Executive MBA participant Tom Cockerill explains how employer sponsorship enabled him to study at Warwick Business School (WBS).
Firstly, can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your work background?
Since a young age I have always had a keen interest and passion for motorsport, which has set the tone for my career from day one. As a kid I got into the hobby of racing RC cars, which lead to a path of studying a Masters of Motorsport Engineering at the University of Central Lancashire. This continued post-graduation, as I went to work in the industry and spent my next few years travelling the globe racing to the highest level, eventually reaching the Top 10 at World championships.
I joined the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in 2015 as a Research Engineer, seeking a new challenge. Since then, it has been a continuous journey of learning and innovation. The MTC has given me endless opportunities and experience of manufacturing environments that would not be possible elsewhere, from working with startups to global OEMs, from actual widgets in beer cans to jet engines!
What made you consider an MBA?
Through my work at the MTC I have come to the realisation that there is more to manufacturing and innovation than just engineering. The commercial, business and people side of innovation is equally important to good quality engineering, and as I’ve applied my problem-solving skills to these areas, my interest has grown, and I want to learn and develop my skill set in working in these areas.
Working alongside experienced colleagues I have learnt some tools, and the MBA is a way for me to develop the theory and understanding behind these tools and hone my skills further.
Warwick Business School has established itself as a highly reputable MBA provider globally. It consistently ranks among the top business schools in the UK and worldwide, recognised for its academic excellence and innovative teaching methods. This was a strong pull in putting WBS on my radar. WBS has a distinct focus on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, providing numerous resources. The emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship ensures that I will receive a comprehensive education that prepares me for the challenges of today's dynamic business environment.
WBS offers comprehensive career services, including networking events, career workshops, one-on-one coaching, and a strong alumni network that further contributed to my choice of WBS being the right MBA for me.
How did you select the employer sponsorship route?
Going through the employer sponsorship route was the obvious choice for me. The support for training and development from the MTC is excellent, and they fully supported me with my journey and choice to further my skills at WBS.
What steps did you take to obtain sponsorship?
I engaged with the MTC Learning & Development team early on, and they supported me through my application. Based on what I wanted to learn and what the benefits to the MTC were, we established that an MBA would be the best route for me.
I then reached out to WBS as my preferred school and course and proceeded with my application. The MTC supported me along the way to ensure everything ran smoothly.
How did you find the support from WBS?
WBS have been fantastic every step of the way. Throughout the application process they were extremely helpful and supportive, answering any questions I had and working with me for the employer sponsorship.
To sum up, how has this sponsorship enabled you to go further?
Without the sponsorship I simply would not have been able to start the MBA at this time. Whilst it would have been the right thing for me to do, I would have had to wait many years before I had the opportunity.
Any tips for others looking to obtain employer sponsorship?
Engage with your employer early in the process so that you can build a plan together, identifying how it will benefit everyone involved. The WBS application team are also incredibly supportive in identifying how it can be valuable to all parties, based on their experience and seeing how it has worked so well for many before you.