From the military to the Executive MBA

12 May 2021

Executive MBA (London) participant Hugo Deed discusses how the programme is helping to build his business acumen after a career in the military.

A chance scroll through my LinkedIn feed led me to a post highlighting the Heropreneurs Warwick Business School Award that a friend had shared, but with only a few days until the submissions deadline, I had to act quickly. 

I’d left the Army a few years before, but always had the aspiration of studying for an MBA in the back of my mind as a means of improving my business acumen – sadly the sheer financial commitment had been off-putting. By way of background, Heropreneurs is a military charity created in 2009 that supports the entrepreneurial business ventures of the military community- one of their awards is an MBA bursary sponsored by Warwick Business School.

My application passed the initial filter, and I was interviewed at The Shard. Two intense, but invigorating hours later, it was over and I awaited the response.  A few weeks later and I was informed I‘d made the final three, and I was delighted to eventually finish as a runner up. I attended the Heropreneurs Awards, and was offered a scholarship, which began my transformation process. 

Day one of the Executive MBA, in March 2020, and I was back at The Shard – I could certainly get used to that! Two testing years lay ahead, I knew, but there was an immediate sense of belonging. My cohort were quite clearly a very special group of talented individuals, and I was proud to acknowledge that I belonged among them. 

There was an instant camaraderie and sense of unified purpose, which greatly resonated with my military background. It immediately felt as though we were a team - there was no sense of competition, but only of joint goals and successes to come. The transformative process to becoming more creative and effective business leaders and entrepreneurs had begun. 

I am now just over halfway through my Executive MBA journey, and from my perspective the training provided so far has been exceptional. It has spanned from highly practical CareersPlus sessions, aimed at developing important areas such as negotiations and networking, to the core MBA modules focused on everything from finance to innovation and creativity in organisations.

As a result of my studies at Warwick Business School so far, as well as the interactions I have had with my cohort, I can now see career opportunities and paths that I had never previously thought might be open to me. What’s more, I feel more of a sense of belonging in this challenging environment than ever before. The hard work and commitment required has easily been outweighed by the benefits, it has all been worth it. 

For those who are motivated and looking to challenge themselves whilst simultaneously boosting their career prospects then I would wholeheartedly recommend an MBA with Warwick Business School. And for those from the military community who are reading this and fit the criteria, there is no reason why you should not apply for the Heropreneurs Warwick Business School Award, you literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

WBS is delighted to be sponsoring the Heropreneurs 2023 Awards. The winner of the WBS Award will receive a 100% bursary to study one of our MBA or Executive Diploma programmes, while the runner-up will be awarded a substantial 75% bursary, and the third-place contender will receive a generous 50% bursary.

Applications to apply for the 2023 WBS Heropreneurs Bursary Awards is Sunday 30th July. For more information, please visit the Heropreneurs website.