Meet the Warwick MBA Class of 2018

Warwick Business School

TOP MBA PROGRAM IN THE UK ACCORDING TO THE ECONOMIST

In recent years, Warwick has surged in MBA rankings, particularly with The Economist. Here, Warwick ranks 18th overall. Technically, this was a three spot drop, though the school continued to reign as the top MBA program in the United Kingdom by The Economist’s standards.

Notably, Warwick ranked among the top programs in several student and alumni survey categories. For example, the school earned particularly high marks on the quality of alumni and networking. It finished 2nd in potential to network, 8th for breadth of the alumni network, and 9th for internationalism of alumni – sure signs of deep alumni engagement with current students. Even more, it stood out by ranking 5th in the world for the quality of the MBA experience according to survey respondents. In other words, Warwick is a program that delivers – and the Class of 2018 took note.

“I was accepted to several programs across Europe, but Warwick stood as a school with a great reputation, peer network and resources,” says Alsheimer, who plans to transition from archaeology to international business. “The university holds a vast graduate network and is very well connected. For me this was important as I would like to explore different industry options during my MBA. The support available during the MBA was also important for me. At Warwick there is amazing support and help available, from mentoring to the support of the careers team.”

A commons area in a floor occupied by Warwick in the Shard.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT INTRICATELY WOVEN INTO THE PROGRAM

Indeed, the careers team has earned plenty of accolades from applicants and alumni alike. In The Economist survey, Warwick’s career services center ranked 4th in the world, with the school finishing 2nd in career opportunities. In this area, the school’s “CareersPlus” team covers student development needs from all angles. Far from an afterthought, the team is intimately involved in all aspects of the curriculum, which opens with a career “boot camp” that focuses on self-awareness and job hunting. The team also offers required weekly webinars on topics like making persuasive presentations, successfully working on diverse teams, and writing CVs and cover letters that make it to the next step. That doesn’t count unlimited one-on-one coaching – let alone a rich menu of guest speakers and voluntary career workshops.

Such resources will come in handy for Arafa, who is making the transition from law to marketing and communication. “Warwick’s high ranking is based on excellence across a range of factors from teaching quality to the calibre of graduates it produces,” he says. “For me personally though, I was impressed with the careers service offering and the chance to learn a language in the first term.”

Career development isn’t the only area where Warwick excels according to students. The program ranked 3rd in the world for faculty quality according to The Economist. Rigorous academically, the program is known for professors who push the boundaries, such as bringing Shakespeare into cases. It is also a faculty that relies heavily on experiential learning, with students completing three interdisciplinary consulting projects, often with blue ribbon partners like Amazon, PepsiCo, and L’Oreal.

LEADERSHIP MODULE DELIVERS WHAT STUDENTS WANT…AND MORE

For the Class of 2018, the faculty bring a healthy mix of theoretical heft with a bias towards how business is practiced in the real world. “All the lecturers that we have had have been incredibly knowledgeable about their subject and have been able to deliver content in an interactive and engaging manner,” says Boardman-Weston. “It’s important to understand the theory behind the different topics. Unless it is framed in a way that relates it to the real world, then it will be hard to put into practice once you’ve finished the MBA. In each subject, we have lively debates about how theories relate to the real world and analyse numerous case-studies. This is complemented by having guest speakers in each module from the business world, which teaches us about implementing what we’ve learnt.”

At Warwick, students are taught in modules with “unconventional” titles like “Innovation & Creativity” and “Managing in a New World.” However, the most intriguing module for the Class of 2018 was “LeadershipPlus,”which includes workshops on EQ, managing change, and leading high-performance teams. In the British army, Bayne had risen the ranks to become a leader who was constantly grappling with “uncertainty and risk.” However, he was looking for a way to translate the leadership lessons he absorbed in the service to a business setting. In that regard, LeardershipPlus lived up to its billing – and then some. “I have not been disappointed,” he explains. “The course has revealed new approaches as to how I can add value and ensure my previous experience can be best used as a differentiator when I look for employment.”

Andy Lockett Dean of Warwick Business School

Bernardes do Amaral also lists LeadershipPlus among his favorite experiences at Warwick so far. For him, it had to do with learning about himself as much as business. “The program has given me the opportunity to see clearer my strengths and be more conscious about the points I need to improve,” he points out. “This is extremely valuable and only when you are put to the test and have the support from a professional coaching team will you be able to reflect on these issues with the depth necessary to make a real change. I consider that I am a better leader today and will continue evolving due to the self-awareness tools that I was equipped with during the MBA.”

SUCCESS = UNDERSTANDING A FINANCIAL STATEMENT

Five months into the program, the class is already reaping a return from the program, Mihat points to his professional network stretching from Brazil to Mongolia (and many points in between). Others, like Boardman-Weston and Abdul Mutalib, tout the successes they’ve had in their syndicate groups. For Bayne, the real joy has been to appreciate the small gains that some business leaders take for granted once they leave business school.

“One of the main reasons for conducting an MBA is to increase my knowledge of finance and accounting, areas which don’t receive much exposure in the Army,” he explains. “For me, I view the knowledge I have built up to this point, where I can now confidently ‘read’ and comprehend a financial statement and possible implications for a business’ future strategy and profitability to be a real achievement.”

Looking ahead, the class is seeking the usual ends: a good job with a respected company that brings a sense of purpose. For some, the mission goes beyond these outcomes. Aafo, a “restless adventurer” always, plans to return to Syria to do some good. “Success for me is when I see my destroyed country benefiting from what I have learnt at WBS; then I can say that I have been successful.”

binti Mohd Taib plans to follow a similar path by supporting and serving women around the world. “As a woman, it takes guts and a heap of smarts to succeed in the corporate world, especially in a company that is technically complex and fast-changing,” she argues. “Dedicating my life to developing and inspiring people around me is very appealing to me. That’s where I will draw my professional satisfaction after the MBA.”

To read profiles of incoming Warwick MBA students — along with their advice on tackling the GMAT, applications, and interviews — click on the links below.

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MEET THE WARWICK MBA CLASS OF 2017

StudentHometownAlma MaterEmployer
 Azad Aafo  Al-Malikiyah, Syria University of Damascus Sagrma Co Ltd
 Tanja Alsheimer Helsinki, Finland University of Helsinki Irish Archaeological Consultancy
 Tariq Arafa Bromsgrove, Worcestershire University of Sheffield NASUWT
 Nur Atiqah Abdul Mutalib Petaling Jaya, Malaysia University of San Francisco EPF Malaysia
 Andrew Bayne Stirling, Scotland The University of Edinburgh British Army
 Arthur Bernardes do Amaral Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Samsung Electronics
 Dan Boardman-Weston Grangewood, Derbyshire No College BRI Wealth Management
 Sun Kwon Houston, Texas University of Texas at Austin Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering
 Ahmad Nasyami Mihat Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia University of Tulsa Honda Malaysia
 Nurul Nashwar binti Mohd Taib Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS PETRONAS
 Ana Paschoini  Sao Paulo, Brazil Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Brazilian Development Bank
 Oriana Rubaina Sequeira Bangalore, India Christ University Goldman Sachs