2021 MBAs To Watch: Jeff Slater, Warwick Business School

Jeffrey (Jeff) Slater

Warwick Business School

Poet, uncle, former apprentice and general do-gooder who inspires others to better themselves.”

Hometown: Faringdon, Oxfordshire

Fun fact about yourself: I published a children’s book (written as a Christmas present for my nephews and nieces) while studying my MBA.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Business Administration Apprenticeship, City & Guilds. (I dropped out of my undergraduate History studies at King’s College London and pursued an apprenticeship route instead. This led to several promotions in my first few years of work and opened the opportunity to apply to an MBA based on my professional experience.)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? QA Ltd; Customer Experience Consultant

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? TBC

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: (

  • Warwick Scholarship;
  • Co-Founder, Community Impact Initiative;
  • Launched and led Inclusivity Series in collaboration with the Assistant Dean/Director of the Full-Time MBA. (This series was launched in response to demand from my coursemates to explore inter-cultural communication in a more informal way.)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of the Community Impact Initiative. Some coursemates and I established a relationship with Coventry Foodbank to recruit volunteers from our MBA cohort. Almost a third of our year (over 40 students) volunteered. After a successful launch, the foodbank requested our support preparing over 3,000 packs for schoolchildren in the local area who might otherwise have gone without during the school holidays. I developed a relationship with another volunteering group to cover shifts we couldn’t meet. Ultimately, students and staff from two universities volunteered to support the vulnerable. I am proud of this because of the impact we made under very challenging circumstances, with the limited options afforded to us during COVID-19.

I have also written a developmental paper for an academic conference. This was alongside the Community Initiative, a group client project and the rest of my MBA schedule!)

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Leading an apprenticeship programme of c. 30 participants at the age of 19. This was indicative of my future career – caring for and developing other people while stretching and growing myself.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Warwick Business School (WBS) because of its leadership development programme (especially the LeadershipPlus module). Two directors at my prior employer, both of whom I looked up to and respected very much, were WBS MBA alumni. Their leadership styles led me to believe this was an excellent school at which to develop my own leadership skills. Since I plan to be an empathetic organisational leader in my future career, this made WBS an obvious choice.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor James Hayton; Prof. Hayton led our Innovation & Creativity module. His teaching style was energising: his passion and enthusiasm, combined with his expertise in the subject, meant that we wanted to learn and practice what he taught. In addition, the music he played at the beginning and end of virtual lectures during the national lockdown lifted his students’ moods. It opened up our creative neural pathways, which is exactly what one is looking for in an innovation and creativity module.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? During our LeadershipPlus module, we had the opportunity to practice difficult conversations with professional actors. This was a hugely emotional and engaging way of putting what we had learned into practice, and reflected the unusual teaching methodology employed at Warwick.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I probably would have spent more time getting to know my course-mates on the MBA. This was made more challenging because of national lockdown restrictions during COVID-19, but a few virtual coffee chats wouldn’t have gone amiss.

What is the biggest myth about your school? There is a myth that Warwick Business School is elitist or exclusive. This is not the case. It is an amazingly diverse school and the teaching staff is incredibly welcoming. (Not to mention the fact that the recruitment and admissions team are willing to take a chance on very unusual applications – mine is a case in point!)

What surprised you the most about business school? It was how approachable the professors are; they are willing to go out of their way to help, and genuinely encourage intellectual exploration outside the core curriculum. This in line with one of the school’s core values — curiosity.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? My interviewer asked in our video call what my teammates on the MBA would think of me if I were to be accepted. In response, I showed to camera a poster that some colleagues from my previous workplace had created. It featured a portrait of me in the style of a revolutionary which read, ‘BE MORE JEFF’. I think that convinced my interviewer of the positive opinions team-mates generate about me.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Oliver Lomer; Oli is an extremely polite, friendly, respectful, conscientious and helpful MBA classmate. He co-founded the Community Impact Initiative as well as launching a technology-focussed podcast with other MBA coursemates. He is inspirational in his intellectual curiosity, emotional intelligence, and collaborative leadership style.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? My last role before the MBA had included gathering feedback from customers whose learning had pivoted online during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was therefore able to adjust to the pivot to online learning with an unusual sense of perspective. I had seen it from an education provider’s point of view as well as from a student’s. This meant that the change was not so disruptive for me as it might have been.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My coach, JC. JC has been an inspirational and challenging voice for several years. They have always believed I am capable of more than I believed myself to be. Without their encouragement to consider a professional master’s degree, I might never have applied to WBS for my MBA.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • To be a leader in an organisation that serves to empower individuals to be their best selves.
  • To always remember the little people; never to lose an empathy with those in the seemingly ‘lowest’ or ‘least important’ roles in an organisation (remembering that I started out as an apprentice myself).

What made Jeff such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Jeff is a wonderfully engaged and conscientious student. His reflective, empathetic and positive approach undeniably enriches his cohort and this can be evidenced in many ways. Jeff is the Co-Founder of a Community Impact Initiative where he helped recruit 40+ student volunteers to help create food packs for more than 3,000 local school children. This was all the more challenging given the pandemic, yet its success is most impressive and noteworthy.

Jeff’s excellent relationship skills enable him to be trusted to liaise with many different parties. For example, having listened to his cohort who appeared to desire additional, informal opportunities to explore inter-cultural communication, Jeff created, led and delivered an Inclusivity Series that connected him with staff members in Warwick University plus also a Pro-Vice Chancellor in other Russell Group Universities and a CEO. All could not speak highly enough of him. Building upon his interest in this area, Jeff has also submitted a Developmental Paper to The British Academy of Management for this year’s conference. This is atypical for an MBA student and illustrates his passion and desire to engage with the UK’s leading authority in the subject matter of management.

Overall, Jeff has a strong coaching mindset, embodies the school’s values (whether that be demonstrating curiosity, from writing and delivering his poem at our virtual Christmas party or excellence, attaining 77% in his Marketing module).”

Ashley Roberts
Assistant Dean (Internationalisation) and Course Director for the Full-time MBA



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