Ritesh Pandey
Full-time MBA (2022 - 2023)

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Having served in the logistics department of the Indian Army for nearly two decades, I am a veteran with extensive experience in operations, supply chain, and inventory management. Throughout my tenure, I had the privilege of assuming leadership positions and honing my skills in these areas. My aptitude for engineering was recognised, and I was selected to participate in the Master of Technology programme at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, which is ranked among the top 5 institutions in India.

During my time as an instructor at a prestigious military training institute, I had the opportunity to coach officers on various engineering subjects. Despite my success in the military, I opted for premature release due to personal reasons. Currently, I am enrolled in a Full-time MBA program at WBS with the goal of refining my business skills and adapting to the corporate world.

What first attracted you to Warwick Business School?

During my fulfilling military career, the one thing that I felt was missing was the chance to gain international exposure. Therefore, when I made the decision to pursue a Full-time MBA, I began my search for suitable programmes in India and abroad. While there are excellent one-year MBA programs offered by business schools in India, they often lack diversity in terms of the cohort.

WBS's Full-time MBA, on the other hand, ticks all the boxes for me. It is an intensive, one-year programme that is highly respected not only in the UK and Europe, but also back in India. In addition, the ROI of the course is among the best of all top MBA programmes. The structure of the MBA curriculum at WBS is designed to provide a comprehensive learning experience. The opportunity to learn a new language and participate in an international module at another leading business school were also appealing features of the program at WBS.

Why did you ultimately choose Warwick Business School for your MBA?

The programme offered at WBS has a distinct focus on ESG and sustainability. As part of the programme, students have the option to pursue two full elective modules on these topics, and ESG and sustainability are integrated into each module taught at WBS. This emphasis aligns perfectly with my career goals of working in ESG and sustainability consulting, with a particular focus on operations.

The Full-time MBA programme is structured to equip me with the necessary knowledge and skills to achieve these goals. In addition, the University of Warwick is a campus-based university that provides on-campus housing for married students on a first-come, first-served basis. As I wanted to bring my family along with me, the availability of on-campus housing and the outstanding facilities provided were additional reasons for me to choose WBS. The on-campus sports and recreational facilities are second to none.

What elements of the program do you value the most and why?

The diversity of the cohort in our programme is truly remarkable. With representatives from 33 countries and a wide range of backgrounds, including doctors, engineers, researchers, fashion designers, international level sports players, entrepreneurs, and many others, we have an incredibly diverse group of individuals. Throughout the programme, we work in syndicates of six or seven for all modules, and these syndicates include people with a variety of experiences and ethnicities. This provides us with a genuine experience of working in an international environment and dealing with the challenges that arise from different working cultures.

One particularly impactful module is LeadershipPlus, which is a soul-searching course that has helped me become more self-aware and identify areas for improvement in my personality. During many moments in the module, I had a realisation or an "Aha" moment when I could see myself as the person being discussed. This module is spread out across two terms and has given me the opportunity to reflect and improve on myself.

What is it like studying for an MBA?

The one-year curriculum is rigorous and requires us to stay engaged at all times. The course is designed to provide a comprehensive education in a condensed timeframe, and a range of activities, both academic and non-academic, are squeezed into the curriculum to provide a wholesome experience. The stimulating discussions on case studies and the opportunity to learn from people with diverse backgrounds have been incredibly thought-provoking.

Working late into the night or over weekends in syndicate rooms for group assignments has been both challenging and rewarding. Exposure to a range of subjects such as strategy, finance, marketing, and operations has helped me develop a strong foundation in business principles and practices and has also improved my problem-solving and analytical skills. The LeadershipPlus Consulting Project and the Strategic Consulting Project have given me real-world experience in a corporate setting.

What kind of support have you received from the careers team? How has it helped you?

The CareerPlus team at the MBA programme is friendly, approachable, and supportive. Over several weeks of discussions with the team, I was able to clarify my career goals and aspirations. By connecting me with alumni who had similar backgrounds in my target industry, the careers team helped me to broaden my perspective and gain insights into various career paths. The team provided valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement on my CV and application letters.

Regular networking events and employer presentations have provided me with the opportunity to learn about different sectors of employment and make connections in the industry. The Development Centre, a comprehensive interview exercise followed by detailed feedback, helped me to identify areas for improvement. I feel comfortable interacting with the careers team and appreciate the safe and non-judgmental environment that encourages introspection and self-reflection.

Do you have any advice for anyone currently thinking about studying for an MBA?

Every top MBA programme has a sound pedagogy. However, the crucial factor in pursuing an MBA is to identify a business school that offers a programme that aligns with your career aspirations. Often, we tend to choose a school just to follow the trend, without considering our goals. It is important to set realistic goals and apply to schools with authenticity and passion. Pursuing a one-year MBA can be a transformative experience, and even though it can be rigorous, there are ample opportunities for enjoyment as well. Therefore, it is crucial to make a careful decision when choosing a program, so that you do not regret your choice later.

After compiling a list of potential business schools, it is recommended that you connect with both alumni and current students to gain insight into their experiences. This research is crucial because an MBA programme is a significant commitment, and making the right choice is important, as it is akin to finding the right partner for a successful marriage.