My memories of the Executive MBA programme

07 March 2023

We are excited to be welcoming the 50th cohort of the Executive MBA programme at WBS, to celebrate we are looking back and sharing some of our alumni stories. Len Cardwell, who joined the first Executive MBA programme in 1993, shares his memories from his experience. 

I was in the first cohort of the then Modular MBA. My biggest impression from my time in the MBA programme was the quality of my fellow cohort, as postgraduates, each person had talents and a story, which made them part of the learning process. My company, PowerGen, sponsored me and I was looking forward to joining the programme as it was more related to the industry, which meant that there were a lot of Rover and affiliate employees on the course. This was reinforced one week when they all turned up in work wear!

The second impression was how new everything was, the accommodation and teaching spaces while the student Union was just about up and running. There was lots of green lands still to be built on. The food particularly was very un-student-like. The rooms were like monk’s cells, with a wardrobe, a bed and a desk. We spent most of the time in the common areas.

My final memory was of the rhythm of the place. We arrived once a month on a Monday, caught up and got back into student life. Tuesday was full of lectures. Followed by a Wednesday, that would address new problems and thoughts as we became more critical and argumentative in lectures and seminars. By Thursday we were preparing for the Friday presentations and were just keen to get everything finished. On Friday we handed in work and completed presentations before setting off home and back to the nine-to-five the following week.

For myself, it was very successful as PowerGen promoted me afterwards to my MBA. I had done my thesis on the company and its accounts. The lectures on balance sheets and profit and loss accounts really paid off!

I now follow the placing of the school in the international tables with some pride although at the time we did not realise where it was heading!

In terms of advice, it is important to remember that most of the talent and experience in the MBA comes from the fellow cohort that is sitting around you. You should never stop learning from them as much as you learn from the teaching staff.