Four months into the Full-time MBA

30 January 2020

Full-time MBA participant, Charlotte Lavelle, shares her highlights of the programme so far and talks about the skills she has developed, the diversity of the MBA cohort and the importance of the CareersPlus team.

I have spent the last six years working for BT in Procurement and Software Product Management, but I knew that this wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my career. I wanted to study an MBA to help me change profession and sector. 

I was first attracted to WBS by the core modules, the focus on careers development as well as the fact that it wasn’t in London – having spent the last six years in London I wanted a change and a new environment. I ultimately chose WBS because they made it impossible to say no! The staff were so welcoming and helpful, and it was just somewhere that I could really see myself being a part of.

Four months into the course, I can safely say that although the course is quite intensive - it’s completely worth it! The mixture of lectures, group work, pre reading, research, assignments and then careers events and personal development on the side is enough to keep anyone busy! But it’s all so interesting that it’s completely immersive – it really is true that the more you put in the more you get out.   

As there is always so much going on, getting the right work/life balance has been the hardest part for me. I have learnt how valuable it is to have some time to let everything you have learnt sink in and have time to get to know your fellow classmates. We as a cohort have made a big effort to enjoy sports together - a group of us go to Parkrun every Saturday morning followed by brunch, and there is an MBA football team and cricket team as well as lots of games of squash. Then there is always something social going on like drinks for someone’s birthday in town and I personally have joined Warwick University Symphony Orchestra which is a great way to relax once a week and do something different. I have realised just how important it is to take this time away from studying and to go and enjoy yourself too!

One of the key things I was looking for from my MBA was an international group of people to learn from, but my cohort this year has completely blown me away. We have 40 nationalities across 119 of us which is completely incredible. I learn something new every day about a new country, way of life, food, culture and language. I already have trips to Kenya, Ghana, China and Brazil planned for after the MBA! We had a cultural evening a few months ago where everyone brought food and drink from their home country and dressed in their traditional clothing – it was honestly one of the highlights of the year so far.

One of the key things I love about WBS is the fact that everything we learn is rooted in real life business. Every lecture has a case study linked to it and this term we have a group project for one of the largest fintechs in the world. It’s so exciting to be able to make a real impact on a business and put into practice everything we have learnt.

Another highlight has been the Leadership Plus module. Not only has it taught me so much more about working in a team, but also it has taught me so much about myself and how I lead. I have learnt that sometimes taking a back seat is okay, and that my leadership style is very much as an enabler and an encourager, but that is a valuable skill set. Seeing how my two teams have grown over the last four months has just been amazing – I really have made some friends for life as a result of the Leadership Plus module.  

As I mentioned, the CareersPlus team were one of the key reasons why I chose WBS, and they really have not disappointed. We have had an incredible number of fantastic workshops put on by them – from LinkedIn to CVs to managing your career, facilitated by the amazing WBS team and some world class guest speakers. On top of that, you are allocated your own careers coach who you can have as many meetings with as you want. It’s been amazing to be able to have that one on one time to discuss your plans, practice interviews and navigate the job application process. They are absolutely fantastic!

What I was looking for from the WBS MBA was a complete break from my previous career, the chance to learn a huge amount of new things, meet a whole new group of people, and have some time and space to really think about what I want to do next. I have got all of this and so much more. I have learnt more than I ever thought I would, about the business world but also about the world and about myself and I have also made friends for life – what more could I ask for?

My advice to anyone who is currently thinking about studying an MBA is to come and do it. Come and speak to the WBS team, visit the campus and realise what an opportunity this is. I never thought I would be able to do this, but believe me, you can do it and it will be the best thing you ever do!

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