“The class has a tremendous range of experiences, nationalities, skills and industry backgrounds,” says Baker. “We have students aged from 25 to 55 from 32 different countries this year, including two from Australia. We have a dentist, lawyer and pharmacist, with managers from retail, banking, automotive, energy and many other sectors, so the diversity is fantastic this year and really helps enrich the student experience.”
After observing the Class of 2017 for several months, Baker considers them to be one of the best at personifying the culture and mission of the school. “Our school is very much about lowering barriers and building partnerships across disciplines, departments, organisations and countries,” she notes. “This cohort certainly embraces that and are building new alliances that will foster new initiatives and bridge the alliance between the school and students.”
During her interactions, Baker has also found the class to be very “collegial” and “supportive” of each other. Even more, the class is imbued with a strong sense of “creativity” and “innovation,” which has made them an invaluable resource. “We want critical thinkers and this is a class that is not afraid to challenge the status quo and is keen to push the school to improve as well,” Baker adds. As a student, Goyal has noticed this difference too. “Every day I learn something new from someone and that is really empowering,” she gushes.
The 2017 Class is the latest bit of good news for a program that has been gathering strength. Three years ago, it opened a satellite in London at the world famous Sharp, a 95-story glass marvel overlooking the London Bridge. As a result, students can now study and network in London as part of their required leadership module. A year later, Warwick Business School completed an extension onto its main building. In July, Andy Lockett, recognized as one of the world’s leading educators in strategy and entrepreneurship, assumed the reins as dean.
In a 2016 story in Poets&Quants, Lockett described his role as channeling the wide range of talent and resources at the school. He certainly has a lot of impressive pieces at his disposal. The most popular is LeadershipPlus, a required leadership module that includes workshops and team activities that culminates with a 10 week client consulting project that acts like an internship. To provide a more global view of leadership expectations and global problems, students also spend time off campus in London and at the Sauder School of Business in Vancouver. Alumni consider it the defining moment of their MBA experience. It is a chance for students to reflect on their leadership style and develop an inclusive and authentic approach to others.
Another of Warwick’s strengths is its deep integration of personal and career development through its CareersPlus team. Starting with consultations before students even arrive on campus, MBA applicants are quickly shuttled into an “induction boot camp,” with activities ranging from self-evaluations to CV refinement to teamwork workshops. Afterwards, students receive one-on-one executive coaching throughout the program, with students able to participate in weekly career seminars and alumni mentoring as well.
Experiential learning is another bedrock of the Warwick MBA program. Forget the summer internship. Warwick boasts three client-based consulting projects, with past partners including Vodafone, Accenture, PepsiCo, Siemen, IBM, and L’Oreal. Overall, it was an unbeatable proposition for Del Rio. “Warwick was the perfect fit with its excellent name, leadership modules, strong careers coaching, real consulting projects and a location in the heart of England.”
While the Class of 2017 still has eight months left on their journey, many class members have already mapped out their next step. Moody, for one, plans to enter strategy consulting before eventually opening his own business someday. Chilakamarri, building on his banking experience, dreams of innovating in the payments technology space. Although Del Rio hasn’t targeted a company or sector, he knows exactly what he wants in his next role. “I have come to realize that the most important thing is to find a company with which you share its purpose, values and culture. In this sense, my dream job is to work in a company that is customer obsessive, creative, contributes to society positively, and has a team driven by passion, excellence, mutual respect and honesty.”
Still, the class has plenty of time to make memories. When it is all said and done, each has a special legacy that they hope to leave. Goyal wants to be remembered as someone who was “there when we needed her but also when she thought she was needed.” Moody hopes to make lifelong friends, noting “you never know what the future may bring….!” And Farnham dreams of living out the fantasy of every MBA: “She aced accounting and finance!”
To read profiles of incoming Warwick students — along with their advice on tackling the GMAT, applications, and interviews — click on the links below.
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