Meet Warwick Business School’s MBA Class Of 2020

Warwick Business School

Warwick Business School

P&Q: What is the most underrated part of your program that you wish prospective students knew more about?

KB: “Among the top 50 schools ranked in the Financial Times Global MBA ranking for 2020, Warwick Business School has the highest percentage of female faculty – at 41 percent.

This is no accident. We have been working hard over the last few years to not only attract and promote more women, but also offer chairs to females. It is something we are working hard to address and we are aiming for a 50/50 split.

We know diversity and gender equality is very important for our students and society in general. Today’s MBA applicants are looking for that diversity of thought and experience within their cohort, which this year has participants from 40 countries, and they want that mirrored within faculty.

We are committed to the promotion of gender equality and became the first business school in the UK to achieve a silver Athena Swan Award, which is a charter that recognises work done to advance the careers of female academics and professional services staff, and also looks at issues relating to sexuality and gender equality more broadly.

There is a strong business case for gender equality in organisations, but our commitment to raising the number of females is normative – we believe it is the right thing to do.”

P&Q: MBA students can take classes in both Coventry and London. What are the unique advantages of each location?

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

KB: “They are very contrasting locations. Our Warwick campus is set on the outskirts of Coventry overlooking the Warwickshire countryside that stretches south across the undulating hills to beautiful and historic towns like Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick, and Stratford-Upon-Avon – the birthplace of Shakespeare and soaked in his history and life – that is home to the Royal Shakespeare Company and its stunning theatre.

It is a campus that provides many amenities and social opportunities for our students. It has a nightclub, supermarket, a new state-of-the-art sports and well-being hub with one of the best climbing walls in the country, and an arts centre that shows concerts, films, and plays. There are also hundreds of societies, sports teams, and clubs to join to take a break from studying.

While at The Shard, one of the tallest buildings in Europe, students get to sit in a lecture theatre and work in syndicate rooms that offer a stunning view across the River Thames to London Bridge, the Tower of London and the City, the financial hub of Europe.

It is very modern and surrounded by the many attractions of London, with its 24/7 hubbub of pubs, cafes, theatres, restaurants and the sound of one of the great cities of the world. London has flight connections from all over the world and Coventry is just an hour away by train, with its own international airport next door in Birmingham, making both locations very accessible. It is just whether you want the countryside campus or the bright lights of the City.”

P&Q: Warwick ranks among the best full-time MBA programs worldwide for career services according to The Financial Times? What are some ways that your career center goes above-and-beyond and gets results for students?

KB: “The careers service is tailored to each student’s needs and fully integrated into the programme. In fact, it starts before the programme does with each student interviewed and assessed on their career needs before they arrive.

The participants have access to one-to-one coaching throughout the programme, with as many sessions as they require and have the chance to attend networking events with blue chip companies like JP Morgan and Jaguar Land Rover, while a talent book, profiling each student, is sent to employers across many sectors.

They have access to workshops, webinars, and executive coaching, with career sessions every week offering insights into how to target employers, showcasing your CV, covering letters, networking, client persuasion skills and interview techniques.

There is also the opportunity to join our award-winning mentoring programme, enter case competitions plus there are plenty of online resources. There are employer treks to companies like Google and IBM, while we also hold guest lectures from CEOs and executives giving an insight into their industry and how they reached the top.

Our MBA participants also take part in a Development Centre. This provides a valuable opportunity for self-reflection and feedback to help map out individual development and career action plans and is a great way to kick-start the career coaching process.

We are also really proud to be able to offer comprehensive one-to-one career, sector specialist or professional development coaching. It has been proven that the more a participant engages in one-to-one coaching, the more effective their job search is.

Warwick Professor Chengwei Liu

We offer a sounding board and we share our many years of experience across a wide range of sectors, industries, and countries, helping thousands of MBA participants find their ideal roles when they complete their MBA.

Once MBA participants have graduated they have access to the online careers services, webinars, and career skills masterclasses and can come back for one-to-one consultations – the careers service never really ends.”

P&Q: Warwick is renowned for its LeadershipPlus programming. What does it include and how does it prepare MBAs for leading teams and organizations in the future?

KB: “LeadershipPlus allows students to find out what sort of leader they are and what sort of leader they want to become. Through experiential workshops, case studies, seminars, and lectures, students reflect on how they can develop the interpersonal skills needed to excel as a leader.

It sees MBA participants take part in five workshops that tackle everything from courageous conversations to sustainability in management.

LeadershipPlus develops self-awareness and aids reflection as to what learners stand for as a leader, allowing them to consider their values and operationalise these for business strategy. This reflection on the self can be uncomfortable for some as they learn where they need to develop, it culminates with an essay on their personal journey, which often illustrates the learning that the process has generated.

The module also tackles societal issues that leaders of organisations need to confront, like ethics and sustainability.

During the module, students are put into groups to work on a real-life project provided by one of our many business partners. Over a nine-week period, the team will investigate an issue for an SME, corporate or not-for-profit organisation, generating recommendations to present to the client.”


Warwick Business School

The Leadership Plus module has already made an impression on Alexander Khmelevskoy, a finance manager in the non-profit sector who is looking to boost his EQ and sharpen his soft skills with a Warwick MBA.

“I wanted to find out more about myself, particularly my communication and leadership style, and find ways to improve them. The Leadership Plus module combines the latest managerial and leadership theories with engaging activities that allow putting these theories into practice. For example, as part of the module, the groups were asked to build a spacecraft. The task was carried out by forming a real-life organizational structure and a chain of command. This exercise helped us to understand and internalize the communicational and motivational challenges that management face while implementing the changes.”

While the Warwick MBA is known for academic rigor and team-based, hands-on programming, Salvador Miramontes also lauds its “behavioural science focus.” One example of this approach is Managing In A New World, a mix of economics and business strategy.

“This is taught not in a traditional way of economic teachings,” recalls Sandhya Ramula, a 2019 P&Q Best & Brightest MBA. “[It is more of] a business economics course coupled with industry-relevant case studies of countries, economies and organisations. I learned about the inter-dependencies of economies and organisations and how running a successful business not only means making a profit but also having a social and economic responsibility. This is an important lesson for MBAs as they go to industry to lead organisations, the mindset shift of a larger economic impact will help leaders with decision-making.”


Behavioral science isn’t the only discipline integrated across the MBA curriculum, adds Ruchi Sankrit. “I have pursued an MBA to build my business acumen so that I can add more value to my work in the social impact sector and also look to create a social enterprise. I was particularly looking for a curriculum that had a strong business focus and also elements of social impact. Warwick Business School was ranked number one in the UK on Sustainability.”

Let’s not forget the vaunted Warwick network, which includes 45,000 graduates from 140 countries. “As an American with a background in Europe, I wanted to attend a school with an international profile located in the UK/EU,” explains Damian Manire. “Warwick has a top-ranking online MBA, full-time MBA, and Executive MBA, which means that alumni benefit from a broad network across many nations and industries.”

It is an alumni base, Manire adds, that is both responsive and engaged. “I found out about Warwick’s culture by speaking to WBS alumni working at PwC (my former company). I emailed six such people on one Friday afternoon – from consultants to directors to partners – and within one hour, each one of them had responded with a glowing endorsement of Warwick Business School’s culture and career impact…

I was sold!”

What led these professionals to enter business schools? Which programs did they also consider? What strategies did they use to choose their MBA program? What was the major event that defined them? Find the answers to these questions and many more in the in-depth profiles of these incoming MBA candidates.

MBA Students Hometown Undergrad Alma Mater Last Employer
Fiona Crabb London, UK University of Exeter Collins Aerospace
Alexandru Fugariu Bucharest, Romania Edinburgh Napier University Asahi Breweries Europe Group
Jamie Graham Newport Pagnell, UK University of Huddersfield British Airways
John Hancq Centreville, VA George Mason University Karibu Honey Economic Development Initiative
Sharad Khandelwal Jaipur, India Malaviya National Institute of Technology Neelkanth Publishers, India
Alexander Khmelevskoy Moscow, Russia Ural Federal University Scholae Mundi Charity Foundation
Priscilla Lo Taipei, Taiwan National Chung Hsing University Sisley Cosmetics
Damian Manire Detroit, MI University of Michigan PwC
Salvador Miramontes Mexico City, Mexico Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) Grupo Corde Asesores
Ruchi Sankrit Munger, India University of Delhi, India SEWA Bharat
Raghav Srivastava New Delhi, India University of Delhi S&P Global Market Intelligence
Julian Villalta San Jose, Costa Rica Florida State University Equifax Inc.

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