Careers support on the Distance Learning MBA

28 August 2019

Distance Learning MBA participant, Allan Simpson, talks about the support he has recieved from the WBS CareersPlus team, and how they have helped to provide a clear vision of his future career goals.

“What do you want to do?” That is how most careers talks start, but not at Warwick Business School (WBS).

I have worked in housing and economic growth for about 15 years as a chartered spatial planner. I'm passionate about what I do and I didn't go into the MBA with a specific career goal in mind. I started the MBA to develop my network of interesting people, gain new skills and pursue my interests to discover the opportunities I had. The MBA has taken me through an enriching set of modules, but beyond this, it has led me to a whole host of resources as part of the CareersPlus team, helping to shape my career. These include:

Career tools
I undertook the 360 Self-Assessment Tool, which is designed to help gather feedback about leadership competencies and behaviours to increase awareness of the perceptions of colleagues, subordinates, superiors and others around you. What came back was a report that I still refer to as a guide for my personal development. The comments were very informative and made me realise 'yes I currently do that, I could do more of that or why on earth am I doing that?’

I had a career coaching session linked to the Leadership module. This was my first experience with a coach, but within 10 minutes of the discussion, he was able to capture my ways of working and thinking which helped to pin down what motivates me and to critically review career decisions I had to make at the time. I have also met with the Careers team who are always on hand for advice and have been able to point me in the direction of a wealth of tools, support and contacts. They also arrange frequent events and Change Maker talks throughout the year.

New opportunities
The support from the Careers team has helped me to proactively seek new opportunities. At the end of 2018, I acted up as Head of Public Affairs for my company for three months as cover for the incoming post holder. In these months, I was able to develop my understanding of how my skills were relevant to a broad range of roles - a highlight was attending the parliamentary party conferences where I bumped into someone on my MBA cohort who did a similar job! I am now on part-time secondment working for Business in the Community, a charity that supports leading businesses in the UK to realise the value of responsible business practices. Both of these opportunities have helped me to develop my skills and experiences, which will put me in a good position for future roles.  

So what do I want to do in my career? From my experience at WBS, I now have a much clearer vision about my immediate and future career goals and how to achieve them. Going forward, it is great to know that I have support from the WBS careers team to help me in future career decisions. 

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