Meet The Warwick MBA Class Of 2017

Max Weiland

Warwick Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: An adventurer at heart with a passion for languages and exploring new, different cultures.

Hometown: London, UK

Fun Fact About Yourself: A chance encounter over 10 years ago with a Chinese mining entrepreneur whilst I was backpacking in Bolivia changed my life. This brief but enlightening encounter set my imagination on fire and inspired my decision to travel to China to learn Mandarin. Thus a few months later, with little or no money in my purse, I set off across Russia aboard the Trans Siberian Railway to pursue my ‘China Dream’.

Undergraduate School and Major: East China Normal University – Chinese Language and Literature

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • Klaveness Shipping, Shanghai – Prominent Norwegian company and one of the leading owners of dry bulk carrier ships in the world, Chartering Manager – Developed, negotiated and executed with full authority multi-million dollar freight contracts and long-term vessel charter deals with principals and stakeholders from a wide variety of cultural and language backgrounds – 07/15-07/16
  • Howe Robinson Partners, Shanghai – Leading Shipbroking firm providing broking and consultancy services to a varied portfolio of clients around the world, Senior Shipbroker – led a team of six brokers and developed business on behalf of the group in China – 03/13-06/15
  • Howe Robinson Partners, London – Shipbroker 07/10-03/13
  • ADS Air and Ocean Freight, Shanghai – Boutique Latin American shipping company – Operations Manager 11/08-06/10
  • McLaren F1 Team – Special assignment, Team Translator, consecutive interpretations of interviews (English to Chinese) with Heikki Kovalainen and world champion Lewis Hamilton to an audience of over 100 executives and corporate sponsors – 04/09

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It would be successfully making the transition from broker to principal (Chartering Manager) during the worst dry bulk shipping market in a generation. With countless redundancies and many companies facing bankruptcy, competition for the position was especially fierce. The intellectual challenge of having to broaden my understanding of maritime law, voyage calculations and the geopolitical trends that underpin the industry under significant time constraints, was a challenge that I relished.  This process allowed me to promptly begin developing new lucrative business, providing my company with additional revenue streams and affording me invaluable experience. What makes this particular accomplishment so compelling to me, however, is that it represented a long-term goal finally accomplished. Having advised and influenced clients for ive years as a broker, I had always wanted to sit on the other side, analyze the market and make the decisions myself. Boom.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Listen to your gut and know that it’s OK if you don’t have all the answers now. There’s a lot of talk about ‘ask yourself why you want to do an MBA?’ and ‘what are post MBA goals?’ etc. I think that whilst this maybe fine for some, it is also not the case for many others. I am not, however, supporting the notion that it’s fine to do an MBA just for the sake of it. Rather, I’m saying that if you feel it’s the right next step for you, but you can’t yet articulate why, that is fine. Essentially, be honest with yourself and the schools you are talking to, as both sides will benefit more.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Warwick stood out to me because of its slightly unorthodox curriculum and greater emphasis on practical learning. For example the outstanding, hands-on leadership modules, in addition to more creative approaches to other subjects. Warwick’s broad range of electives also appealed to me, as they were the only school that I looked at that offered a Latin America focused elective – ‘doing Business in Mexico.’ Finally the cultural and professional diversity of the cohort was a big influence on my decision, with 30+ nationalities and a range of backgrounds Warwick satisfied this requirement!

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I’m still thinking about it! However, I would say that I am leaning towards a business development or client-facing role that builds on and utilizes my existing cultural awareness and language abilities. I am exploring both the private and not-for-profit sector and am beginning to lean towards the later. There are some really impressive international organizations out there that are making a real difference to the future of global business. Joining one of these would gel nicely with a long-term goal of setting up a cross border investment consultancy.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I would like my MBA peers to think of me as a fair and straight-talking person with a good sense of humor and that always brought energy and positivity with them to class.     



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