its culture of togetherness and inclusion.

So, here we go. Passing through the registration desk at the main entrance of the business school, I proceeded into a lecture theatre full of people. There are 40 countries represented on this year’s cohort, one of the most diverse intakes ever. Amongst all 119 of us in the room, there were doctors, teachers, military professionals (many of whom have served on the front line), consultants, bankers, entrepreneurs, inventors, family business owners and management executives. The list appeared endless and my expectations were truly surpassed.

From there, the induction week was in full swing. The week is intensive and focusses on developing relationships with the cohort as a whole. There are a number of leadership activities that everyone is thrown into, and whilst many felt complex, they were incredibly fun (and a bit competitive!) Midway through the week, the cohort is split in to individual syndicate teams comprising of six-seven people. These are the people who you will live and breathe the MBA with; throughout the various assessed group tasks and assignments throughout term one. In my syndicate alone, there are six different nationalities spanning all corners of the globe and seven different industries represented.

Weeks two and three provide a focussed emphasis on networking, personal development and masterclasses in both finance and consultancy. Like the induction week, both weeks two and three are intensive six-day weeks that introduce you to your core modules and their respective professors, in addition to presentations from industry experts, networking opportunities and even evening language classes.

In between all of the madness though, there have of course been a number of fantastic social activities both on and off campus. With almost all of us coming from the workplace, it’s easy to forget that being back at University has its benefits when it comes to on campus student bars and discounted beer! Getting to know my cohort and my syndicate group has been a wonderful experience, and it already feels like a large family in some ways.

So, my thoughts so far? Challenging, yes, but most importantly I have learned an incredible amount about myself. In just three short weeks, my knowledge and outlook have grown significantly in tandem, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the MBA has in store!

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